How To Install Engineered Wood Exterior Siding

Installing new exterior siding is a surefire way to improve both your home’s aesthetics and curb appeal! Plus, when you use trusted brands like LP® SmartSide®, installation is a snap! Join our host, Jeff Wilson, as he describes the benefits of engineered wood exterior siding and demonstrates a few installation tips.

Starting with the Trim

Because exterior siding is considered a cladding material, it is necessary to have a weather or vapor barrier properly installed behind the siding. Be sure all windows, doors, and wall penetrations are properly flashed and sealed. Select trim that is compatible with the siding panels. You want the trim to be thicker than the siding, to allow for proper sealing where the siding butts into the trim.

Engineered wood siding typically butts into the trim pieces, so it is necessary to start by installing the trim at the windows and doors. This is much like building a frame around the windows, so be sure to account for the width of the trim when measuring to cut these pieces. Outside corners are typically trimmed with two overlapping trim boards. For the inside corners, rip a square cross-section, like a 2 x 2, to allow the siding panels to butt squarely into the corner trim. Eave trim and roof trim can typically be installed later, once appropriate scaffolding is set up to safely reach and work on these areas.

Installing the Siding

Once you have installed the majority of the trim, you’re ready to begin installing the exterior siding panels from the bottom up. Generally, a starter piece is installed underneath the first course to simulate the typical overlap and to orient the panel at the proper angle. This project is using an 8″-wide siding with a 1″ overlap, resulting in a 7″ reveal.

  • Use a table saw to rip a 1″-wide strip of the siding.
  • The starter strip must be installed level and properly spaced from whatever is below it.
  • For an installation over wood frame walls that sit on a concrete or masonry foundation, the starter strip should be installed with the bottom about 1″ below the joint between the wood framing and the foundation walls.
  • For an installation over an adjacent floor protrusion, like a wood deck, the clearance should be about 1″, according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  • For an installation over masonry or other surface that extends below grade, the starter strip should be installed at least 6″–8″ above grade.

Attaching the Exterior Siding

To fasten the siding, use galvanized nails sized to penetrate at least 11/2” into the studs. Whether the substrate is plywood sheathing or foam insulation, most manufacturers require the siding to be fastened into the studs. Ring-shank nails are a popular choice for fastening the siding because they have screw-like rings that offer additional protection against nail pullout. Place the nail about 1/2” – 3/4” from the top of the siding panel to allow the nail to be covered by the 1” overlap of the next row.

If you are using a pneumatic nail gun, be sure that the pressure of the nail gun is set to sink the nails flush with the surface of the wood. If you find a few that have not been sunk far enough, hand-nail them flush. If they go in too far, you should caulk and seal the hole prior to painting.

Cutting the Exterior Siding

Engineered wood siding is as easy to cut as any engineered wood, like oriented strand board (OSB) plywood or structural laminated lumber. Any of the conventional woodworking tools, from handsaws to jigsaws, are applicable for cutting engineered wood siding.

  • A power miter saw with a 10” blade works well for standard crosscuts, perpendicular to the length of the siding panel, as well as angled cuts, as you may need against eaves.
  • A table saw is useful for ripping long lengths of the panels, both for starter strips and for long pieces at window and door heads and at the top course under the eaves.
  • A jigsaw is useful for cutting notches around trim and vents.

When measuring to cut specific lengths of siding, be sure to account for a small gap at each end that will allow for the thermal expansion of the siding. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific requirements; generally this is about 3/16”. This gap will be caulked later. Where you have areas that are longer than the siding panels, you will also need to plan for a vertical butt joint (with expansion gap) to fall on a stud.

Staging the Project

Typically you’ll want to work with a partner on a siding project, with one person at each end of the siding board. In that case, use a siding gauge to evenly space each course for the 7″ reveal. A simple siding gauge can be made from a piece of scrap plywood. If you happen to be working on the siding installation by yourself, locking siding gauges are available that provide a seat designed to equally space and hold the next piece of siding for hands-free fastening. As you work up the wall, check the courses for level every third or fourth course. If you find that you’re starting to get out of whack, you can make minor adjustments over a few courses to get back on track.

Ladders and scaffolding may also be necessary to complete the siding project. A pair of sturdy extension ladders can usually make most wall areas accessible. Other options for those hard to reach areas include scaffolding systems, ladder jacks, and walk planks. No matter which solution you choose, always read the manufacturer’s instructions and take the time to perform safety checks prior to continuing the siding installation.

Finishing Touches

Now all you need to do is caulk and paint the siding. Use a high-quality caulking to fill the expansion joints where the siding panels butt to each other at joints and at the trim. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for any special requirements before painting. Using a premium, durable paint, cover all exposed surfaces and edges as soon as possible following the installation. This is where you can really get creative by using multiple colors to accentuate design features of the house or to highlight the trim.


