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Community and Q&A

Furring for cedar shingle siding

Pellepam | Posted in General Questions on

We have an addition that needs new siding. We are going with red cedar shingles like the rest of the house. We would like to put furring strips underneath, as it seems to be a good idea to have an air gap behind the siding.

I can’t find any how to’s on the installation of those furring strips on the www. I need information on size, spacing, positioning relative to the position of the shingles (I assume that the furring should be under each row of nails?).
Is there a need for grooves on the back of the strips for drainage?
Is it a good idea to use 5/16″ wood lath?
We also would have to add insect screening as we had wasps get behind the shingles in the middle of the wall and nest there.

Thank you in advance for all advice!

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  1. GBA Editor
    Brian Pontolilo | | #1

    Hi Pellepam.

    I have seen builders install a lattice of furring to install cedar shakes over, the first layer vertical, the second horizontal. Seems like a tremendous amount of labor to me. I would go with a product like this:

  2. user-6623302 | | #2

    Use a breather product if you must. Red cedars over tar paper will last a lifetime.

  3. rockies63 | | #3

    I would use a plastic mesh developed for just this purpose (different from the suggestion in comment #1)

    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #4


      Functionally, how do they differ?

      1. GBA Editor
        Brian Pontolilo | | #6


        I don't know how it is different, but I am under the impression that Cedar Breather is only recommended for roofs and that the Slicker products were developed for walls.

        1. Expert Member
          MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #7

          From the manufacturer:

          " Slicker is yellow and contains vertical channels designed to promote drainage. Cedar Breather is black and has a conical shape pattern to promote circulation under cedar roofing materials."

  4. Pellepam | | #5

    Thank you for your input everyone.
    Do you also have advice on how to keep insects out? As I said, we had wasps get behind the shingles in the middle of the wall - through the gaps between the shakes. I feel like we should put an insect net behind the whole siding, but then again, I don't want to overdo it either.

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