What Is Shiplap Siding?

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Shiplap siding is an alternative material for homeowners who want a distinctive look to their homes. It can be used on homes, garages and sheds in a variety of climates. Before you decide to install shiplap siding, you need a basic understanding of what it is and why it would or would not work for you.


Shiplap siding is wooden siding that has grooves cut on each side that fit together to make a strong connection. It can be made from real wood that is pressure-treated to withstand the elements or it can be made from engineered wood that is coated to be weather-resistant. While shiplap siding is treated to be protected from the weather, it is known for the untreated texture of the wood surface.

Primary Use

According to the Secrets of Shed Building website, homeowners in cold climates tend to use shiplap siding more than in any other climate because the grooves on shiplap siding create a waterproof barrier for the building. Also, shiplap siding can expand and contract with the changes in temperature without cracking or buckling.


The cost to have shiplap siding installed ranges from $4.13 per square foot to $5.46 per square foot, according to the Home Wyse website, as of the date of publication. Those prices include installation and vary depending on the quality of the siding and the size of the home. For comparison, the average cost for installing vinyl siding ranges from $2 to $7 per square foot, according to the Cost Helper website.


Shiplap siding is versatile. It can come in a variety of wood-grained colors that can be either natural or engineered wood, and it can be installed vertically or horizontally. Shiplap siding can be painted, but most homeowners install it for the natural wood look. Painting shiplap siding is not necessary because the wood is already treated to be weatherproof.

references & resources

George N. Root III

George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.