Siding with Clapboards
Up one side or down the other, apply them correctly.
Synopsis: Beveled wood siding, or clapboards, has been used for several hundred years in some parts of the country. This article, written by a seasoned Massachusetts builder, explains how it should be installed. He covers all phases of the job.
My dictionary says that the word clapboard probably derives from the Middle Dutch clapholt — “clappen” meaning to crack or split and “holt” meaning wood. And in fact early clapboards were made by splitting or riving them from logs, rather than by sawing them. Still another explanation is offered by William B. Weeden in his book Economic and Social History of New England 1620-1789 (Corner House Publishers, Williamstown, Mass. 01267, 1978): “Bricks were laid against the inner partition or wooden wall, and covered with clay. Boards were placed on the outside, first called ‘clayboards,’ then corrupted into ‘clapboards.’
Today the word clapboard is used generally to refer to many different kinds of horizontal…