I have a house built in 1955 with shake siding that has been painted. I had a flag bracket mounted on the front wall with flanged anchors, and it held up for a little over a year (I'd take the flag down during storms), but we recently had an unexpected storm that came through while I was at work, and it ripped the bracket out, anchors and all.

What is the best way to mount a flag bracket on a shake siding wall? Everything I've tried searching tries to redirect me to hanging Christmas lights or mounting things on the roof (because "big G" thinks "shake" is synonymous with "shingle", and of course shingles are more commonly thought of as a roofing material than a siding material; "siding" loves to give me useless information about mounting on vinyl siding, which I suspect is largely not applicable here).

While I plan to replace the siding in another 5-10 years, that's not an option right now.

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    What were the "flanged anchors" you were using? Are they inserts and a screw goes into them, or the anchors are the screws them selves? If the latter, how long were they? – Jack Mar 30 at 15:38
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    @Jack they were inserts I had to hammer in, that the screws went into. – Doktor J Mar 30 at 15:42

As noted by other answers, you will do much better by attaching to the supporting members underneath the shingles. The shingles serve their purpose well but are not suited for supporting attached things.

However, this answer differs to focus on the flag mount as part of the issue. They are discussing how to increase the resisting force (which is good and right on target) while this is about how to reduce the applied force.

The problem is that the mount is probably somewhat small and therefore the screws are likely relatively close together, this means that the screws are creating a higher force than if they were further apart. A higher force requires a better attachment point. Reduce the force = reduce the attachment.

I suggest using a 'middle man' approach to deal with both issues, in the form of a wood block. The block would be larger than the flag base to increase the distance between the screws that are attached to your house and therefore reduce how well it must be attached to your house (or increase the strength of the same attachment).

You can size and shape the block if you have basic tools or get a simple 1x4 or other size you like. Often at box stores you can find it in the length that you like or ask to have it cut to length. You might try the trim section of the store for many choices in wood type, color, shape and sizes.

And a wood block would add a very nice finished look. This is a little extra work of course, but a good option to consider.

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  • Thanks, I was wondering if this might be a feasible option... would treated lumber work, with some exterior latex paint to match the existing paint do well? Then have the board screwed into two studs on either side with the flag bracket mounted to it in the center? – Doktor J Mar 30 at 20:43
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    You noted that you were going to replace the siding in 5-10 years and I think painted wood will be fine for that period. Screwing into the studs would surely do it. Note that it will take some effort to keep the board 'flat' since the shakes are slopped. Also not to split or break the shakes since they are floating except at the attachment near the top. They will give some. You could use a piece of pipe, pvc, copper, or whatever, slightly bigger inside than the screw to use as a spacer holding the board out. Cut to length for both shake slope and distance from the wall for a perfect fit – Ack Mar 30 at 21:08
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    Or just and some shims behind the board at each screw. For both cases, don't screw the board too tight to help avoid breaking the shakes but enough so it doesn't move much – Ack Mar 30 at 21:09

You need to find framing members to screw the bracket to (studs) most homes built in this era have a sub siding and then the exterior siding. For the best strength close to a corner or window frame may provide multiple studs the width of your bracket, if not a single stud on one side with the other side screwed into the siding. The side that you connect to a stud we would normally use lag bolts 1/4” is a common size but the length varies depending on the load being applied , for a 6’ pole and flag like we had on my upper deck I did use 1/4” x3” lag screws I only had a stud on 1 side of the bracket so the other side I used 1-1/2 ‘ screws, this area gets strong wind so I put the bracket over the stud on the leading side.

To explain looking at the house the wind almost always blows from the left to right. I put the bracket as far to the right to allow the left holes to line up with the stud. This way most of the force from the wind is pulling on the strongest point of attachment.

If you have strong winds in both directions closer to a corner or window where there are normally multiple studs closer together may provide the support.

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The inserts were your weak spot. The shingles on the side of the home will be about 3/4" thick as a norm, not seeing exactly what you have and were you installed it on the siding, since some places the shingles are thinner.

To install the mount, it would be great to find the studs as Ed Beal recommends, but it is not possible in some applications. Depending on how long the inserts were you may be able to use the same placement as before, although I would not recommend it. BUT, if the inserts did not damage the subsiding under the shingles, THAT is where the strength is, under the shingles. The subsiding in that age of a house will be 3/4" to 7/8" thick solid wood, typically 1X6 or 1X8, but it can be anything wider too.

If you picked up in 12 ga. X 2" pan head or round head screws, (you may need to drill the holes in the mount a wee bit to get the screws to go in) and angled them into the original location, so they did not feed into the old location that the inserts were, they would find new material to tap into. By angling the screws I mean, in the upper left hole, angle the point to go left by about 10-15 degrees if the pole hole is not in the way. Same for the right side, but point the screw to the right. And the bottom hole, point the screws down about 10-15 degrees as well. To clarify, after the screws are in place, all the buried screw tips are farther apart, than the holes they went through. If you can shift the whole mount to the left or right out 3/4"- 1" then the screws can go straight in again since it will be beyond the damaged area from the original install and one screw will be between the original 2 holes at the top.

The best clue I have that the screws are holding, and yes, you can use a pilot hole for these screws, 3/16" is what I would recommend for either method, that when the screws go in and contact the mount, watch carefully tighten slowly and you will see the siding compress and sink the mount into the surface of the shingles. If it does not and starts spinning with out compression, the hold you need is lost. But if it deforms the metal, and sinks into the shingle, just a little, the hold is superior.

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