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Davef_dci 03-06-2013 10:09 PM

Siding right on studs?
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Sorry.. newbie here with some basic and possibly dumb questions. I have a few questions pertaining to a small cabin I'm designing and building. The cabin will be located in western Wisconsin in a river valley. It features fairly wet and humid summers and dry/cold winters.
An image of the cabin is attached.

The actual structure is quite small - 14’ x 16’ with a loft and attached screened in porch. It is current designed as 2x construction – balloon framed.
The structure has no electricity and no running water but does have a wood burning stove planned.
We like the look of board and batten siding and are thinking of “simulating” this with plywood sheathing and then vertical running 1X’s to simulate the battens.
Here are my questions:
a) I am finding conflicting directions on mounting the plywood siding directly to the studs – versus putting a layer of plywood or OSB sheathing on the studs and nailing the siding through the sheathing into the studs. Some people have said I should just put a vapor barrier right on the studs and then nail the siding through the vapor barrier skipping the sheathing and using the plywood siding as the shear wall and siding. Others have said that this is a mistake and you should put a layer of plywood sheathing down, covered with a vapor barrier and then the siding. Any opinions on this given our geography and intended use would be appreciated. If we do eliminate the sheathing and put the siding on the studs, any advice on flashing the windows would be appreciated.

b) Speaking of the vapor barrier, some people have said that for this type of structure I can skip the vapor barrier entirely. What would be the ramifications on not using a vapor barrier on an unheated (except for wood burning stove) structure with no drywall?

c) Finally, for the “simulated” board and batten I want to run vertical 1X5 battens or so every 12” or so. I’m not sure how to attach these to the siding. Because the studs and the battens both run vertically some of the battens will not fall on studs. I would rather not have nails poking in through the siding (because I won’t be finishing the interior walls this year and would rather not have lots of nails exposed. If I use nails that are short enough to not poke through the siding will the battens pull off? Do I need to install blocking and nail into the blocking? What kind of spacing do I need on the nails that hold the battens on?

Thank you very much!

joecaption 03-06-2013 10:38 PM

If your up for none stop maintance and wood rot your plan sounds great.
A deck installed that close to the sheathing is going to cause splash back which will cause mold and wood rot.
Vertical battens will cause the sheathing and the battens to rot from water sitting on top of them. Ever seen a wooden shed with battens on the door that's not rotted out in a few years?

And no using pressure treated plywood not going to work, pressure treated wood should not be used inside of any home.
That deck also needs to be at least 4" below any door opening or there's going to be water getting in and rotting out the subfloor.

Davef_dci 03-06-2013 11:27 PM

Makes perfect sense. i can raise the floor off the deck by 4" and will do so. Thanks.

joecaption 03-06-2013 11:33 PM

May want to concider T-111 siding as much as I hate it and use soild stain on it or better yet if you really want the board and batten look go with vinyl board and pattern siding.

There's others you can get that look like real wood.

kwikfishron 03-07-2013 04:41 PM

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You can apply sheet siding directly to the studs but I wouldn't advise it unless it was just a detached garage or shed maybe.

If this all gets painted then one option you may want look at if you sheet the walls with plywood is going over that with Hardi Panel which is a fiber cement sheet siding with a few different surface choices and then Cedar battens over that.

I use the Hardi for customers that are afraid their world is going to rot but if you're not afraid of wood then Breckenridge sheet siding would be my first choice.

I like using 1x3 for the battens, many use 1x2 but I like them a little wider than that. Typically you want to attach the battens in line with the studs (to cover the seams and nails of the sheet siding) using ring shank siding nails.

You mentioned 1x5 for battens, I can't recall ever seeing any that wide before but if that's what you like then go for it.

Another thing I like to do with the mock B&B is to use 5/4 trim on windows, doors, etc. (anything the battens are going to butt into) then 1x for the battens.

The difference in thickness between the battens and trim gives everything more depth and detail and just looks much better imo.

Vinyl B&B doesn't look anything like wood imo. I know there are those out there that would love to wrap the entire planet in plastic but I'm not one of them. :)

Duckweather 03-07-2013 04:48 PM

If you go with just one layer of plywood, I would let in 2 x 4 diagonal corner braces. I cut mine in with the top in the corner and the bottom crossing one stud to the second one at the bottom.

TarheelTerp 03-07-2013 05:31 PM


Originally Posted by kwikfishron (Post 1131948)
You can apply sheet siding directly to the studs but I wouldn't advise it unless it was just a detached garage or shed maybe.

That's what I have on my detached garage.
A single layer of visqueen stapled then the T-111 sheathing.
It works well enough.

Not to hijack the thread, but...
how should I insulate and sheath the INSIDE with that plastic/T111?

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