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Spruce versus pine species for exterior siding

Hi. I was originally planning on using horizontally placed pine boards for my house siding. Due to the time of year, there is a shortage of local pine and will not be accessible in the time frame I need. My local wood mill can provide spruce. He's used it on his house and it has held up nicely. My plan is to back prime and use a solid stain on the exterior regardless of species (and use 3/4" strapping behind it. Any experience with using spruce, its qualities and characteristics and is it good for this type of application? Thanks.

Asked by Matthew Michaud
Posted May 16, 2014 3:59 PM ET


4 Answers

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Spruce is second only to cedar as a premium wood for clapboards & shingles. It tends to have less resin to bleed though the paints/stains than most species of pine, and in some climates can be left to weather naturally sans-finish like cedar. Like any timber product it's available in several quality grades, but if you get the good stuff it makes excellent siding- more rugged than cedar to dents & dings, but similar weathering qualities.

Answered by Dana Dorsett
Posted May 16, 2014 5:25 PM ET


I was told that I didn't need strapping behind, as will have an airspace behind each board. Although, with it being clapboard, the top edge will be making contact with the house wrap.. Should I have one regardless?

Answered by Matthew Michaud
Posted May 17, 2014 7:32 AM ET


It's your choice. Your paint job will probably last longer if you include a rainscreen gap. For more information, see All About Rainscreens.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted May 17, 2014 8:01 AM ET


Where I am all pine claps are spruce pine never eastern white or southern yellow or old growth red...

Back priming is worth doing. Pre-coat for new construction. Rain screen is good but is another cost we add optionally. Customer preference.

Answered by aj builder, Upstate NY Zone 6a
Posted May 17, 2014 10:45 AM ET

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