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Does wood rainscreen cladding need to overlap?

RyanHow | Posted in General Questions on

I converted my garage to a room, and on the exterior wall where the garage door was, I’d like to install wood siding as a rain screen. 

It has at least a 3′ roof overhang, so it’s well protected from rain, and I plan to use cor-a-vent SV3 and sturdi-battens.  

Supposing I want to create a bit of a design with that wall that would make it difficult to use a siding edge profile (shiplap, t&g, etc), could I use standard stock without any overlap and just butt the boards against each other?

I see open joint siding around often, and have read that people worry about bugs and UV, but in my case, I’m not planning to leave any gaps between boards.

I’m in Austin TX.

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  1. Expert Member


    In your climate, and in the conditions you describe it should work fine. You will end up with gaps over time as the wood moves, so you may want to pay attention to what colour WRB you choose.

  2. Expert Member
    Akos | | #2

    This is a shed I built a while back, about 5 years ago. The siding is 1x3 cedar gapped 1/4" nailed up over 30lb felt. It is holding up quite well about the only spot I got some discoloration is where there was splash back from the lack of eavestroughs.

    For a house, the only thing I would change is use a house wrap that will hold up to light. There are proper UV rated ones or you can paint some tyvek black. Make sure to also paint all your battens as they will show.

    PS. Small gaps are very hard to work, the smaller the gap the more visible any variation is. I would either have an overlap or a bigger gap. Aiming for zero gap is futile as wood moves and eventually you'll end up with wonky looking gaps.

  3. RyanHow | | #3

    Great advice, thank you.

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