Building a Garage 9 - Siding and Soffit

Intro - Materials - Foundation - Laying Wall - Positioning/Framing - Roof Framing - Sheathing - Windows - Siding/Soffit - Felt/Asphalt

Applying the Siding

If you have chosen to use plywood and batton siding, you will find its application to be identical to sheathing except the addition of ornamental battons placed over the plywood at 12 inch intervals. Battons effectively hide the seams of the plywood and add character to the plain siding.

Most Common Mistakes:

  1. Reading window or door sizes incorrectly.
  2. Not using rust resistant nails.


1. Begin applying the plywood from the same corner you measured out from when laying out your studs. Position the first sheet so that the edge of the 4' x 8' sheet will be flush with the end of the wall while the opposite edge falls at the middle of a stud for secure nailing.

2. Hold a level against one side of the plywood to determine if it is plumb while still aligning it over the center of the stud. Tack it into place with Sd nails. Be sure the nails are rust resistant (hot dipped galvanized).

3. Nails are usually spaced 6 inches along all four edges and 12 inches in the center of the sheet over each stud. Check your local building code for verification.

4. Apply each subsequent sheet in the same manner, butting one edge tightly against the previous one over the middle of the stud.

5. Should you encounter a stud that is bowed out of line, simply tack the sheet into position; then, place another starter nail nearest the bow. As one person pushes the stud into fine, another can drive the nail home, thereby holding the crooked stud in its proper position.

6. To cut plywood around openings, press the sheet into position over the opening while another person marks the opening onto the back of the sheet from the inside of the garage.

7. Place the marked sheet on sawhorses and cut along the penciled lines with a circular saw set to the proper depth.

8. Once the garage has been completely sided with the plywood, you will begin to apply the battons. These are 1 x 2's placed vertically every 16 inches.

9. Beginning over a seam, measure and pop vertical chalk lines every 12 inches on the plywood.

10. Cut the battons to length and nail them over the chalk lines with HDG finishing nails every 16 inches.


Rafter tails (ends) not in a perfectly straight line.

Most Common Mistakes:

  1. Rafter tails (ends) not in a perfectly straight line.


1. For those of you with an overhang to your roof line, you'll want to apply a flat soffit to the underside of the overhang. Begin by snapping a level chalk line on the wall around the entire building. The chalk-line should correspond to the height of the bottom end of the rafter tails. This will be the guideline to which you will attach the 1 x 4 ledger board.

2. Attach the ledger board with 16d HDG nails. The bottom of the ledger should be on the chalk line.

3. Nail 2 x 4's level from the rafter tails, toe-nailed into the ledger board to create a frame at 24 inches on center. (Joist hangers can also be used to attach the 2 x 4's to the ledger.)

4. Measure and cut exterior grade plywood to the width of the soffit and nail it to the framing with 8d HDG nails.

5. Nail a 1 x 6 facia board to seal and trim the end grain of the rafter tails.

6. A crown molding added on top of the facia will dress up the facia but should be attached so it will line up smoothly with the slope of the roof. To accomplish this smoothly, place a straight edge down the slope of the roof overhanging the eave. Butt the crown molding up against the straight edge and nail it into place with finishing nails.

Intro - Materials - Foundation - Laying Wall - Positioning/Framing - Roof Framing - Sheathing - Windows - Siding/Soffit - Felt/Asphalt