Category Archives: Wood Siding

Siding Installation Pro Tip: What You Need to Know About Furring Strips

How is airspace created between rainscreen siding and the housewrap? By using furring strips. Furring is a process that has been around since the 16th century. Originating in England, it was developed to solve the problem of ships that were too narrow. They would lay another plank on top of the previous plank to expand the size of the ship. Essentially this is what is being done when you install furring strips for your Advantage Rainscreen Siding™.

Furring strips are one of the essential elements to ensure adequate ventilation of your siding.

What are Furring Strips?

Furring strips are long thin pieces of material usually made of wood or metal. They are used to make a backing surface for the siding to attach to. These strips create the drainage plane that is essential for rainscreen siding to be effective in the way that it was designed for. The drainage plane is what allows the siding to air out, making it last longer. In the absence of this plane, rot, mold, and decay could become a catastrophic problem.

How Should I Install the Furring Strips?

Furring strips should be installed vertically. Installing them horizontally might sound like an acceptable idea, but it’s unsuitable for what we’re doing. Even if you were to take the time to cut enough slits in the strips for drainage, there is still no guarantee that it’s sufficient enough for the rainscreen siding to ventilate properly. Honestly you’d be making more work for yourself, and that’s not what you want. Installing the furring strips vertically is the best option for proper ventilation. Make sure that after installation that there will be enough airflow present when the siding is placed on the strips.

Should I Cover the Furring Strips with Housewrap?

This seems like a sensible question. Housewrap keeps water out of the underlying structure of your home, so wouldn’t it make sense to wrap the furring strips as well? It would keep the water out, but it’s not necessary in this process. The only exception would be if you were to use metal furring strips, then they could be covered with housewrap, or tar paper, to slow down the possibility of corrosion. Leave the furring strips exposed so they dry out completely.

Furring is a process that has been around for hundreds of years. These strips create a solid foundation to attach the siding to and allows for a drainage plane so that gorgeous Advantage Rainscreen Siding™ last for years and years.

Siding Installation Pro Tip: How to Choose the Right Screws & Hardware

Hardware is the most essential element to your Advantage Rainscreen Siding™ project, or any project for that matter. If you don’t know what is holding your home together, how will you know if it’s reliable? It might be tough to distinguish the good from the bad, when all of these companies have conflicting information. But beware, they aren’t all right.

Stainless steel is the most reliable type of hardware that can be used on any outdoor project.

Beware of Faulty Hardware

There are two basic types of hardware available on the market for siding installation: galvanized and stainless steel. Pressure treated wood (which is typically the material used for furring strips) is usually treated with an alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) or copper azole (CA). These are copper based materials that are used to slow down rot and decay of the wood, but in return, these chemicals eat the hardware.

Now, galvanized hardware was thought to solve this issue, and in a way it does. Manufacturers coat galvanized steel with zinc. The zinc does a good job at resisting rust, but it’s not so good at resisting corrosion. The copper that is present in the pressure treated wood will always corrode the zinc. If it’s not the wood, the weather will eat away at it, therefore causing corrosion and failure of the hardware.

Stainless steel has always been a reliable go-to hardware material. The nickle and chromium that make up stainless steel are what make it resistant to corrosion. Unlike galvanized hardware, it doesn’t rely on a coating for protection. Unfortunately stainless steel hardware costs more, but when you’re talking about the reliability of the furring strips and your siding, why cut corners? It’s such a small percentage of the overall cost of your project.

Lastly, never mix and match hardware. When some metals come into contact with one another they can form corrosive reactions. Only use top rated fasteners.

DeckWise™ Hidden Siding Fasteners

Advantage Lumber™ recommends DeckWise™ Hidden Siding Fasteners. These fasteners are made from solid stainless steel. They are designed to reduce cupping, twisting, and mold growth that can happen with water penetration. Most rainscreen siding profiles work with the hidden siding fasteners.

Choosing the right hardware is essential for your Advantage Rainscreen™ project. When you are assured that your siding is secured with the proper hardware, you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy your stunning home.

Siding Installation Pro Tip: Vertical Siding Installation Done Right

Vertical Siding Installation

So you’ve decided Advantage Rainscreen Siding™ is the right choice for your home renovation project. The only problem is that you want your home to stand out amongst the crowd of run-of-the-mill looks. For an eye-catching look not seen in many homes, vertical installation* of rainscreen siding is a definite possibility. When you combine the warm and inviting look of real, natural Advantage Hardwoods with an application such as vertical siding, you can get the dynamic look you are aiming for. Although, exotic hardwoods have a much better resistance to rot, mold, and decay, vertical installations of any type of siding will increase the potential for water intrusion.

Proper Installation of the Furring Strips is Key

What’s the best way to install vertical siding while decreasing the chances of water retention? Install furring strips diagonally.

The diagonal furring strips need to be nailed at 12” on center and at a 45° angle. Start installing on the right and work your way to the left. This will still allow the airspace to get the ventilation it needs. With this placement of the  furring strips you can install the siding vertical, horizontal, or in a pattern.

