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I know there are plywoods that are intended for this purpose, with an attractive face and often cut grooves to make it look like board-and-batten or other traditional vertical sidings. T1-11 is a common example. My friend used Breckenridge on his house, with 1x battens over the seams.

However, if I'm not interested in the appearance of fake vertical siding, and will tolerate a less-than-perfect surface, what other plywoods can I use, to save money?

Suppose I pick through the CDX pile and find some with a nicer-than-average C face. Would that work OK in this role?

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marine grade plywood could work. – DA01 Jun 29 '12 at 2:56
It looks like Breckenridge is a premium product, as I found wood siding panels on the Lowes web site for 1/2 the price of Breckenridge. – Jay Bazuzi Jun 29 '12 at 7:20
up vote 1 down vote accepted

While CDX (rated Exposure I) has exterior glue, it is not intended for prolonged weather exposure. You should use a panel that has a true exterior rating, even if it is rated for sheathing and not siding. Try looking for APA Rated Sheathing C-D Exterior plywood. You can use any panel thickness with a span rating for 16" spaced studs, but with 24" studs, use a panel with a roof span rating of 24 or more. That will be as cheap as you can go and still have reasonable life expectancy.

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