Clapboard Siding 

Clapboard siding is siding that runs across the house from end to end, or 'horizontal'. 

Clapboard is the most popular siding choice in the US.

Clapboard Siding

Clapboard siding is siding where long narrow boards or panels are nailed horizontally across the house to give the appearance for freshly painted boards.

Clapboard style siding has been used on houses for centuries both here in America and in Europe.

It is the most popular siding sold today. 

It comes in dozens of 'Styles', Colors, Textures, both in insulated and non-insulated forms. 

Basic Clapboard Styles

Three-inch lap, four-inch lap, 6-inch lap, four-inch Dutch lap, six-inch Dutch Lap, five inch smooth, and four inch Beaded.

The front of each siding panel has a particular look. It can look like thin wooden planks, or larger planks, or smooth freshly painted planks.  The front of the siding is called the PROFILE.

The picture above shows Clapboard Vinyl Siding in the most popular 'profile'. Some people call it the style. Doesn't matter, your contractor will know what you mean. 

Clapboard Siding Traditional look.

Clapboard Siding Comes in Three Basic Styles

Clapboard siding comes in three basic styles, Traditional Lap, Dutch Lap and Beaded.  All three look like long wooden planks or panels nailed across the house. All three styles have been around for hundreds of years and are still some of the most popular sidings today. Clapboard style of siding used to be made of wood smooth sawn into long narrow planks and then nailed onto the home, now it is also made from vinyl and comes in many colors, textures, lengths, thickness, both in insulated and non-insulated forms. 

Traditional Lap or Clapboard Style

Mr. Contractor says

Siding that runs horizontally across your house from end to end is sometimes referred to as Clapboard siding, 'horizontal siding' or lap siding, or even 'Ship Lap' siding. 

People generally use the words clapboard, lap siding and horizontal siding inter-changeably.

Your contractor will know what you are talking about.

Smooth Lap or Traditional Lap Siding

Below is CertainTeed Monogram Double 4" Clapboard Siding in yellow color.

CertainTeed Clapboard Siding
Clapboard Vinyl Siding

Dutch Lap Vinyl Siding

Dutch Lap vinyl siding is one of the most popular home siding styles in America. It looks like long panels of wood that runs from end to end or horizontally across your house. It has a pronounced shadow line on the top of each panel. Back in early times, carpenters would actually hand carve the 'notch' on the top of each wooden plank. Because this took more time and labor, Dutch Lap siding became known as a more expensive style of siding and was used on more expensive homes. 

Dutch Lap Vinyl Siding

Difference between regular Clapboard and Dutch Lap. Clapboard has smooth lines and Dutch Lap has the pronounced shadow line on the top of each panel.

Dutch Lap Vinyl Siding
Dutch Lap Vinyl Siding
Dutch Lap Vinyl Siding

Other Clapboard Styles

Beaded Siding

Beaded siding is still a Clapboard Style of siding but with a shadow line etched into the bottom of each panel to add a little depth. It was originally hand carved by the carpenter or homeowner.  Because it took more time to cut the shadow line or 'bead' in the wood, it was more expensive than regular smooth lap clapboard and was mostly used on the more expensive homes.  

Beaded Siding Note shadow line on the bottom edge.
Beaded Siding
Profile of Beaded Vinyl Siding
Beaded Siding
Beaded Siding

Beaded Siding has a notch that runs along the top edge or each panel that produces a distinct look like craftsmen actually hand cut each plank or panel.

Back in the olden days craftsmen actually did hand carved the notch in each wooden board or plank.

Because it required more labor it was harder to make and took much longer to carve each wooden board it cost more than regular wood siding. It was considered a premium siding that the wealthy used on their homes. 

Clapboard Siding Info

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Dutch Lap vs Traditional Clapboard

Dutch Lap Siding vs Traditional Clapboard 

The difference between Dutch lap vs traditional Clapboard is mainly just your opinion which one looks best on your particular style of home. They are both in the Clapboard family. What style of home you have will help you decide which one looks best for your house?

It all started a long time ago when early Americans began to cut down trees and saw them into long narrow wooden boards to cover their houses with.

Dutch Lap Siding has a notch cut along the top edge on the board or panel that produces a distinct look like craftsmen actually hand cut a notch in each board. Back in the olden days carpenters actually did hand carve the notch along the top of each board.

