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Thinline vs Wideline Eichler Siding

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: Mar 31 2004


I will be using Eichler Siding for a small addition and also changing the remaining front of the house so I do not have to match the existing siding. My builder said thinline is more durable, but I am concerned that it may not look sufficiently authentic. I would appreciate any comments.


Joined: Apr 2 2003


You don't say where you are located--siding patterns vary from tract to tract. (In my neck of the woods, San Jose, it's the narrow smoother variety). Small thumbnails of three of the siding patterns can be found under Jeff Nichols advertisement on this site

If I understand what you are saying, you are saying that homes in your tract have the wide pattern but your contractor is suggesting you use the thin pattern. If my interpretation is correct, I don't see how one can be significantly stronger than the other as they are typically plywood (many layers) and the grooving for the pattern in only on the top layer--but I could be wrong. (Perhaps one of the construction-savvy readers of this web board will jump in to correct me .) So, I don't see any construction reason for choosing one pattern over the other.

You mention the addition is small but that you are thinking of "changing the remaining front of the house so I do not have to match the existing siding". Unless your current siding is damaged or not authentic, replacing it seems like an unnecessary expense. The siding sold by people like Jeff Nichols (Eichler Siding) is close enough that you should not have a serious problem. You could save siding from an exterior wall that will be removed (or will become an interior wall) and use that to piece where necessary to get to a clean break (new wall) where the new siding could be used thereby minimizing the potential for visible discontinuity.

BTW, you don't say if your current siding is stained or painted. When you order your siding, be sure to say what you will be doing with it (painting or staining) so the siding vendor can be sure to give you the appropriate type.


eichfan at rawbw dot com

Joined: Jan 4 2004

Hello and Welcome to the site,

I know something about this and could not resist putting in my nickel's worth.
We Have been manufactuing and installing Eichler Siding for about 5-6 years now. I have run this by a structural engineer and I was told that if the concern is sheer value, then as long as the most shallow point of the siding (at the bottom of the groove) is at least 3/8" of an inch, then the siding will function as sheer wall as long as the siding is A.P.A. approved, and the nailing pattern (or nailing schedule) is followed per engineering requirements (usually 6" on center at the edge of the sheet, and 12" in the middle of the sheet, or more depending on the specifications). If there is no sheer wall to consider, then it is a moot point (also be aware that other necessary componenets of sheer wall are appropriate mud sill bolting, and the installation of "hold downs" at points along the structure that may have uplift correction needed).
As far as what I know about Eichler siding groove depth; I believe that Jeff Nichols mills his products so that they will function as sheer wall; I know that we do.
As far as the issue of "durability", I would suggest that the sheets be primed on the back, as well as the end cuts, to properly seal the product, and I would suggest treatment at least the bottom 12" of the installed sheet with Copper Clear (a paintable, easy to apply wood presevative that acts as a fungicide and termite deterrant, available at most major home supply stores).
Last of all, it is very important to the design of the home to not mix exterior siding types on the same house for convienence reasons. I have seen some custom home where the Architect has done this for a specific effect, but that is integral to the design, not incidental to the building process. If you are going to put T111, lap or other siding on a Eichler, be consistant everywhere, or get another contractor. When he or she is long gone, you'll still have to live with it.
Good Luck, and I hope some of this info is helpful. :wink:


Joined: Mar 31 2004

Dear Renman:

Thanks for all the great advice.

Dear Jake,

Thanks also for your comments. Sorry I did not explain myself well enough. I think with Eichler Siding the Thin and Wide refer to the groove width more than the their spacing - they both have about 2" separation of the grooves.

However, they are also manufactured from different material with different groove depth. The Thin Line is made from medium density overlay with only a 1/16" depth groove while the Wide Line is made from plywood with a 1/4" depth.

My main concern was that the 1/16" groove (has thicker shallow depth) may not look sufficiently deep to give a true Eichler siding look.

[I live in Palo Alto with a mixture of sidings, my current siding is not matched by any that Eichler Siding offer - so matching was not really an issue for me.]

Thanks again.

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