Making the decision to install new siding on your home is only half the battle. Once that decision is made you have another big one to make: what style and texture do you want? Two popular options for siding include Dutch lap and clapboard.

Dutch lap siding is a variation on traditional clapboard, in that it’s cut and formed a bit differently. The top of the siding piece is beveled inward while the bottom half stands out. This depth difference adds an extra element of visual contrast, providing your home with a three-dimensional appearance.

Clapboard siding, on the other hand, provides more of a traditional look. Each clapboard is layered like shingles, and the thin side of each one rests under the thick edge of the board on top. This is the more popular option on most sided homes.

While similar to each other, each option does have key differences to consider. Let’s look at the differences between each to guide you in your decision.


Appearance is the main difference between clapboard and Dutch lap, but there are some stylistic differences between each type that affect the type of architecture that they will work with best.

Dutch lap siding pairs well with styles such as Colonial, Victorian, Gambrel, and Greek Revival homes. Mix and match other decorative exterior features, such as trim and shingles, to add further detail if desired.

Clapboard siding goes well with home styles typically found in New England, such as Cape, Colonial, and Saltbox homes. It also complements classic styles, such as ranch, farmhouse, and Craftsman. Due to its traditional, timeless appearance, clapboard can work on many styles of homes, from historical homes to modern homes.


Both types were originally made from natural wood. But because wood is prone to pest infestation and rot, and is difficult to maintain, most clapboard siding you see nowadays is made from vinyl or fiber cement.

Most brands out there give you a wide variety of styles to choose from, including both clapboard and Dutch lap, so it’s easy to find one that will perform best in your climate and that fits within your budget.


There is a rainbow of colors available for both types of siding. But be aware that different colors can accentuate different features of your home.

Dutch lap siding is best in lighter shades, such as blue, white, gray, or tan, as it highlights the shadows between boards made possible by the notch.

Clapboard is more straightforward and traditional in its design, so any color would work well with this style. Look at the houses around you to get an idea for the style of the neighborhood.


Because clapboard siding is easier and quicker to install, it’s usually a bit more affordable than Dutch lap siding.


The durability of your siding will be dictated by the material you go with, whether vinyl or fiber cement.

Dutch lap siding performs better than clapboard when it comes to weather resistance. Because of the slope of each board, this type doesn’t accumulate rainwater and snow as readily as clapboard. As a result, you will have less mold growth, rot, fading, and decay over the years.

Contact Hi Tech Windows & Siding for Siding Installation

Still need guidance when it comes to making a decision between Dutch lap and clapboard siding for your home? Our team is here to help. You can contact us today at 800-851-0900.