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Siding Considerations: Material, Style and Installation – PART 2: Style: Dutch Lap, Beaded, or Smooth?

Once you know which siding material to install, it’s time to decide on the profile, or style, to use. Choosing the right profile for your architecture is important, as it will highlight the beauty of your exterior in the most exquisite way possible. This can be confusing though, as different manufacturers and suppliers often have different terms for the same profile. But don’t worry—help is at hand. Here, we list some of the most popular and recommended siding profiles, along with their unique features, to streamline your selection process.


Dutch Lap

This particular profile shows off a distinctive shadowline, making it one of the most sophisticated and expensive style choices. This gorgeous shadowline is produced by a bevel cut into the upper edge of the horizontal siding board. Keep in mind, however, that these shadow lines will appear differently based on the sun’s angle, resulting in varying shadow appearances throughout the day. Since Dutch Lap is a traditional siding style, it works well with equally traditional architectural styles, such as Colonial, Cape Cod, Georgian and Victorian homes.


Wealthy property owners in the pre-1800 era first used the beaded siding profile to show off their wealth, as it was costly to produce back then. This style is known for incorporating a rounded bead detail on the lower, revealed edge of the clapboard. Like the Dutch Lap style, this profile exudes elegant shadow lines, creating a dramatic effect to any exterior. It works well with both traditional and modern houses, but is ideal for historic ones, including Cape Cod, Queen Anne, Greek Revival and French Colonial styles.


Also known as the clapboard style, the smooth profile is among the most-used styles in the country. When viewed from the side, each board looks like a thin bevel and slightly overlaps the one underneath. With this design, the boards effectively create a small air gap between the structure’s sheathing and the siding. Smooth siding is basically simpler and easier to produce than other profiles, which is why it can be seen in almost all kinds of traditional home styles, including Craftsman and Colonial houses.

After choosing the siding material and style to use, you need to make sure your new siding is properly installed. Is it better to take the DIY route or to hire a professional? We’ll answer that in the last part of this three-part blog series!