ebuild Guide to Siding Specifications

    Exterior siding comes in a wide variety of materials, styles and colors. The most common materials are aluminum, engineered wood, fiber cement, steel, foam laminate, vinyl and rigid-core vinyl. The various siding styles include horizontal lap, shingles, shingle panels, vertical panels and soffit panels.

    For most siding, the key generic specifications include:

    Exposure, which is the reveal, or exposed panel width, of each board of siding; the visible portion of the siding after installation.

    Profile is the pattern of the siding as viewed from the side. Beaded siding panels have channels running the length of each panel, allowing for tongue and groove appearance. Board and Batten is vertical siding that simulates alternating wide and narrow boards, giving the appearance of barn siding. The opposite pattern is referred to as Reverse Board and Batten. Standing seam siding has raised, V-shaped creases, as on a metal roof, running the length of each panel, giving a corrugated appearance. U-channel groove profiles are represented by deep, U-shaped grooves that run the length of the panel. V-groove siding has deep, V-shaped grooves that run the length of the panel.

    Texture refers to the measure of the feel or look of the siding surface, including such quantitative properties as smoothness, coarseness and regularity.

    For shingle panels, that are an exterior aluminum wall finish consisting of simulated wood shingle panels, the key generic specifications include:

    Shingle Pattern, the simulated decorative cut of the individual shingles embossed onto the shingle panel.

    Butt Edge Detail, the bottom edge or exposed portion of a siding panel; the portion of the panel which locks into the nail hem of the panel below it. Shingle panels with a Straight-edge have a straight, uniform bottom edge. Staggered-edge panels have a butt edge that is uneven and each shingle on the panel varies in vertical length.

    For Soffit and Vertical Siding, panels that are vertically attached with nails to the exterior surface of a structure or horizontally to the soffit (roof overhang) the key generic specification is:

    Venting Type, soffit panels typically are sold in solid or vented formats. Vented soffit is perforated to allow air to circulate behind the siding. Solid (non-vented) siding and soffit panels are not perforated and do not allow for air circulation. Vertical siding is predominantly sold in the solid format.

    Engineered Wood--Horizontal Lap Siding Systems are boards manufactured in a variety of profiles, surface textures and sizes from wood byproducts combined with resins, also known as hardboard. Horizontal lap siding boards are designed for exterior installation with the long butt edges overlapping the top edge of the course below to cast shadowlines from side to side across the wall surface.

    The key generic specification is:

    Thickness--The distance (excluding width, length, or projection) through the siding, the depth or cross-sectional measurement.

    Foam Laminated Horizontal Siding Systems are an exterior vinyl wall finish consisting of long, narrow boards fused with a backing of contoured insulation. This siding material is horizontally attached with nails to the exterior surface of a structure.

    The key generic specification is:

    R-value, an expression of the insulating properties of a material as measured by resistance to the flow of energy from inside a house to the outside.

    Siding Specifications Resources:
    American Architectural Manufacturers Association

    Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau

    Metal Construction Association

    Vinyl Siding Institute