How To Measure for Replacement Island Countertops

Start by measuring the length and the width of the island counter. Then note the depth of the overhang. This will usually be around 10-12″.

If you have a sink in your island, we will also need the width and depth of the sink, as well as what type of faucet you have. The sink’s faucet may be single hole, 4″ spread, or 8″ spread. If you have a built in soap dispenser or spray nozzle, be sure to let the team know about that as well.

Email these details to GNH, and we can provide you with an estimate for upgrading your island counter. We look forward to hearing from you!

How to Measure for Replacement Kitchen Countertops

Step 1: Measure the Length

Start with the length of your countertop. Measure your kitchen countertop from end to end. If you have an L-shaped counter, measure from the end all the way to the inside of the counter (against the wall). You’ll want to get the full length of each leg of the counter.

Step 2: Measure the Sink

To give you an estimate, the GNH team will need the width and depth of the sink, as well as what type of faucet you have. The sink’s faucet may be single hole, 4″ spread, or 8″ spread. If you have a built in soap dispenser or spray nozzle, be sure to let the team know about that as well.

See wasn’t that easy to learn how to measure for replacement kitchen countertops? Email these details to GNH, and we can provide you with an estimate for upgrading your counters. We look forward to hearing from you!

Freud Diablo Saw

Freud Saw Blades, Router Bits & Forstner Bits

GNH is proud to carry Freud Tools…

Freud Saw Blades, Router Bits and Forstner Bits.

Whether you are a fine woodworker or a high production cabinet shop, one thing is for certain… you depend on the best, most precise cutting tools that deliver superior quality finish with long cutting life. Freud takes to heart the time, money and creativity you dedicate to each woodworking project. That is why their philosophy is to consistently strive for perfection in cutting tool performance.

The level of precision that goes into each cutting tool is unprecedented in the industry. For example, each Freud saw blade takes up to 35 manufacturing steps. Each product is carefully crafted using the best materials, leading innovative designs, and the most sophisticated manufacturing process. Every product is specifically designed for superior performance and maximum life. Just like you take pride in your projects, Freud takes pride in their products so you receive the best cutting performance every time.

Stop by GNH Lumber in Greenville and Windham to browse blades and bits or to learn more.
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No-Coat Corner Bead

No-Coat Product Spotlight Video

NO-COAT® Structural Laminate (SLAM®) drywall corner installs faster with superior strength and durability.

The NO-COAT® Structural Laminate (SLAM™) design represents a revolutionary drywall corner system that provides superior strength and durability, installs faster, and delivers bottom line savings in labor and mud.Continue reading

DeWalt at GNH

DeWalt FlexVolt Technology


This is the next level of power.

The DEWALT FLEXVOLT system brings you the future of power with cordless tools unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. With a highly innovative voltage-changing battery and a lineup of groundbreaking 60V MAX* and 120V MAX* tools to match, FLEXVOLT tools have the power that will change the way work gets done.
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How to Install Exterior Trim

 Centurion Trim

Claymark Centurion™ is the highest performing exterior finishing system manufactured by Claymark from New Zealand Radiata Pine.


Centurion™ is a timber cladding system which has been developed to protect your greatest asset – your home. This product has been developed specifically for the USA market and includes all of Claymark’s state-of-the-art technologies to provide a product that will last and which gives a superior finish.

The features of Centurion™ are:

  • Manufactured from New Zealand Radiata Pine using timber from well managed and FSC® (FSC-C008215) certified forests;
  • Manufactured to the highest precision strandard and with a high quality finish;
  • Produced from the highest quality finger jointed block;
  • The Tru-Core® treatment system provides excellent durability characteristics and protects against fungal decay, insects and termites;
  • Pre-coated with a 100% acrylic primer and UV sealant undercoat;
  • 50 year warranty against fungal decay/rot and insect attack (including Formosan termites); and
  • 5 year warranty on the paint finish (conditions apply).

Tru-Core® Treatment Process:

The Tru-Core® treatment process is a highly effective way to protect wood in exterior environments. The Tru-Core® process uses a unique carrier system that ensures preservative is carried directly into the timber to achieve 100% penetration of both the sapwood and heartwood. The carrier system is water based so it contains no organic solvent or harmful chemicals. The mix of bio-actives ensure that the timber is effectively treated for fungal attack and rot, insects and termites.

Coating Technology:

Centurion™  comes pre-coated with an acrylic  primer and undercoat system with the following benefits:

  • The latest in waterborne coating technology for safe handling and performance;
  • 100% acrylic compositon
  • Resistant to tannin and resin bleed;
  • A finish that provides better adhesion and flexibility for the coating;
  • Coated on all 4 sides for protection and enhanced stability; and
  • Claymark Centurion™ 5 year limited primer warranty.

