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Lap Siding: What is It and Why is It So Popular?

If you are thinking about re-siding your home now that the warmer weather has arrived in New Jersey, there are many options available. We know that the prospect of re-siding your home can be daunting: It’s an investment of time and money, and the appearance of your home and the durability of the siding you choose is paramount.

If you’ve done any research at all, you’ve probably heard the term “lap siding.” You may already have it on your home, or perhaps you’ve seen it on homes around your neighborhood— but what is it? Lap siding is so-named because the individual pieces of siding partially overlap each other.

Horizontal Dutch Lap Siding

Horizontal Dutch Lap Siding is the most common. Sometimes referred to as clapboard siding, these long, planks of siding are slightly thicker at the bottom than at the top, and are typically installed from the bottom up.

Once one piece of lap siding is laid down, the next piece that goes on top will slightly overlap its bottom with the section under it. In addition to creating an appealing finished look, this also helps moisture run off one piece of siding and onto the next, rather than staying in one place or penetrating the siding.

Horizontal lap siding is available in different widths; the most common is 5-1/4 inches, though wider widths are available. It is sold in 12-foot-long sections to minimize the number of seams that will be visible. Remember that because the boards overlap each other, your siding planks will appear narrower when you are finished.

Horizontal lap is also available in different textures. Some people prefer a clean matte finish, while others like the look of the wood grain. You can mix and match different textures and widths to suit your tastes and give your home its own style.

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Shiplap Siding

Shiplap siding is less common but has experienced a resurgence in popularity thanks to home design shows, and can be used both on the exterior and interior of your home. Unlike horizontal lap siding, whose overlap is visible, shiplap gives the appearance of boards or planks that are lying right next to each other, side by side.

Shiplap is typically installed using a tongue-and-groove system, similar to the way that hardwood or laminate flooring would be installed, so it still has a watertight seal.

HardiePlank Lap Siding

James Hardie invented fiber cement over thirty years ago and uses it in all its award-winning siding. Made of cement, sand, and cellulose fiber, it combines pleasing aesthetics and durability with none of the vulnerabilities associated with other types of siding materials.

It is easy to clean and is resistant to moisture, pests, and non-combustible. It is also resistant to extreme temperatures and is energy efficient—it will help keep heat in your home during the winter, and cool air from your AC unit in during the summer.

HardiePlank siding comes in a variety of colors and four different style options to provide the perfect look for any style of home.

  • Select Cedarmill mimics the look and texture of wood with all of the benefits mentioned above (durability, non-combustible, easy to maintain) and none of the downsides or maintenance associated with wood siding.
  • Beaded Cedarmill has the same look and texture as Select Cedarmill but has a bottom beaded edge as an additional eye-catching element.
  • Smooth siding lacks the wood grain and provides simple, classic elegance to any home.
  • Beaded Smooth planks combine the classic look of Smooth HardiePlank siding with a bottom beaded edge.

Excited to get started on your re-siding project? Have more questions? Please give American Home Contractors a call today (908) 771-0123 for a free siding quote, or fill out our online form for a free in-home consultation and no-obligation quote. We look forward to hearing from you!