Inspiration3 min

Why Knots in Traditional Wood Siding are a Nightmare

Softwood species such as cedar, pine, fir and spruce are frequent choices for homes with traditional exterior wood siding and fencing. There are architects who are wood purists and love the natural appeal of wood even though there are many installation and maintenance issues associated with lap, cedar shake and wood siding panels when they specify these materials. Let’s take a closer look at some of the challenges that installers and homeowners face when using traditional wood siding.

More Material Waste and Increased Labor

Wood siding naturally includes knots, voids, cracks and other irregularities. Natural wood defects require more maintenance and are often graded as lower quality material. This process increases the cost of the wood. Loose knots can wiggle free and come out of the board, leaving behind a gaping hole. Nailing into knots is difficult, and cracks in a board allow water to get inside the wood and promote rot. To avoid these defects, an installer must cull through lumber on the job site, picking and choosing the best pieces of wood. This results in more material waste and increased installation and labor time.

The Knot Bleed Dilemma

In the woods, it’s natural for sap to ooze out of the knots in trees. When it comes to siding, pitch and resin can cause major problems with the appearance of painted wood surfaces. Certain tree species, such as red pine, have more resin that results in excessive oozing at the knot. This is especially problematic when the wood is exposed to higher temperatures.

Many an installer has been frustrated when they paint the surface of real wood siding, only to find that resin bleeds through the knots and turns the paint yellow-brown. With further exposure to weather, the discolored paint can become brittle, crack and peel.

LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding: The Better Choice

LP SmartSide trim and siding feature beautiful wood grain patterns in authentic natural textures. While there are knots included in the texture, these only replicate the natural grain of wood. Our innovative engineered wood products are free of natural wood defects. Because every inch has been treated with our SmartGuard® process to resist termites and decay, you can be confident LP SmartSide products will remain durable and strong.

There are LP SmartSide products for every home you build. Find an LP SmartSide retailer today, or learn more about the benefits of becoming an LP® BuildSmart™ Preferred Contractor.

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Industry Trends6 min

Where the Construction Labor Shortage Is Most Severe

According to the latest American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau, about 4 million people now work in residential construction (both single-family and multifamily) – down from the 5 million who were employed just before the Great Recession. Although the workforce has shrunk by 20 percent nationwide, some parts of the country are experiencing less pain than others. Similarly, light commercial construction has been reportedly back on the rise post-Recession, with IBISWorld reporting that the recovery started just before 2014 and continuing steadily through 2019 (source).

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Industry Trends7 min
A Commitment to Product Availability

It’s frustrating when factors outside of your control cause you delays or unexpected expenses during a project. Those factors could be weather delays, insufficient staffing, breakdowns in cash flow and unreliable product availability. LP devotes significant resources each year to ensure that its product availability is second to none. Because even the most innovative building solution is useless to customers unless they know that it’s available when they really need it.

Business Advice10 min
How to Prevent Lap Siding from Buckling by Using a Butt Joint

It’s a silly name, but a “butt joint” is an application technique where two pieces of material are “butted” up against each other. It is the simplest joint to make, and a butt joint can be either end to end or end to face. Depending on the width of the wall, butt joints will occur where two pieces of lap siding come together, creating a vertical seam. LP® SmartSide® lap siding products are available in 16’ lengths, and can help reduce the amount of seams where a butt joint would normally occur when using shorter pieces.

Industry Trends7 min
Why You Should Rely On Data Rather Than Instinct

For many years, construction pros have relied on experience and gut instinct more than on data, but that’s rapidly changing. Many banks, investment groups and insurance companies now need a construction data analysis to help identify potential risks before okaying a construction deal. And in the field, builders need easy access to actionable information – both at the lot level and company-wide – to help boost quality, control costs and manage trade partners.