Sleep Soundly at Night Knowing You are Offering Customers a Primed Exterior Trim Product that is Unrivaled by Any Other on the Market Today.

Click Here for Product Sell Sheet

Miter Saw Bench

This DIY topic was submitted by local carpenter Bob Mullens. After you build a bench for yourself, think about building a second bench to donate to someone who could use one. Bob was kind enough to build a bench for the GNH Windham location after the Hurricane Irene flooding.

Download the full set of plans here.

Determine the Width of the Base

1a. Place the miter saw on a sheet of plywood near the front edge. Using a framing square, measure (9) inches from the front edge of the plywood to the fence of the saw. Check to make sure that the front feet of the saw and other parts of the saw are at least (2) inches on the plywood. The arm of the saw should be sticking over the edge of the plywood. Measure (2) inches past the back feet of the saw or projecting brace which might be there. The width of the BASE is the distance from the front edge of the plywood to (2) inches past the back feet or projecting brace of the saw. Also, measure the distance from the front edge of the plywood to the front feet of the saw. When you position the saw in [4.d] and [5.a] you will use this number.

DIY Bench Step 1a

Building the Rails and Base

2a. Rip (2) strips of MDO plywood (3½) inches by (93) inches for the RAILS.

2b. Rip (2) strips of MDO plywood (2) inches wide and (93) inches long for the CLEATS.

2c. Using construction adhesive and (1) inch roofing nails, nail the (2) inch CLEAT to the (3½) RAIL, keeping the bottom edge even.

2d. Place a generous bead of construction adhesive along the inside edge of the two CLEATS. Place the BASE on top of the CLEATS and press into the construction adhesive. Clamp the two sides together with a bar clamp. Using a drill with a countersink, drill a series of holes through the BASE and into the CLEATS. Screw the BASE to the CLEATS using (1¼) inch flathead wood screws.

Note: Assemble the BASE and RAILS on a level surface to keep the bench from developing a sag. You might want to use three sawhorses.

DIY Bench Step 2d

Determine the Ribs of the Miter Saw Bench

3a. Measure the height of your saw base and subtract (½) inch from the height. This is the height of the RIBS. Rip (2) strips of the RIB height off the remaining part of the MDO sheet.

Note: A RIB less than (3) inches will not allow electric boxes to be installed in them. You could rip the RIBS (3) inches and then build up the saw.
DIY Bench Step 3a

Assembling the Ribs

4a. Cut the RIB into (5) pieces the width of the BASE.

4b. On the right end of the BASE install the first RIB, using a bead of construction adhesive and (2) (1¼) inch flathead wood screws. Drill and countersink holes through the RAIL and into the RIB.

4c. From the first RIB, measure over (20) inches and install the second RIB. Square the second RIB with the base.Note: (20) inches is a good measurement for most saws; A large saw needs to be moved to the right. The center of the saw should be about (36) inches from the right side of the bench.

4d. Place your miter saw on the BASE, (3) inches to the left of the second RIB. The saw sits back from the front of the BASE the distance you measured in [1.a], the distance from the front edge of the plywood to the front feet of the saw. Place, but don’t fasten, the third RIB (3) inches from the left side of your miter saw. You will need at least (3) inches between the saw and the RIBS for your hand to move the wood that you will be cutting. Before you glue and screw this RIB, check the swing of the arm of the miter saw. If it is a compound miter saw, then tilt the saw to (45) degrees and swing the arm to see if the RIBS are in the right place. If your saw needs more space to work, then move the third RIB to the left.

Note: You might have to cut some of the front RAIL for the miter saw arm to swing smoothly.

4e. Install the forth RIB half way between the third RIB and the left end of the bench.

4f. Install the fifth RIB on the end of the bench.
DIY Bench Step 4b

Aligning the Miter Saw on the Base

5a. Place the miter saw between the second and third RIB of the BASE. Cut (4) pieces of (1x1x⅛) inch aluminum angle (4) inches long (or longer if the saw’s feet are wide. The aluminum angle should be (2) inches wider than the saw’s feet ) and place one of them under each leg of the miter saw base. Center the miter saw between the two RIBS, and the saw should be the [1.a] distance from the front of the BASE. Move the arm of the miter saw to be sure that it works properly.

Note: The (⅛) inch aluminum angle will keep the saw (⅛) inch above the DECK. This is done to keep the saw from binding.

5b. If the saw has a back extension, then cut a (5) inch piece of (1×1½x⅛) inch aluminum bar and slide it under the back extension.

Determine the Width of the Deck

6a. The DECK‘S width is the 9 inches from line [1.a] (or an adjustment that you had to make) plus the width of the FENCE which (is 1½”). Most likely yourDECK will measure (10½) inches. Rip the DECK‘s width from the MDO sheet.