The difference between Dutch lap and clapboard, or standard lap, is that clapboard tends to be flat, with no shadow line showing. Just like a long smooth wooden board. Vinyl siding can be made either textured to look just like real wood with deep grain lines or smooth like a freshly painted wooden board.  

Some homes look better with the smooth painted finish of clapboard.

Some people wanted more options than just the regular siding style, so craftsmen began to hand carve notches into the wooden boards.

Dutch Lap style had been around in Europe for a long time and the people from there just copied it and used it for the siding on their homes.

Since it was hand carved, it was more expensive and used in better homes. 

To see read more on  Dutch Lap vs traditional siding click here. 

To see more information on how vinyl siding is used on homes today and the value that it provides the homeowner, 

Click here to go to the  Vinyl Siding Institute 

Find Local Siding Pro's and Pricing Here

Find prices and local siding professionals near you.

Guide to Siding 101

Here is a guide to siding with some helpful information about the different types, styles, how to's, and general information that will be extremely helpful to you.

Want to really save some money on your energy bills?  Check out Insulated Vinyl Siding

Insulated Clapboard Vinyl Siding

By adding insulation to your siding, you can save money year after year by cutting your energy costs.

More information on Insulated Vinyl Siding Click Here

Using insulated siding cut your energy cost.  Usually more expensive than regular siding but allows you to recover the extra cost by cutting down on energy consumption.  

A Little Siding History

Log Cabin

Clapboard siding was used extensively in early Colonial America. Lots of early settlers were from England where shipbuilding was prevalent. Early shipbuilders cut long narrow wooden planks and used them in shipbuilding. Then when they got to America, they used the same technique to build their homes.

In fact, clapboard looks like the sides of the old wooden ships. Clapboard is sometimes referred to as 'ship-lap' siding. 

Typical Log Cabin of yesteryear

In colonial times trees were cut down and the logs stacked on top of each other to form the walls of the 'log' cabin.

Over time it became more efficient to cut the logs into long thin boards to cover the houses.  Hence horizontal siding.  More on the history of siding click here...  History of Siding

Pictures of homes using clapboard vinyl siding: 

To see all types and styles of homes using vinyl siding

click here. Pictures of Clapboard Vinyl Siding on Homes.  

What is a Vinyl Siding 'Profile'?

What is a vinyl siding 'Profile'? 

When you hear people talking about the siding profile, they are generally talking about the look of the long planks or panels of the siding. Does it have notches or groves cut into it. Some siding panels are smooth and look like long planks of wood, some have notches on the top to give it more depth and shadows, this is called Dutch Lap Siding. Others have a notch cut into the panel on the bottom edge of the panel, this is called 'Beaded'.

Smooth lap clapboard, Dutch lap and beaded are all 'styles' with-in the clapboard family. This is what is generally referred to as the siding 'Profile'

Each style has several different profiles.

The difference between the distinctive styles of clapboard siding is how wide the panels are and if they have shadow lines. This is called the siding's "profile"

Click here to review more about Clapboard Profiles..

smart idea

Each profile comes in several different grades or thickness, from economy grade to premium grade. As a general rule, the thicker the siding is the higher the quality.

Clapboard comes in different 'Textures'

Clapboard comes in different textures ranging from smooth like freshly painted wooden boards to deep rough-cut cedar texture.

The actual panel or plank can have a smooth freshly painted texture, or it can have a natural deep cedar wood texture, and everything in between.

Smooth Texture

To see more Smooth Style Clapboard Siding  click here.

Light Wood Grain

Some panels look like rough cut cedar, and some are smooth like sanded boards. This is usually referred to as the texture of the siding.

Go Back to Vinyl Siding Styles click here. 

Cedar Shake Siding
Cedar Shake Siding

To see more information on Cedar Shake Siding   Click Here   Cedar Shake Siding

 Types of Siding

Other Types of Home Siding That Looks Like Wood:

Hardie Board
Engineered Wood Siding

Fiber Cement Board
Cement Board Siding

Vinyl Siding Manufacturers 

Here are some of the more popular vinyl siding manufacturers that offer Clapboard Siding Styles in many different colors, textures, thickness, insulated or non-insulated styles. 