Advantage Rainscreen Siding™ Fasteners

Use rainscreen siding fasteners for easy installation. To install start at the corner using the starter clip that comes with your fastener kit, and attach it to the side. Fasten the siding to the furring strips, make sure to drive the stainless steel screw at a 45°,  and then place the next piece of siding in to the fastener with the pre-molded groove. Use a level to ensure the boards are aligned properly. When dealing with outside corners, you can use a vertical siding corner post.

Can You Install Furring Strips Horizontally?

Horizontal furring strips are not something that I recommend. While typical siding installation require furring strips to be installed vertically, this is not the case when it comes to vertical siding installation. If vertical siding was set onto horizontal furring strips, any water that intrudes would have no place to go. With that much water retention, problems like rot and decay will lead to even more problems like air leaks. Even if you take the time to cut enough slits in the strips for drainage, there is still no guarantee that it will be sufficient enough for the rainscreen siding to ventilate properly. Stick with vertical or diagonal furring strip placement for the best possible outcome.

Diagonal furring strips can open up doors when it comes to rainscreen siding patterns. Don’t you want to own a house that your neighbors will envy? It will look spectacular and will also help your siding last for years and years.

*PRIOR TO INSTALLATION: Although vertical installation is a creative choice for your siding project, you run the risk of increased water intrusion since water will run the length of the siding and possible enter through any open grooves.*

Siding Installation Pro Tips: Exterior Housewrap – Its Purpose & Application

Housewrap is your home’s last defense against the damaging effects of rot. They are constructed to be water and UV resistant, as well as handle years of abuse in different climates. If a home is constructed without properly installing housewrap and siding , the insulated framing cavities can get wet and can lead to rapid rot and decay. When installed properly, housewraps will keep the water out, and keep the structure of your home dry.

What is Housewrap?

Housewrap is a water-resistant synthetic material that protects the structure of your home from moisture damage. Not only does it protect your home against ice and water intrusion, it also creates a drainage plane, allowing water to evaporate before seeping into your home’s structure. This material usually contains polymers, nylon, or fiberglass and comes in large rolls for easy application. By acting as an insulator and reducing the exchange of airflow, housewrap can also save you money in energy bills.

Is Tar Paper a Good Housewrap Alternative? Continue reading

Siding Installation Pro Tips: Why Is Airspace So Important?

Maximize airspace to ensure your home’s exterior has a long lifespan.

When it comes to siding maintenance, the biggest problems many homeowners worry about are mold and decay. Unfortunately, most people who undertake a siding renovation end up finding out first-hand how shoddy or rushed installation can create long-lasting problems. One of the main culprits for siding problems? Lack of adequate airspace.

Inadequate airflow results in moisture being trapped within the wall and the back of the siding. In severe cases, the moisture can penetrate through the housewrap and into the wall cavity. The liquid sits there with nowhere to go and will eventually cause rot and mold. Saturated housewraps and walls will facilitate in the deterioration of the siding and will only cause headaches and cost you more.

Allowing a plane for airflow is one of the best ways to lengthen the life of your siding. But, what’s the best solution?

What About Back-Priming?

You might think back-priming would be a simple solution to water intrusion. While applying a primer might work for softer woods such as pine and cedar, it is not an appropriate solution for harder woods such as Ipe, Cumaru, and Tigerwood. These exotic hardwoods have natural oils that form a barrier and make them naturally resistant to rot, mold and decay. These oils also make is virtually impossible for primer or any paint to hold.

Furring Strips Create a Drainage Plane

So, how do you create this air flow system? Install vertical furring strips over the drainage plane. Furring strips are thin strips of either metal or wood that the siding is attached too. These strips support the rainscreen siding and space the siding away from the drainage plane. The air pressure difference between the outside and the space behind the siding create a vacuum like effect. This effect will keep moisture out while retaining the beautiful look of your home’s exterior. After the siding is installed on the furring strips, make sure there are openings at the top and bottom of the siding for ventilation.

EXTRA PRO TIP: What About Bugs?

If you’re concerned about bugs or rodents making a nest within the walls of your home and your new siding, install a mesh screen at both openings. This will allow the air to flow freely while preventing those pesky little critters from moving in.


Remember, no siding is 100% waterproof. Proper installation is as critical as the kind of siding profile you choose. There are certain profiles that maximize airflow while decreasing the vulnerability to rot, mold, and decay. For instance, when rainscreen siding is installed correctly using hidden siding fasteners, there is no need to predrill or penetrate the wood at all. The fact rainscreen siding results in fewer points of intrusion means that a properly installed system will also increase the life of your exterior and allow the material to dry out evenly.

Even if you think your home is not susceptible to water intrusion, why take the risk? Investing in Advantage Rainscreen Siding is beneficial because of its longer life and seamless look. The custom profile of the Rainscreen siding ensure that less steps are needed to install, and these exotic hardwoods will outlast and outperform softer materials.