Panelized Shingle Siding Systems

This type of siding consists of short panels with one or more rows of thin shingles that are factory laminated onto a plywood like base. "Shakertown" is one brand name for such a system. The idea here being that the shingles are factory fabricated and the panels can be quickly installed at the building site. The promise of such a product is in it's lower cost of: material, production and installation.

Some of these products come with shingles that are about 1/4 of the thickness of premium side-wall shingle. In other words they are similar to a veneer that is used in furniture making or finish grade plywood. These panels come in various shingle configurations.

My inspection work in Western Washington has allowed me to see numerous buildings with panelized siding with very thin shingles. Many of these buildings are multi-story apartment houses and condominiums. Many are flat roofed structures with limited roof overhangs and exposed deck structures or other features with exposed siding surfaces. These inspections have confirmed the limitations of these thin shingles:

  • The very thin shingle surfaces are more prone to weather damage.
  • The panels tend to expand and bulge.
  • Repairs are more difficult than with regular thickness shingle siding products.

In addition, some of the older styles may be hard to find and thus hard to match.

Most of the damage with this type of siding is usually found on the south sides of the buildings (the faces exposed to maximum sun wind and rain) and/or areas with other difficult conditions. Panelized shingle siding seems to perform quite well on exterior surfaces that are protected, properly installed, primed and painted. And the best kind of panelized siding use a thicker shingle (1/2" or so at the bottom edge) Based upon my experience the thinner products are very short lived and subject to siding damage.