Pine is a poor choice for batten siding, and it’s far more expensive than quality vinyl siding. Although pine is widely used for trimming, expect the following problems when used to the side of an entire building. Wider boards, 1/2 x 6 and larger, have a habit of checking and cupping in prolonged heat and humidity. The outer jaw needs to be primed on both the sides and the cut ends. Cedar or fir is a much better element. The grain of the pine has a tendency to lift, and gaps around knots can appear over time. If you don’t use board and lath, shrinkage will occur, creating gaps between the boards.
A special grade board and batten siding costs about 60 to 80 dollars per square foot, or about 100 square feet, or about 0.40 to 0.50 dollars per linear foot for a 4 inch exposure. There are no costs for priming and painting, which can cause considerable costs. It’s faster to install and will definitely outlast the pine siding. Personally, we would never recommend or install pine siding to a customer as we don’t want a call from an unhappy customer in two years. Pine has been the classic siding in the northeastern United States for several hundred years. Painting is the simple protection.
While many products require less maintenance, it should be fine if you have the skills, not too much required and the time to keep them up. Pine works well when the preparation of the wood is correct. Prime all ends, the back, the front and two coats on the front and ends. This is usually fine for more than 10 years. Pine siding has been around in homes and barns in many northeastern US for well over 100 years. Some buildings that are more than 100 years old have the wooden siding as well as a beveled lap. Sure, it can be beaten up, but the siding is still there. We would keep the bevel of the beveled round to a max of 6 inches since larger is more prone to cupping. This is just the advice of an old man who puts up with a lot of pine siding. It looks better than vinyl but today we would choose smart siding or fiber cement.
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