Keeping Up With Clapboard

By Mark Donovan

March 16, 2016 4 min read

If you own a home with clapboard siding long enough, you'll inevitably end up needing to do the occasional clapboard replacement project.

Replacing clapboard house siding is not hard to do. However, you need to take some extra care in removing the old and damaged clapboard pieces to ensure you don't end up having to replace more clapboards than necessary.

To replace clapboard house siding you will need a number of tools, including a hammer, pry bar, reciprocating saw, miter saw, caulking gun, tape measure, pencil, square, and utility knife. You will also need materials: new clapboard siding, caulk, nails and paint.

*Removing Old Clapboard

To remove an old clapboard siding board, first use a utility knife to score the paint underneath the edge of the clapboard just above the clapboard you want to replace. Also use the utility knife to cut a vertical line in the clapboard siding, where you want to stop the splicing/repair.

Then use the claw end of the hammer and the pry bar to cut into the clapboard you want to replace. Work your way down the length of the clapboard, removing as much of it as you can with your tools and hands.

Next use the claw end of the hammer and pry bar to lift the bottom edge of the clapboard just above the clapboard you want to remove.

Then use the reciprocating saw to cut the nails that are holding the clapboard you want to remove. Place the saw blade up underneath the bottom edge of the upper clapboard that you just loosened and cut the nails.

Next use the claw end of the hammer and pry bar to again loosen the clapboard bottom edge up and away from the lower clapboard you want to remove.

Now pull the lower clapboard -- the damaged clapboard you want to replace and that you've already removed sections of -- out from underneath the bottom edge of the clapboard sitting just above it, the one you just loosened up. This will take some effort. Go slowly and cautiously to prevent damaging the upper clapboard.

Once the old clapboard has been removed, use the round end of your pry bar and hammer to pound in the cut nails underneath the clapboard sitting just above the clapboard you just removed. This will allow the new clapboard to slide in easily.

*Installing New Boards

Cut a new section of clapboard to the proper length and slide it up into place underneath the bottom edge of the clapboard that you loosened up.

With the desired clapboard exposure, nail the new clapboard in place by nailing stainless steel siding nails (5d, or 1 3/4 inches in length) into the holes of the clapboard piece that sits just above the new clapboard you slipped into place. Place two nails in the exact area of the original nail hole(s). Do this along the length of the new clapboard piece.

Then, with the new clapboard piece, nail in a stainless steel nail about an inch up from the bottom of the clapboard siding, in line with the other nail locations on the other clapboards.

Finally, caulk if necessary, and then paint the clapboard to complete your replacement project.

Mark J. Donovan's website is at http://www.homeadditionplus.com.

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