Norandex Vinyl Siding

Norandex Vinyl Siding is an extremely popular maker of vinyl siding. They have many distinctive styles, textures, thickness, profiles, and comes in insulated and non-insulated.

To see more information on Norandex Vinyl Siding  Click Here  Norandex Vinyl Siding

Mastic Siding

Mastic Siding is one of the leading vinyl siding manufacturers and has many different siding products in all sizes and price ranges.

Mastic Dutch Lap
Double 5" Lap

To see more information on Mastic Vinyl Siding    Click Here Mastic Siding

Alside Siding

Alside Siding

To more information on Alside Siding   Click Here Alside Siding

Alcoa Siding

To see more information on Alcoa Siding Products,  Click Here Alcoa Siding

CertainTeed Clapboard Siding 

CertainTeed Vinyl Siding 

Certainteed Vinyl SidingCertainteed Vinyl Siding

To see more information on CertainTeed Vinyl Siding   Click Here

Gentex Siding 

Gentex Siding Products 

Gentex Vinyl SidingGentex Vinyl Siding

For more information on Gentex Siding  Click Here 

To go back to the Home Page  click here 

Other Types of Siding

Hardie Board or Vinyl Siding

Hardie Board Siding

To see more information on Hardie Board Siding   Click Here  Hardie Board

Which is better, Hardie Board or Vinyl Siding?  

This is of course a matter of opinion.  Both have great qualities, and both have a downside.  There is no one answer that solves this dilemma.  Hardie Board is stronger than vinyl siding but is more expensive. Vinyl Siding is less expensive and easier to install over most existing homes.  If budget is at play, then vinyl is the answer. 

The color in vinyl siding is made into the product therefore you never have to paint it.  Hardie Board requires some painting over time depending on weather conditions and climate area you live.

What does Vinyl Siding Cost?

What does vinyl siding cost to install on your home? Thats a tricky question. 

Clapboard siding prices run between $3 per square foot to over $10+ per square foot depending upon the thickness and quality of the siding. And whether it is insulated or non-insulated. 


The price you will pay to buy vinyl siding is only one part of the over-all cost of installing siding on your house. There are other items that must be figured into the total price of your project. Click here to review some of the items that contractors look at when giving you a price quote. Vinyl Siding Costs

Vinyl siding is like any other product you buy, the better the quality the more it will cost.  Most vinyl siding manufacturers make several different grades of their sidings in order to fit any budget from economy grade to standard builder grade or even a premium grade.

Some premium grades of siding can stand up to hurricane force winds.

Thickness of the Siding Determines Price

The quality of the siding is generally determined by how thick the siding is.

Thicker siding is more rigid, looks better, has deeper textures, holds its color better than thinner sidings and will last longer without fading.

Basic vinyl siding pricing. The average vinyl siding prices run between $3 per square foot for economy grades up to over $10 per square foot for the thickest premium grades.  

Standard Vinyl Siding Grades: 

economy or builder's grade                 .040 mm thick

thin residential grade                           .042 mm thick

thick residential grade                         .044 mm thick 

premium grade                                     .046 - 1.00 mm thick  

To see more information on the prices of different vinyl sidings:

 Click here to review vinyl siding prices. 

Vinyl Siding Colors

Clapboard siding is made with the color in the vinyl therefor eliminating the need for painting. Only a good washing with the garden hose is needed to refresh it.

Vinyl siding colors cover the whole color spectrum. From earth tones to bright colors and everything in between.  

Some people choose several assorted colors and several different types of siding and mix and match colors, textures, and styles to produce the perfect look for their homes.  

Cleaning Vinyl Siding

Cleaning vinyl siding is much easier than painting it. Just grab the garden hose and wash it down occasionally. Here is some useful information on cleaning most any type of vinyl siding.

sure beats painting!
Pressure washing
Good old elbow grease

To see more information on How to Clean Your Vinyl Siding   Click Here   Cleaning Vinyl Siding

Vinyl Log Siding

Yes, you can even get Vinyl Log Siding that looks just like real wooden logs with much less maintenance, and you never have to paint it.  

Vinyl Log Siding

Click here to see more about vinyl log siding.