- Q.I am working on a project
where native (New York) hemlock boardand-batten siding
has been specified. I am not familiar with this
material. How should I prep and install it?
A. First, the hemlock should be
dry — preferably at 15% or less moisture
content. The boards should be spaced 1/2 inch
apart, with 1 1/2-inch battens. Use stainless-steel
nails, and secure the boards with
one line of 8d siding
nails in the center. Secure the battens with one
line of 10d nails between the boards. The siding
should be finished with a semitransparent or opaque
oil-based penetrating stain.
Hemlock is not a great choice as a siding
material. On a scale of 1 to 10, it rates as a 6 in
paint retention, and about 5 in resistance to
cupping. It checks conspicuously.