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!