Mechanised production of clapboard products started in the 1850s when new technology became available. At first, the lightweight cladding material was exclusively made from timber. These days, fibre cement, vinyl, and metal products are easy to come by.
The manufacturing process is inexpensive so that the suppliers can sell them at affordable prices. Clapboards are also known by other names, namely weatherboard, lap siding, and bevel siding.
Versatile construction elements
You’ve probably noticed lap siding being put up in renovations of historical homes. Communities that are proud of their architectural heritage are partial to timber boards harvested locally. However, clapboard panels are not exclusively intended for traditional homes. They also go well with any contemporary style. High-quality products provide protection from the elements as well as insulation year-round.
Clapboards are also available in varied measurements and shapes. It won’t be difficult to find something that fits your current project from among the weatherboard profiles at the local showroom.
Classic versus shiplap profiles
Wedge-shaped clapboards are installed in an overlapping manner that does not thicken the wall excessively. Each board is held in place by nails, but the nails do not show because the board on top conceals then. Australians who prefer weatherproof cladding and a traditional look usually go for the classic configuration. Find a skilled installer to do the job because it requires some expertise to handle the corners.
The other type of clapboard is known as shiplap. Each plank is flat and joined to the next with a tongue and groove attachment. Since there is no overlap, the wall appears completely even. Shiplap cladding is usually installed starting from the bottom gradually putting them in place until reaching the top part of the wall. This option is the better choice if you prefer long boards for a contemporary look.
Traditionally, clapboards are only made using timber. You will still find various timber species such as western red cedar, macrocarpa, and radiate pine. Do not limit yourself to wooden boards. Metal, vinyl, and fibre cement products could also meet your criteria.