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Frank O
Wood siding on 1909 California bungalow

We have a 1909 California bungalow-style home in the Pasadena area that we're getting ready to repaint. The exterior consists of wood siding, some of which is damaged and ought to be replaced.

Here is link to a shot of the end profile of one of the boards:


Each board is 30" long, about 5-1/4" wide and about 0.6" thick. I don't think there's any overall bevel to the board, though there are V notches and ridges cut on alternate sides so that they fit together. I don't know the species of the wood, but it doesn't feel all that dense.

Any thoughts on how to do a nice job on replacing these? I assume this particular profile is no longer common. Any ideas on what wood species would have been used in this area at that time? We have a planer and routers, so I don't mind making custom boards if I can find a router bit that would cut the right angle on the V notch.

P.S. This is my first post, and the system wouldn't allow me to upload the picture even when I saved a small version about 60KB in size. The FAQ says the max size should be stated in the upload dialog, but I didn't see anything there. As a new member am I even allowed to upload pictures?

Re: Wood siding on 1909 California bungalow

Chances are that you have cedar or redwood siding boards.

My guess is that if you remove a few boards, you'll discover that re-doing the entire house will be a better idea. That's what I would do, and fix/replace/upgrade whatever is bad along the way.

Let us know what you do.

Re: Wood siding on 1909 California bungalow

I too live in a 1900's bunglow-ed neighborhood. The sidings typical of the neighborhood are still available at local lumber yards, not the big box stores. You may find replacement is quite costly.

Consider switching the lapped Hardie siding. It will outlast the rest of the structure and paints easily.

No matter which siding material you choose, this is an excellent time t open the walls from the exterior to fix the plumbing, electrical, framing, and insulation before installing new siding.

Re: Wood siding on 1909 California bungalow

Ditto on checking with local lumberyards. If you can't find exact replacements, this is a simple profile to have milled and someone probably already has those cutters on hand. Worst case scenario, based on the layout you may decide to take all the siding off a less-visible wall and use those boards to do the replacements, then re-do the bare wall with the closest matching material you can get now. If you're really lucky, new T&G of the right size may be available cheap, and if it's profiled you can just turn it over and use the back. Just remember to prime all new wood before painting!


Frank O
Re: Wood siding on 1909 California bungalow

Thanks for the suggestions. The existing siding isn't in too bad of shape, it's just a few boards here and there that are split, have old holes covered by tacked-on pieces of tin, etc. In the eves and basement, the house's structural wood looks to me as though it's redwood, so that would be my first guess for what the siding is.

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