Rustic Siding Ideas


As lumber processors have become more efficient over the years, the choices in rustic siding have multiplied. Lumberyards and home stores now carry styles ranging from natural-edge boards to vinyl log siding. Installation of these products has also evolved and become easier. In some cases a small cabin or home can be finished in one or two weekends.

Finished Boards

  • Vertical board and batten is a design that has been around for many years in rural areas. The boards, typically 6 to 8 inches wide, are placed on a wall vertically. The joint between each board is then covered by a smaller board, typically 2 to 3 inches wide, called a batten. The batten can also be placed under the boards for an inverted look.

    Horizontal lap siding of finished boards can also be applied to exterior walls. In this application, the ends of the boards or joints are staggered so they do not line up with each other. The corners of the cabin or home are finished with a single vertical trim board. The siding flushes up to the boards for a clean finished look. Both of these sidings can be sealed for a natural finish or painted.

Natural-Edge Boards and Log Lap Siding

  • Natural-edge boards are cut from logs that retain one side of the log face. Typically these boards can be very wide, up to 14 inches. The siding is laid horizontally and typically at random widths. This makes for a very rustic look. The corners of the home are finished with either a flush trim board or a random corner cover. The corner cover lays over the siding. This type of corner trim will need some type of foam under the board to keep out insects.

    Log lap siding is a horizontal application that shows a round contour to the board--a fake log. The lower and upper portion of the siding board is machined in such a way so the horizontal application fits tightly together. Log lap siding is one of the more traditional types of rustic siding used in the past 50 years.

Vinyl Log Siding

  • Vinyl log siding is easy to install and from a distance it is hard to tell it's not the real thing. It can be installed on most small homes in a couple of weekends. Maintenance is minimal except for cleaning the vinyl when it gets dirty. Vinyl log siding is inexpensive compared to any wood product; the cost of wood rustic siding depends on the amount of processing required.

    Left to the natural elements, most rustic wood siding will soon turn gray. If not installed properly, the wood may begin to dry, crack and create water penetration problems. If it is painted, chances are very good that it may be ritual every three or four years to repaint the surface. Sealers last about the same amount of time.


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