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How to Install Log Siding on the Exterior of Your Home

3x10 cedar hand-hewn log siding on exterior of home.

Log siding can give any structure a long-lasting rustic look. At Northern Log Supply, our log siding is milled for easy installation and will arrive at your site ready to be installed. Consider yourself the DIY-type? Here’s everything you need to know if you’re installing the log siding yourself.

Tools and Materials: What You’ll Need

To install your log siding, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Measuring tape
  • 6’ level
  • Mallet
  • Chalk
  • Caulk
  • Power drill
  • Nails (as required)

Half Log Siding Installation Instructions

Watch the video to see Owner Peter Green demonstrate how to install our White Cedar half log siding with saddle notch corners. The instructions are also outlined below.

1. Take the measurements

Before laying down your first row, you need to make sure it’s straight and level. The easiest way to do so is by using chalk lines. Measure the height and width of the first row to give yourself an outline. In the video, we measured up four inches for the height of the first half row—that will be the top of the tongue for the first half row of our log siding.

2. Attach the first row

Place the first log at the base but don’t affix it yet. Even after taking the measurements in step 1, you will want to level the piece before you attach it. This ensures the heights are the same and leaves no room for error. Then, attach the log using screws or galvanized nails to drill through the tongue into the stud.

3. Stagger the joints on the corners

For saddle notch corners, it’s crucial to stagger the joints. Usually, a 1-foot stagger is preferred, but it really depends on the size of your structure. At times, you may need to go over or under one foot.

Note: Level each corner piece before attaching it.

4. Fit the siding into the tongue and groove

After the first corner is in place, you can begin to use the log siding with the tongue and groove to finish out the side into the inside corner. Install the log siding with the tongue facing up toward the sky for easy installation and to prevent water from being trapped between the boards. If you’re having trouble fitting the pieces in, use a mallet to give them a little nudge.

The end-matched system of our log siding allows for easy installation with minimal cutting and measuring. Don’t be tempted to shave off the ends a little—a perfect fit is essential.

5. Hammer it in

To avoid visible nail holes, nail the log siding at an angle directly through the tongue and into your back board or studs. You don’t need to nail through the face of the siding.

6. Move up

You’re getting in the swing of it now! Attach each board individually, one row at time, working from the bottom up.

7. Caulk along the exterior corners

After the siding is installed, it’s essential to caulk in between each corner. Run a tiny bead of caulk along the end of the log and the corner. This will keep any moisture from lifting the finish.

Your log siding installation should now be complete!

Pre-Stain or Pre-Finish Your Log Siding

After installing your log siding, finishing your wood can be a long, costly project for you to tackle next. Want to eliminate the mess and expense of finishing after installation? Northern Log can pre-stain or pre-finish your exterior log siding on all four sides for a smoother, evenly coated finish with our automated sprayers before it arrives at your site. This has helped many of our clients save over 50% in costs of having a contractor stain after installing their wood. We have a variety of exterior stain colors available, including our popular “Butternut” and “Teak” wood stain colors.

Choose an exterior stain not only to bring out your wood’s beauty, but to protect it as well. Our experts can help you choose a stain that has all the properties necessary to protect and preserve the wood from moisture, the sun’s UV rays, insects, mildew and fungus.

Request a sample to see your stain on the same type of wood you’ll install.

Don’t Forget About Trim and Corners

Windows and doors need log trim to help you achieve a full log look. We offer a variety of trim and corner options, including saddle notch corners, butt and pass corners, and D-trim, to match quarter log, half log, and full log siding installations.

Order Log Siding from Northern Log Supply

Northern Log Supply manufactures White Pine and White Cedar log siding available in different textures, colors, and sizes. Choose our Paul Bunyan™ siding for a massive log home look, or half log or quarter log siding for a fraction of the price. Depending on the look you want to achieve, our log siding can be machined smooth for a polished finish or hand-hewn for a rustic appearance.

If you have any questions, or would like to place an order, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our friendly staff will be happy to assist you!