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Community and Q&A

Best hidden fastener system?

J M | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

I am looking for siding profile to use with a wood siding hidden fastener rainscreen siding system.

I am installing on 4″ exterior insulation.

I had initially liked the Climateshield profile until I learn you have to use z-girts on 4″ insulation which seem like they’d cause thermal bridging and are more expensive than furring strips (this fastener requires no furring strips) – you can see more about z-girts here:

So now I’m looking at the Deckwise system which uses conventional furring strips and I think it has lower hardware costs than Climateshield:

Is anyone aware of anything better than either of these? Have any other recommendations?

Also a side topic – I am most likely to use Atlantic White Cedar for the majority of the insulation but I was also considering FSC certified Garapa (from Southern Central America and South America). I know the cedar would likely be the cheaper and most green of these two options.

The thing I don’t get is people saying to avoid the exotic wood for sustainability reasons but still advocating for Kebony which is grown in New Zealand (or Sweden if it’s the character grade rather than the clear which is more typically used for siding), shipped to Norway for processing, and then shipped to the US for processing and then shipped to the customer. Seems pretty clear to me that Kebony is worse than FSC exotic hardwood from a sustainability and carbon footprint angle.

Other than the sustainability/footprint how will cedar compare to a hardwood like Garapa for siding?

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  1. User avatar GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    The terms "hardwood" and "softwood" do not correlate to rot resistance.

    According to The Wood Database:

    Garapa is rated as durable;

    Northern white cedar is rated as durable to very durable.

  2. J M | | #2

    But I didn't make that claim and rot resistance isn't the only factor for siding (like how it's mounted can help or hurt with rotting, insects, fungus, etc)? Denser exotic woods like Garapa are more resistant to cupping, checking, warping, etc. Many of the exotic hardwoods are naturally more fire resistant rated as class A like Garapa is too. Cedar requires pressure treatment to become fire resistant.

  3. J M | | #3

    Lets forget the siding material question. Cedar is likely the choice as it's cheaper, greener, local, and much easier to work with (besides this is siding, not a deck - it doesn't benefit like a deck would).

    Does anyone have any feedback on various hidden fastener systems?

  4. User avatar GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #4

    My favorite profile for white cedar siding is probably lap siding. Certain types can be blind nailed: there is your hidden fastener system.

    You can install lap siding on vertical 1x4 furring strips.


  5. thrifttrust | | #5

    My plan is to use tongue and groove cedar. It will be attached to rainscreen battens with GRK finish head screws in in the manner of a T&G floor.

    Douglas Higden

  6. Quinn Sievewright | | #6

    I opted for a simple off the shelf approach. Horizontal v-groove T&G cedar fixed onto vertical 1x4 treated furring strips. To attach I toe-nailed at an angle with 16g Stainless brads (2 per location about 2" apart for extra holding strength) down through the toe which in turn got hidden by the overlying groove. Took a bit of getting the aim right on the gun but ended up pretty quick. If I had a 15g gun I would have preferred that for the extra holding power.

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