The Finishing Steps to Building Your Log Cabin: Roofing, Siding and Interior
After rafters are in place, you will be ready to put on roof boards. These boards can be 5/8-inch by 6- or 8-inch tongue-and-groove boards. There are some exceptions to this which are covered in next section.
For siding, probably most practical and easiest material to use as exterior finish is wood. It has advantage of coming in many different shapes, colors, and textures. It can be stained, painted, or left natural.
As noted in previous articles, I have not specified that sheathing must be used. Plywood or one of composition sheathings or diagonal sheathing boards may be used--in fact, should be used if you plan to use cottage year-round at some time in future. It should also be used if you are going to use plaster or plasterboard on inside.
The sheathing helps to stiffen your structure. One of most common types of siding is lapped bevel. Cedar is one of popular woods from which this siding is made. It comes in 4-, 6-, and 8-inch widths. The thick butt edge is usually 7/16 inch thick. The 10- and 12-inch widths have an 11/16-inch butt.
The minimum headlap for 4- and 6-inch widths is I inch; widths over 6 inches should have I¼ inches headlap. Hot-dipped galvanized nails should be used for applying siding to studs. If sheathing is used, try to nail through sheathing to stud.
Rustic and drop siding as well as shiplap and matched siding are also popular. The first two should have a finished thickness of ¾ inch. The maximum width is 8 inches. Shiplap or matched siding should be a minimum of 25/32 inch thick. The maximum width is 12 inches.
Plywood is always a possible exterior finish. It is very important that it should be exterior grade--never use interior-grade plywood for exterior purposes. Cottage No. 2 would look particularly attractive if it were finished with %-inch exterior-grade plywood.
In this case I would nail 8-foot length of plywood horizontally. The horizontal joints and nails would be covered with batten strips. Similar batten strips could be nailed horizontally every foot above and below joint. This procedure would also keep plywood from warping or raising at edges.
Be sure vertical edge joints are joined at mid-point of a stud. One of best ways of finishing exterior of your cottage is use of vertical tongue-and-groove boards. This type of siding is usually nailed at bottom to sill, at top to plate and in middle to a herringbone brace.
In Hawaii vertical siding is often used without any intermediate framing members. The roof load is actually carried by siding. Shingles can also be used to cover exterior of your cabin. I would suggest that you follow instructions of manufacturer for laying these.
Usually manufacturer recommends use of sheathing. If plywood is used for sheathing, shingles should be applied over l-by-2-inch nailing strips, and attached with copper or galvanized nails. Asbestos-cement shingles should be attached to sheathing with barbed nails.
Fiberboard sheathing is not acceptable as a nailing base for this type of shingle. Wood shingles should be attached to l-by-3-inch nailing strips which have been spaced according to shingle exposure.