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Dutch Lap vs Clapboard Siding: Your Questions Answered

Bought a new home and confused about what siding material to choose? We get the pain. 

Choosing between Dutch lap vs Clapboard siding can be quite a challenge. But, we’ve made things easier for you. 

Dutch lap sidings are modern and more durable. Also, they’re a little more expensive than Clapboard. However, Clapboard sidings are traditional. They are moderately durable and cheaper than Dutch lap sidings. 

That was just a sneak peek. Want to know all about the prime differences? Then keep reading.

Why Need a Siding? 

Before we discuss the differences, let’s talk about their importance. Now you’ve seen sidings used in homes, but what’s their purpose?

Here’s the thing. Sidings are mainly used for protective and decorative purposes. They cover the exterior of your home, keeping you sheltered from elements.  So just like a duct board or its alternatives, it protects your home.

If you live in a cold country, it helps keep your home warmer. When it snows or rains, it also protects your walls. This helps reduce maintenance costs. The same applies if you live in a warmer place. 

Correctly applied sidings will keep the heat out, allowing you to stay cooler. 

Coming to the decorative aspect, sidings come in different styles and colors. So depending on your aesthetic, you have an array of options. 

Dutch Lap vs Clapboard Siding: Compare and Contrast

By now, we have a basic idea about the topic. So, let’s find the similarities and dissimilarities between the two.

You see, both of them are siding designs. So apart from their looks, there are very few factors setting them apart. 

Enough chit-chat. Let’s see what it’s all about. 


We are used to seeing sidings on homes all around us. But, how did this tradition start? What exactly are Dutch lap and clapboard sidings?

Let’s find out. 

Background of Dutch Lap Sidings

Now, what’s Dutch lap siding anyway? It’s basically an application technique where one plank slightly covers the other. 

The specialty of this siding is the groove on the boards. Moreover, the overlapping creates dimension on the walls. As a result, the home looks more even and balanced. 

Assuming that the Dutch invented this siding style? Well, not exactly. This practice mainly originated from North Europe. 

Back in those days, homes were made with overlapping wood. Primarily due to practice and tradition. With globalization, this practice crept into modern-day architecture. 

Dutch Lap sidings were usually made out of Timber. Since it involved a complex design, it was only used by Aristocrats. 

Background of Clapboard Sidings

Known as the more traditional style, clapboard sidings are a classic. They originated in North America when woodwork was at its peak. When early settlers discovered straight trees in North America, it was a game-changer. 

As a result, people started covering their homes with horizontal wooden pieces. And that’s how the clapboard design was born.


The main difference between the two lies in their aesthetics. So let’s look into what it’s about. 

Dutch Lap Looks Modern

A Dutch lap siding has a modern and trendy look to it. Back in the day, this was mainly made out of timber. However, today you’ll find vinyl sidings in practice. 

Since the planks overlap, they need to be carved at an angle. So it has a more refined and interesting appeal to it. 

Clapboard Appears Traditional

On the other hand, clapboard sidings look simple and traditional. Just like the girl your mother wants you to marry!

Jokes apart, the clapboard design doesn’t feature any complex procedure. Instead, it’s easy to install. No wonder it’s been around for ages. 


Now we already know sidings make your home more durable. But, what about the durability of the siding? Let’s see.

Dutch Lap is More Durable

Due to the placement of Dutch lap sidings, they tend to be more durable. They also protect your home from storms. Thanks to the sloping and angled plates, rainwater or snow don’t accumulate easily. Unlike water sitting on a shower tray.

The rainwater doesn’t pool, the sidings stay intact for longer. Plus, maintenance is super easy.

Now although the durability also depends on the siding material, Dutch lap sidings easily last from 20-50 years.

Clapboard is Moderately Durable

Clapboards are also moderately durable. Now you see, sidings can be made either out of wood or vinyl. 

Wood is a traditional material for clapboards which fare pretty well. But, it requires some maintenance, from time to time. 

But with vinyl, it’s another story. It’s both durable, and low maintenance. Plus, vinyl sidings have a range of colors. Therefore, you’ve got a wide color option.

Wait! Don’t assume that all clapboard sidings are feeble. Here are some options that offer you great durability:


So we’ve checked off the history, design, and durability. What’s next? Well. Let’s talk about the cost. Before you decide on a siding, this is one thing you must consider.

The material used mainly decides how much the expense will be. If you choose timber, it will be expensive. So although it’s classy, select this option with care.

On the other hand, vinyl is cost-effective. It’s cheaper than traditional wood. But vinyl still offers the same or better quality. 

Now apart from the material, there are some subtle differences in the expense. Another factor the cost depends on is the installation techniques. 

Still, confused as to what we mean? Keep on reading.

Dutch Lap is Marginally Expensive

Back in the day, Dutch Lap sidings were only used by wealthy noblemen. This was because the angled wood was hand carved. Thus, the whole project was pretty expensive. 

But today, everything is automated. Thus, you won’t have to dish out a fortune behind a Dutch lap. But, it’s still a bit more expensive than a Clapboard. Now, angled boards have a specific installation method. So you may have higher charges.

Clapboard is Cheaper

On the other hand, the classic clapboard sidings are much cheaper. Since they’re no fuss, the installation method is quite basic. This cuts down any unnecessary costs. Similarly, tiling a bathroom yourself can be a financially wise decision. 

Clapboard wood pieces are also easy to make. Since they’re plain and straight cut, there are no complications behind them. 


Question: What is the cheapest siding to put on a house?
Answer: Vinyl is the most budget-friendly option when it comes to choosing a siding. Although there are rumors of it being low quality, this isn’t true. Also, it comes in a variety of colors. The only con is, vinyl sidings don’t block heat.

Question: What is the difference between clapboard and wood siding?
Answer: There are no fundamental differences as of such. A clapboard is considered to be a type of wood siding. Usually, clapboards are long and narrow. Moreover, they come in a flat shape.

Question: How long does clapboard siding last?
Answer: Clapboard sidings last anywhere from 15-50 years, depending on the material used. Wood or fiber-cement needs to be maintained quite frequently. Whereas, vinyl is pretty long-lasting.

Final Verdict

With that, we come to the end of our post. We hope that you enjoyed the read. Remember, choose a clapboard siding if you want a no-fuss, simple finish. 

But, go for a Dutch lap if you prefer a modern design with high durability.

Have any more queries about Dutch lap vs clapboard siding? Shoot them in the comments. 

Until then, goodbye!