Backing for the Three Electric Receptacles

7a. Remove the miter saw from its place on the bench and place the full length of the DECK on the top of the BASE, even with the front edge of the RIBS. Draw a line on the (5) RIBS where theDECK crosses them. From this line, measure (1) inch toward the front of the RIBS. Mark this line on the (5) RIBS.

7b. Cut (3) pieces of RIB material to fit between the (5) RIBS. In the center of each piece, cut a hole for an electric box.

7c. Install the electric box backing using construction adhesive and screws. Install the backing in line with the front pencil mark on the ribs. When the DECK is placed on top of the RIBS, the electric backing will be (½) inch back from the edge of the DECK.

7d. Install (5) pieces of (1×2) pine from the front of the RIB to the electric box backing, even with the top of the RIB. These are the cleats for the DECKS.

DIY Bench Step 7a DIY Bench Step 7c DIY Bench Step 7d

Building the Decks and Fences

8a. Cut the DECK strip of MDO the length from the first RAIL to the second RAIL. And cut a second piece of the DECK strip the length of the third RAIL to the fifth RAIL.

8b. Rip a (2x4x8), (1½) inches by (1¼) inches. This will be the FENCE. Place the miter saw in its place on the miter saw bench. Some compound miter saws have parts which slide past the base of the saw. If this is your case, then allow the parts to slide. You should also tilt the saw to (45). Cut the left fence the length of the left DECK or the length of the DECK minus any projection of the saw base.

8c. Cut the right FENCE (16) inches. The FENCE is not cut to the full 20 inches so the right end of the bench can be used with a router, where the FENCE might interfere with the tool.

8d. Install pieces of (1½ x ⅛) inch aluminum bar stock to both sides of theFENCES. The aluminum should be put on the (1¼) inch side of the FENCES. The FENCES should now measure (1½ x 1½) inches.

8e. Fasten the FENCES to the DECKS.

Drilling the Aluminum Angles

9a. Drill (2) #11 holes in four aluminum angles which go under the feet of the saw. Position the holes at the ends of the angles, so that the pop rivets will not interfere with the saw’s feet.

9b. Move the saw to the center of theBASE, place the front aluminum angles under the feet of the saw. Drill a (#25) hole through the aluminum angles and into the center of the front feet miter saw. Remove the angles and tap a #10-24 hole through the holes in the aluminum angles. Where the (#25) drill passed through the feet of the miter saw, drill (¼) inch holes. Through the #10-24 holes in the aluminum, screw a #10-24 x ½ inch Allen screw with a lock washer and a 10-24 nut. The screw should pass through the aluminum angle about (¼) inch. Tighten the 10-24 nut into the lock washer. The two Allen screws help to keep the saw in its holder.
DIY Bench Step 9b DIY Bench Step 9c

Installing the Two Decks and the Saw

10a. Before you install the DECKS you should have a qualified electrician wire the electric boxes.

10b. You are going to fasten the saw to the BASE and the DECKS to the RIBS now. Set the miter saw in its place on the BASE, slide the aluminum angles under the saw’s feet. Place the short DECK on the right side of the bench and the longer DECK on the left side of the bench. Using a straight edge, line the miter saw up with the two DECKS. Keep the fronts of the DECKS even with the front corners of the RIBS. Pop rivet the aluminum angles where they meet the saw on the DECK. Pop rivet a (4) inch aluminum angle on each side of the front feet to keep the saw from moving side-to-side. Drill and countersink holes through the DECKS and into the cleats. Screw the DECKS into the cleats using (1¼) inch wood screws. Do not glue the DECKS to the cleats so you can access the electric boxes. If someday you have to re-align the saw, do it by moving the DECKS, not the saw in its holder.
DIY Bench Step 10a DIY Bench Step 10b

How to Use the Miter Saw Bench

The miter saw and bench are to be used by responsible woodworkers, 18 years of age or older. The saw and bench are designed to cut wood moldings, shelving and framing lumber. This power tool and bench are inherently dangerous; using them could cause physical harm to the operator.

To set up the bench and miter saw

Place the saw horses on dry and level ground.

To place the saw in its holder, lift the saw and tilt the front legs of the saw into the pins coming through the 1×1 aluminum angle brackets.

Read and follow the directions which came with the saw.

Use safety glasses!

Build a Slab-Topped Sofa Table

Thick pieces of wood sourced from a local sawmill provide a sturdy base for a large slab-topped sofa table, put together with loose tenon joinery. The bark is removed with the draw knife, and the top leveled off with a planer. The legs are tapered and cut with a template:9 3/8″ on one end and 6 1/2″ on the other. The loose tenon joinery is created with the mortice cutter and glued on the endgrain. After attaching the legs, secure them in place with a band clamp.