Installing siding is important for keeping your home well-insulated and safe from climate conditions. But in addition to its functional benefits, siding can truly transform a home’s appearance. Different siding materials exhibit different styles and give a home a certain character. Vinyl siding, for instance, is featured prominently in most suburban areas, while stucco siding is commonly found in hot, dry regions.
There are plenty of other siding options out there, including metal, plywood, and brick. But one type of siding in particular seems to be gaining some steam this year: shiplap siding. Even if you’ve seen shiplap siding before, you might not have heard its name, or know much about it. But this siding material, when installed properly, can add timeless beauty to any home, both inside and out.
Shiplap certainly has a unique name, most likely derived from an old method for adding wood paneling to ships. The “lap” part of the name is a nod to “overlap,” which describes how the panels tightly cover one another as they’re installed. It’s worth noting, then, that shiplap describes the shape and installation method of the siding, not the material itself. Indeed, various types of wood are used for shiplap, such as pine and cedar.
Shiplap siding is used for both home exteriors and interiors. It’s defined by the shape of its boards, which feature two rabbet joints on either side. Like puzzle pieces, one panel neatly fits over the other, allowing panels to overlap while giving them space to expand or contract a bit. This results in a beautiful flush finish that’s less time consuming and more secure than installing traditional wood planks or other types of siding.
Aside from its rustic charm, shiplap siding has grown in popularity in part thanks to its low installation cost. Costs will vary depending on the type of wood used, of course. On average, however, shiplap can cost as little as one dollar per square foot, or about ⅓ the cost of vinyl siding. Additionally, as previously mentioned, shiplap is relatively easy to install, which reduces labor costs when hiring a contractor.
Shiplap has been around for a while. In addition to covering ship hulls, this siding technique was very common in 19th-century homes, albeit often hidden underneath wallpaper. Today, many homeowners are rediscovering the simple beauty of shiplap for their exterior and interiors.
There are a number of applications for shiplap. Some use it for their exterior siding, perfect for country homes and a distinct barn or cabin look. They may hire exterior house painters to cover the siding or simply stain it to pronounce its natural grain. Other homeowners apply shiplap to their interior spaces. It may cover an entire room, a single wall, or specific features. Shiplap is becoming a popular feature on kitchen islands and backsplash, for instance. Panels may be placed horizontally or vertically, so home designers can do a lot with this versatile siding option.
If you choose to paint your shiplap, there are some important steps to follow. It’s best to seal cracks and gaps with caulk before priming and painting. Some professional painters might also paint the boards before installing them for complete coverage, but this isn’t always necessary. Spraying might be the fastest option for covering shiplap, but it also requires the most prep time and cleanup. Different painting services will prefer different methods.
Now that you know a bit about shiplap, you have another siding option to add to your home design arsenal. This type of siding stands the test of time, and it’s cheaper than most other options. Whether you want to redesign your interior or exterior, you can’t go wrong with shiplap.
If you want to know more about shiplap siding or need assistance with residential painting, contact All American Painting Plus. Our team is prepared to help you with every part of home improvement, including home painting, carpentry, drywall repair, and more. To learn more about all that we do, give us a call at (703)-620-5563!
All American Painting Plus is thrilled to be named Best Painter in Northern Virginia Magazine's Best of Northern Virginia. Winners are chosen by their read-ers, Northern Virginia locals who pick the companies they trust most to do things right. We're proud to be recognized for excellence in residential painting. If you live or work in Northern Virginia, find out why your neighbors and colleagues named us Northern Virginia's best painter.