Behind the Scenes: Why it Matters What Type of Wood Goes Behind Siding

Siding is the superhero of your home. It protects it, shields it from harmful weather, and keeps it safe and comfortable. But it doesn’t act alone. Certain elements come together to allow siding to perform its best, and that’s why it matters what type of wood goes behind your siding. The wood that goes behind your siding serves several functions, from increasing insulation to waterproofing, and adding structural support for the framing of your house. All these elements are key to a comfortable, functional, durable home. There are 2 types of wood that are used behind siding: oriented strand board and plywood. Check out the differences below to see which one would work best for your abode.

Oriented Strand Board vs. Plywood

Oriented strand board and plywood are the most common sheathing materials to use behind siding. They both share advantages when it comes to strength and durability, but there are some differences between them. OSB costs less than plywood, which makes it a popular choice among contractors and homeowners. In fact, OSB is used over 75% of the time in North America, making it clear that today’s consumers are extremely cost conscious.

Advantages of OSB

Cost efficiency isn’t the only thing that makes OSB stand out. OSB is manufactured as a composite material, made from as many as 50 strand layers packed and compressed into the same thickness. This makes it strong, durable and able to easily repel water. It’s also more resource-efficient since it can be made from small fast growing trees from tree farms rather than old forests. OSB panels can be manufactured up to 16 feet (or higher), which means you can sheathe your walls from top to bottom leaving no horizontal seams.

Advantages of Plywood

The one thing plywood has over OSB is its reaction when exposed to large amounts of water. This happens during construction delays when sheathing panels are covered with snow, rain and ice. Plywood swells consistently across the sheet, then returns to its normal dimensions when it dries, and it dries out pretty quickly. OSB, on the other hand, tends to swell along the edges and the edges don’t go back to normal once they dry up. OSB takes longer to get wet than plywood, but it also takes longer to dry.

OSB and plywood panels are equal in strength, weight and ability to hold fasteners, but OSB has become the favourite across North America due to its lower cost and consistent panel-to-panel quality. The wood behind your siding allows your siding to perform its best. If you’re in the market for new siding for your home, find your nearest Gentek dealer to help you with your siding project!

The Origins of Siding

Siding plays an important role in the entirety of your home, not only insulating and keeping your home comfortable, but also protecting your home from things like water and pests. Not to mention, quality siding ups your home’s curb appeal, making your abode a total stand out on your block, and increasing its value when you go to sell. Today’s siding options are durable and low-maintenance with exceptional beauty, but they didn’t always start out that way. The look, style and materials of siding have transformed over the years, to become the gorgeous options you have now.

If you’re interested in how siding came to be, take a read below to find out the origins of siding!

The Very Beginnings

Originally, homes were made out of wood, stone and brick; materials that were easily found and assembled in nature. Most commonly, people would cut down trees and make log cabins, which were easy to build and were also strong and weather-tight. Eventually, English ship builders taught Americans how to construct house frames using the same technique they used to frame ships. Long horizontal boards nailed together as a house frame became known as the “shiplap” technique. This was popular for hundreds of years, but since everyone was doing the same thing, eventually people wanted their homes to stand out from the crowd.

The Next Phase

To create distinctiveness, people started to hand carve notches along the top and bottom edges of the wooden planks used as siding. If the notch was on top, they called it ‘dutch lap’ siding; if the notch was on the bottom, they called it ‘beaded’ siding. And when they wanted their homes to stand out even more, they began installing long wooden planks vertically instead of horizontally. The planks weren’t always the same width, so they would nail a small batten to cover up the cracks. This became known as ‘board and batten’. People started becoming more creative with how they installed the wooden planks, adding more profiles and applying wooden planks in different directions.

From Wood to Vinyl

Cedar siding was the siding material of choice for a long time, due to its beauty and low maintenance. However, in the early 1960s, vinyl siding nudged in to replace wood siding as wood siding became more expensive and required more maintenance in the form of painting, and repairing water and insect damage. Vinyl siding was sturdy and could be made to look like real wood. It was well-liked because it required very low maintenance and upkeep, was insect and water resistant, and didn’t fade or rot.

The Present

Today, vinyl siding is the number 1 cladding choice for homeowners across North America. With the beauty of a natural wood finish, powerful durability, easy installation and low upkeep, vinyl siding continues to reign supreme. It’s also more environmentally friendly than other types of siding, and available in many different styles and colours, so you can get the exact look you want for your home.

If you’ve always wondered about the origins of siding, there you have it! Of course, you can also go with aluminum, steel, fiber cement or specialty siding. Each have their own style and benefits, so depending on the style of home you’re going for, you have great options to choose from at Gentek!


Is it Wood? Is it Steel? Why Distinction Wood Grain is the Next Big Thing

If you adore the look of real wood, but aren’t so fond of the upkeep, you’re going to love Distinction Wood Grain siding. While real wood siding requires a ton of maintenance and is prone to wreathing, Distinction Wood Grain offers the look of real wood, with the low maintenance and durability of steel siding. It’s an upcoming trend for traditional and modern looking homes alike, so strike while the iron’s hot!

Standout Features

There’s a few key reasons why Distinction Wood Gran siding is having a moment in the design world. We’ve already covered the fact that it’s low maintenance and high durability, but on top of that, it has a Class A rating against fire, you can choose between vertical and horizontal installation, and there are no visible screws, so your exterior design is never compromised.

Distinction Wood Grain siding is also coated with rust resistant paint for long term strength and resilience, and you’re backed by a 40-year limited warranty. It’s made with high strength steel and a high-performance paint system applied over G90 galvanized steel or Galvalume, and is available in 3 series of colours: Wood Series, Nuanced Wood Series and Granite Series.

Wood vs. Steel

Steel siding has become a go-to for homeowners and contractors due to its beneficial features. When compared to other siding options, it’s one of the strongest and longest lasting materials to use for your home exterior. It’s resistant to bumps, dents and dings that may be more prevalent with other materials, and it requires barely any maintenance. Wood, on the other hand, is prone to rot and insect infestation and requires substantially higher maintenance.

Get the Look

Distinction Wood Grain siding is a painted steel siding which elegantly imitates real wood and comes in a large variety of colours to suit any taste. Choose from colours like Urban Grey, Walnut, Cedar, Jet Black and Sequoia to enhance the exterior of your home, with unmatched durability. Not all colours are available in all provinces, so make sure you check with a Gentek representative for availability in your area.

Distinction Wood Grain siding makes it possible for you to get the look of real wood without the hassle of taking care of it. If you’ve been wanting to update your home design with an elegant wood aesthetic, this product is perfect for you!