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Decorative Cut Cedar Shingle Installation
Lay Out The Design
The first and most critical step is laying out your design. If you have not already planned your design and estimated the number of Cut Cedar Shingles, please go to Cut Cedar Shingle Layout and complete the steps for designing your Cut Cedar Shingle installation first.
Coverage - Individual Shingles
• For roofs, do not exceed 5" of exposed Shingle. At 5" exposure coverage is 16-2/3
square feet per carton.
• For Exterior Sidewalls maximum exposure is 7-1/2" which will cover 25 square
feet per carton.
• For Interior applications only, exposure may be up to 10" and a carton will cover
33-1/3 square feet.
Cut Cedar Shingles must be applied to nailable sheathing, solid or spaced (furring strips), in conformance with local building code requirements. Apply a suitable weather-resistive barrier, such as Type 15 felt or better, over the sheathing. A minimum two-inch head lap and six-inch end lap is required when fastening the building paper or weather barrier.
Use a 5D hot-dipped galvanized box nail or equivalent rust-resistant fastener. Fasteners shall penetrate the sheathing a minimum of 1/2".
Installing Cut Cedar Shingles
Important! Install your Cut Cedar Shingles carefully. An attractive finished job depends on the accurate placement of these precisely cut Shingles. The high quality sanded side of of the Shingle should be the exposed side.
Cut Cedar Shingles must be placed approximately 1/8" apart to maintain uniform 5" centering. Use the end of a wooden matchstick or a piece of cardboard or other material 1/8" thick as a guide.
Each shingle must be exactly centered on the crack between the two shingles below it. Each piece must be truly vertical; crooked lines will spoil the finished look.
2. Starter Course
Take enough Cut Cedar Shingles to go across one row, and cut them in two crosswise, to the length needed for the top row. Keep the cut off pieces to one side. These squared off pieces will be used as your “starter row”, at the bottom of your job.
Install your starter row, using two nails per shingle, placed 3/4" in from the edge and 1" above subsequent course shingle butts. To avoid splitting narrow pieces, you can drill a pilot hole for the nail. If your job requires narrow end pieces, start using them in this bottom row.
3. The Guide Strip
Measure up the starter Shingles the distance you have chosen for the bottom course, remembering that this may be your only narrow course. Mark with pencil at 4-foot intervals. Tack a straight length of 1" x 2" or plywood along this line as a guide, with the top edge at the pencil marks.
This guide must be level, even if it is not parallel to the floor. If the floor is slanted and you use it for a guide, your finished Cut Cedar Shingles job might look crooked.
4. Nail Up Your Courses
Place the shaped ends of your Cut Cedar Shingles against this guide strip as you nail your second row in place, nailing into the nailable sheathing or the next furring strip up from the bottom of the Shingles.
Continue in this manner up the wall, raising your guide strip for each row, and nailing only into the next higher furring strip. Check frequently for squareness and precise centering.
Every other row will have a half shingle at each end. Cut your end pieces carefully up the center of the shingle, drawing a straight line for your saw to follow. Use a crosscut or fine toothed saw.
The pieces for the top row have already been cut to length when you used the cut off portion for your starter row, but they may require some trimming to provide a snug fit. The easiest way to finish at the top is to make a rough fit, nailing as high as possible, and then trim off with a strip of molding at the ceiling line. If you can't use molding, use colored nails or small headed nails, for maximum concealment.
If Cut Cedar Shingles are to go around an outside corner, they must be mitered. The alternative is to place vertical Western Redcedar boards at the corner, and bring the Shingles flush with them. Corner boards must be installed first, and their width deducted in calculating the width of your shingle rows. See Making Cedar Shingle Corners for more information on corners.
Western Red Cedar is a very durable and weather-resistant wood, and your Decorative Cut Cedar Shingles may be left unfinished. They will darken or change color at different rates, depending on the amount of direct sun they receive. On an interior wall, any section exposed to sunlight will change color, just as wood furniture, wallpaper or paint will. Vintage Woodworks recommends finishing with a quality oil-based stain to maximize the product life in outdoor sidewall applications. See Staining and Finishing Cedar Shingles for more information.
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