We've spent the last week or so installing siding on our tiny house. We think it looks great, and we're super excited that our big green box is starting to look like a real house!
Let's talk about why we chose the siding we did, and how the install went.
We chose to use LP Smartside lap siding. This product is an engineered hardwood, making it extremely durable and long-lasting. It looks similar to Hardie board or other fiber cement boards, but because it is made of wood, it is easier to work with and much lighter. We knew that we wanted to paint our tiny house, so getting solid wood siding didn't make sense for us. Not only is our siding lighter, it's cheaper, more durable, and it's pre-primed so it's already ready to paint!
We chose to install a rainscreen behind the siding. To do this, we installed vertical furring strips on each stud on the exterior of the house. The furring strips hold the siding off the wall 3/4", allowing air to vent behind the siding and preventing condensation from building up in any gaps between the wall and the siding. In our research, we found that some people think the rainscreen is definitely necessary and others think it may not be. We decided it was a good idea to do it. This meant that all of our window trim had to be installed 3/4" off the wall as well, so that the siding would butt directly up to the trim. We chose to do the trim first, rather than trimming over the siding. Again, this is just personal preference, but we like the way it turned out.
Installing the siding went pretty quick, with the exception of a few odd areas, like the angles in the dormers and the curves around the wheel wells. We found gauges at the hardware store that clip onto the board below and hold up the board above to give the proper 1" overlap on every board. This helped keep every board level and all the proportions the same. We used 3" screws on each board that screwed directly into the studs, holding it in place. Let us know what you think!