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T1-11 Siding: Pros and Cons, Installation, Costs and Maintenance


Whether it’s fresh siding, a bigger deck, or a new tool shed, one of the joys of building is feeling the pride that comes from creating something from scratch. But no homebuilder wants to see their hard work go to waste as things fall apart over time. Staying in the know about siding options can set you on the right track and help you invest in quality building materials that will stand the tests of time.

T1-11 Siding
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In many ways, T1-11 siding is the workhorse of home construction, as it has been used for years and can be applied to lots of different home building projects. But how much do you really know about this go-to siding option? Before you dive in to the first siding option you stumble upon, take a look at some of the pros and cons of working with T1-11 siding.

What is T1-11 Siding?

T1-11 Siding
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You can think of T1-11 as a sort of ‘blank slate’ for homebuilders, as its simple starting appearance can be transformed into a rich variety of finished project looks. In fact, chances are that you’ve already come into contact with T1-11 siding, perhaps without even realizing it. Commonly used for siding, T1-11 has also been a popular material choice for other DIY projects, including tool sheds, dog houses, duck blinds, and interior ceilings. This widely used building material came onto the scene in the 1960s, and it was quickly adopted as one of America’s favorite home building materials for many reasons.

On top of being economical and convenient, T1-11 siding features a natural woodgrain appearance which can be quite attractive for many homeowners who appreciate a rustic aesthetic. T1-11 is often available with either a rough or smooth finish, which is important to consider when stocking up on project materials. In addition, this type of plywood is cut into practical panels, often with stylish exterior grooves that make board-and-batten and shiplap construction easy. Because it consists of several thin wood layers that are bonded together, T1-11 plywood siding is considered to be a fairly strong siding option.

Whether you’ve seen it advertised as T1-11 or T111, this dependable type of plywood siding has been a go-to, all-wood resource for several decades.

Advantages and Disadvantages of T1-11 Siding

T1-11 Siding Advantages

T1-11 plywood offers many advantages. As already mentioned, T1-11 is extremely transformable, as it can be painted, stained, cut, and arranged in different ways to achieve a wide variety of looks. What may start out as a basic-looking board can undergo extensive transformation – often with minimal effort – to become a beautiful finished project.

Not to mention, this versatility means that leftover siding materials can often be saved for other home construction projects. In addition, T1-11 plywood siding can be painted quite easily, which gives homeowners a great option for switching up the exterior look of their home without tearing out and re-installing new siding. Overall, the versatility of T1-11 makes it a great building material to work with.

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Another advantage of T1-11 is that it’s quite easy to work with. Because it’s a plywood-based material, it’s fairly simple to cut and maneuver without using fancy, expensive, or job-specific tools. Plus, installing a large sheet that covers more surface area can speed up a siding project so much faster than installing individual planks.

In addition, large T1-11 siding sheets that come with a stylish groove can really accelerate the total hands-on work time for board-and-batten projects and other siding applications with a textured layout. For most homeowners and homebuilders – even first-time homeowners looking for an entry-level DIY project – T1-11 is a simple, unintimidating material that makes construction projects fast, easy, and affordable.

T1-11 Siding Disadvantages

For homeowners who are looking for eco-friendly building options, selecting an all-wood T1-11 material is certainly not the most environmentally friendly choice, as it can certainly add to the overall carbon footprint of the structure.

The all-wood nature of T1-11 siding can also pose a problem for homeowners that are looking for maximum safety and fireproof construction, as the flammability of T1-11 ranks much higher than other less-flammable siding options, like steel or stucco.

T1-11 Siding
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Yet by far, the most notable disadvantage of T1-11 siding is that it’s susceptible to water damage and long-term exposure to the elements. Because of its plywood composition, untreated T1-11 siding can really take a hit from moisture. And remember, moisture can come in many forms – rain, snow, humidity, etc. Moisture damage can often show up as rotting, warping, corrosion, and mold growth, and when left untreated, this damage can significantly impact curb appeal, home value, home security, and structure stability.

This specific weakness and risk of long-term water damage is why T1-11 siding can require a massive amount of upkeep over the years. Treating, re-painting, and repairing T1-11 siding are certainly things that homeowners should plan on when choosing T1-11 as an exterior building material. For those individuals who aren’t fond of regular home repairs and maintenance, T1-11 may not be the best siding option, as it’s sure to add to the list of chores that can’t be ignored.

Versatility, ease to work with, flammability, upkeep – these are just a few of the pros and cons of choosing T1-11 as an exterior siding option. Depending on the unique needs, interests, and limitations of specific contractors and homeowners, T1-11 siding may or may not be the best fit for your next home building project.

Cost of T111 Siding

Another important factor to consider is the cost of T1-11 siding. Budget limitations may restrict the material options that homebuilders have, making cost a critical topic. The good thing about T1-11 plywood siding is that it generally falls on the more affordable end of the spectrum – especially when lined up side by side with more modern siding options or rare, deluxe siding materials, like stone.

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Typically, T1-11 siding costs between $25 and $40 per 4 foot by 8 foot sheet. The variation in price is accounted for by the fact that there are many different finishing options available, including some T1-11 materials that are pretreated or already stained. However, this does not account for the installation or labor costs of installing T1-11 siding, nor does it account for upkeep and maintenance. If starting with untreated T1-11 siding sheets, staining can cost upwards of $600, depending on the surface area of the structure.

T-111 Plywood Siding Installation

The correct installation of T1-11 plywood siding is absolutely critical when it comes to achieving a clean, polished look on a home or shed. In addition, sloppy plywood siding installation can expose the structure to additional moisture, as gaps or loose panels can hinder insulation and create pockets for damp residue to build up, leading to mold, warping, and rotting.

