Table of Contents

Introduction: Shingle Installation for New Walls

  • Surface Preparation

Construction Information

  • Fastener Guidelines
  • Single Course Installation
  • Double Course Installation
  • Corners

Decorative Options

  • Staggered Butt Coursing
  • Ribbon Coursing

White Cedar Shingle Installation Instructions for New Walls

graphic for cedar shingle install guideHere we offer some tips about how first-timers can apply cedar shingles to exterior walls.

One of the best attributes of True North northern white cedar shingles, either for replacing or covering existing siding, is that beautiful walls can be easily accomplished even by an amateur carpenter!

Slightly different procedures for applying True North Cedar shingles on walls than on roofs. The major difference is in 'permissible exposures,' a term carpenters use to let us know that on walls a greater exposure of the shingle is allowable than on roofs. In other words, a given area of wall will require less shingles than the same area of roof. Like hairs on your head vs. hairs on your arm, roof shingles are applied more densely to give extra protection up top.

Before proceding, note that these tips are not intended to override any state or local building codes. Before installing True North Cedar shingles, please check with local building authorities for specific requirements in your area.

Surface Preparation

The healthy life of your shiingles hinges upon airflow. Cedar that can dry out will not rot or attract bugs. To that end, it's simple to do it right and be promised decades of good service by your handiwork. The natural enemies of roofs include acts of God, bugs and mold. We can do our best to protect ourselves against the mighty winds with good fasteners and great shingles. But for bugs and mold, we favor furring strips and Keene CDR breather fabric.

Install furring strips horizontally for each row of shingles. This natural solution is inexpensive and effectively lets the shingle breathe to prevent mold and rot. We have seen many cedar shingle roofs still in great repair 100 years after being put down -- always over furring strips.

For moisture protection, we recommend Driwall CDR breather fabric , a rolled matting manufactured by Keene which we sell for $159 per roll. For a less expensive option, simply roll out heavy-duty, old-fashioned tar paper for a base prior to laying your wall shingles. Remember, underlayments mirror shingles in the layering way they shed water. Start at the bottom row and overlap as you work up.

next page: Construction Information

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