T1-11 siding can be installed using 1 5/8-inch exterior screws or 12d galvanized nails, and it’s best to start from the bottom up to achieve a clean, seamless application. However, T1-11 should never actually be installed flush with the ground, as this contact can increase moisture buildup and promote mold growth.

Always use a level during T1-11 application, and don’t be afraid to triple-check that panels are plumb and adjust as needed before securing them. Typical T1-11 siding has an edge measuring 3/8 inches where the next panel will overlap to create seamless continuity.

It’s best to place the edges over a stud before nailing them into position, and T1-11 sheets can be effectively secured with fasteners spaced about 8 inches apart as you work your way around. During installation, be sure that the fasteners are penetrating all the way through the T1-11 to the stud behind the joints.

Slowly work your way up and around the structure, ensuring that each panel is installed perfectly aligned with the last. Obstacles like windows and doorways can be maneuvered by adequately measuring and cutting T1-11 before applying it to the structure and using 8d galvanized finish nails to attach the trim to the corners.

T1-11 Siding Maintenance and Repair

Maintenance is a must when it comes to getting the most out of T1-11 siding. In many cases, this starts with adequate treatment right out of the gate. While some T1-11 plywood comes pre-treated, others will require additional work during installation. Staining can provide an extra level of defense against the elements, and it can also stave off damage, which is often inevitable with T1-11 siding.

For this extra level of protection we recommend Storm Protector Penetrating Sealer & Stain Protector.

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Whether water damage has caused a portion of siding to rot or a woodpecker has punched a nice hole, quick repair can be critical for prolonging the overall longevity of T1-11 siding. Once damage is identified, assess if it requires patching, which can effectively fill in small holes and scrapes without removing the T1-11 panel.

If the damage surpasses a small portion, then total replacement of the T1-11 panel may be necessary. Be sure to carefully remove any wood trim that’s capped around the edges before removing the entire damaged panel altogether and replacing it.

Finally, it’s always nice to save a small reserve of paint to touch up T1-11 siding repairs as they come alone. Having the same paint sample on hand can save time (and frustration) when it comes to T1-11 touchups.

27 Responses


  2. Building a 12′ x 16′ potters shed with a 5′ x 16′ lean-to porch along one side. I am wanting to use T111 siding with boards over the grooves to give it a board and batten look. My thoughts on finishing are to age the wood by using the vinegar and steel mix and spaying the mixture on the entire exterior. Then I would like to seal every thing by using a clear sealer such as Thompsons or any other sealer recommendations. Do you see any problems with this idea regarding construction or finishing.

  3. I am using thick heavy T1-11 siding on my shed. Any tricks you might have to hold up siding before nailing to the studs?

    1. You could try a drywall panel hoist. Its meant for a single person to install drywall, but don’t see why it wouldn’t work for plywood. We bought one from harbor freight cheap, used it for drywall, then put an ad on craigslist for the exact same amount we paid for it, and sold it the same day.

    2. Yep. Nail nails. Or screw screws on the very bottom of the stud. Then you can set the sheet on top of them and it will hold it in place while you secure it

  4. Having difficulty finding smooth-finish T1-11. Any ideas where to find this or a similar product to use for vertical siding?

  5. I need a detail of T111 siding termination at grade. Siding need to go all the way to grade but cannot be in contact .

  6. I have an older house with T1-11 siding and I need to replace some of it due to rot. I noticed there is no barrier or sheathing under it. Do I need to install that before replacing?

  7. Didn’t know how to distinguish T-11 from other sidings, but this article helped! Seems like just having alot of experience aids telling it apart at eye sight as well.

  8. Need to replace the bottom 6 inches of my T1-11 on my 18 ft long shed which has rotted because of items left for years alongside the shed. I will use Z flashing where the old and new T1-11 meet – which will be about 16 inches from the bottom plate which sits on a 4×4. Do you recommend placing 2×4 spacers where the 2 panels meet because of the loss of structural stability resulting from cutting the original panels? Thank you.

  9. I would like to use Douglas Fir T1-11 5/8″x4’x10′ panels w/ channels 4″ oc. Any ideas where to source?
    Also, instead of using Z bar between courses could the panel edges be scarfed at 45 degrees and caulked to seal?

  10. I replaced all of the cracked and warped T1-11 siding on my house with T1-11 DuraTemp. It is just like the regular plywood T1-11 but it has a smooth embossed phenolic layer that looks just like wood grain. It’s a bit expensive but it comes primed and ready to paint. Home Depot carries it in my area.

  11. T 1 -11 is 85 $ sheet 4×8 smooth and 195$ for the nine footers special order. I’m having horrible sticker shock!

  12. I have a home built in 1975 with T111. Some places are rotting: 1) where gutter downspout splashed on siding over years, 2) where bathroom window weep holes drained onto trim attached to siding, 3) where sprinkler water left standing on trim nailed to T111,
    My problem is that I cannot find anyone to do dryrot repairs and replacement of damaged siding and trim in the Sacramento CA area. Any ideas?

    1. learn how to do some things yourself or hire a carpenter. they dislike repair replace jobs cause there are ALWSYS hidden problems that lead to higher costs and upset clients…

  13. Recently the sheds next to the Mobiles in our Washington state Senior Park, have started to be replaced with cement board construction. Many of the panels were in serviceable condition so I retrieved them out of the dumpster, trimmed a few edges and after paint and primer have been using them for ramps, wood sheds, raised beds and potting tables in the garden, and a number of other uses. Aware that moisture is the bane of all trouble here in western Washington, the material is so far, having a second enriching life as free building material for the resident seniors..

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