Title:
PANEL SIDING ASSEMBLY WITH SPACING AND POSITIONING ELEMENTS AND METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A panel siding assembly adapted to be mounted to an outside surface of a wall in a manner to provide an air space between the siding assembly and the wall so that moist air in the air space is able to escape from the air space. The assembly comprises a plurality of laterally aligned panels having upper and lower panel edge portions and outside and inside surfaces. The panels are located at vertically spaced locations so that each pair of upper and lower adjacent panels are positioned so that an upper front surface portion of the lower panel of the pair is adjacent to a lower rear surface portion of the upper panel of the pair at a laterally extending juncture location. There is a plurality of spacing and locating devices which are positioned at spaced locations along the juncture location.



Inventors:
Weiss, Matthew (Chehalis, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/968615
Publication Date:
07/03/2008
Filing Date:
01/02/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/747.1, 52/748.1
International Classes:
E04F13/08
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HIJAZ, OMAR F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hughes Law Firm, PLLC (Bellingham, WA, US)
Claims:
Therefore I claim:

1. A panel siding assembly adapted to be mounted to an outside surface of a wall in a manner to provide an air space between the siding assembly and the wall so that moist air in the air space is able to escape from the air space, said assembly comprising: a) a plurality of laterally aligned panels having upper and lower panel edge portions and outside and inside surfaces, said panels being located at vertically spaced locations in a manner that each pair of upper and lower adjacent panels are positioned so that an upper front surface portion of the lower panel of the pair is adjacent to a lower rear surface portion of the upper panel of the pair at a laterally extending juncture location; and b) a plurality of spacing and locating devices which are positioned at spaced locations along the juncture location, each spacing and locating device comprising a spacing portion which has bearing engagement with the outside surface of the wall to space at least one of the panel from the outside surface of the wall and a positioning portion to locate relative vertical location of the device with at least one of the panels of an adjacent pair of panels or relative location of two adjacent panels to each other.

2. The panel siding assembly as recited in claim 1, wherein the positioning portion of at least some of the devices comprises a downwardly facing recess to position an upper portion of a lower panel of its related pair.

3. The assembly as recited in claim 2, wherein there is a retaining member extending downwardly from a location adjacent to said recess.

4. The assembly as recited in claim 3, wherein said retaining member also comprises a support portion which has an upwardly facing support surface to provide support for an adjacent panel.

5. The assembly as recited in claim 1, wherein said positioning portion comprises an upwardly extending retaining member that provides an upwardly facing slot to position a lower end portion of an adjacent panel.

6. The assembly as recited in claim 1, wherein there is at least one spacing and locating device which is positioned in bearing relationship to an adjacent wall portion and has a downwardly facing retaining member to retain an upper end of an adjustable panel, and said upper end of the panel has a fastener extending through the panel and through the spacing and retaining member to extend into the wall so that the upper end of the panel is attached to the wall.

7. The assembly as recited in claim 6, wherein there is a spacing portion which has a downwardly facing slanted surface which has a narrow lower end portion to be able to become moved into a space between the spacing member and the wall to facilitate positioning of the spacing member.

8. The assembly as recited in claim 1, wherein said spacing and locating device comprises a downwardly extending slot-like opening to receive an upper end portion of a lower panel, and there is a yielding stop-member capable of engaging an upper end portion of the lower panel to position it at a lower location to provide a gap above the panel, and said positioning member is able to yield if there is later expansion of the panel.

9. The assembly as recited in claim 1, wherein at least some of said spacing and locating devices comprises a spacing and locating device designed to minimize heat transfer through the device to reduce probability of a fire or the like damaging a structure, said heat resistant device comprising a spacing section, a spacing element having side portions extending from the spacing element to the wall, with at least some of said side portions having extending thin spacing portions which have a small thickness dimension and a small edge contact region with the outer surface of the wall.

10. The combination as recited in claim 9, wherein said devices of claim 9 comprises a central member which is generally aligned with, and spaced from the outer surface of the wall, and has on at least two of its side edges outwardly extending flanges having outer edge portions which are in contact with the outer surface of the wall structure.

11. The assembly as recited in claim 10, wherein said device has its surface areas with through-openings comprising at least about one half of the total area so that air could circulate through the air space of the assembly.

12. A method of mounting a plurality of panels to an outside surface of a wall in a manner to provide a panel siding assembly with an air space between the siding assembly and the wall so that moist air in the air space is able to escape from the air space, said method comprising: a) providing a plurality of laterally aligned panels having upper and lower panel edge portions and outside and inside surfaces, and placing said panels sequentially at vertically spaced locations at a location spaced from said outside wall surface in a manner that each pair of upper and lower adjacent panels are positioned so that an upper front surface portion of the lower panel of the pair is adjacent to a lower rear surface portion of the upper panel of the pair at a laterally extending juncture location; and b) providing a plurality of spacing and locating devices and positioning these at spaced locations along the juncture locations of the panels, with each spacing and locating device comprising a spacing portion which is in bearing engagement with the outside surface of the wall to position the lower end portion of the upper panel of its related pair and a positioning portion which locates relative positions between some of the two panels and the device.

13. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein the positioning portion of at least some of the spacing and locating devices comprises a downwardly facing recess and an upper portion of a lower panel of its related pair is inserted in the recess.

14. The method as recited in claim 13, wherein the positioning portion comprises a retaining member extending downwardly from a location adjacent to said recess, and an upper edge portion of the panel is inserted to be adjacent to this retaining member.

15. The method as recited in claim 14, said positioning portion comprises a support portion which has an upwardly facing support to provide support for an adjacent panel surface, and utilizing said support surface to support a lower end portion of the related panel.

16. The method as recited in claim 12, further comprising positioning an upwardly extending retaining member to define with another member of the positioning portion an upwardly facing slot and positioning a lower end portion of an adjacent panel in the slot.

17. The method as recited in claim 12, comprising at least one spacing and locating device which is positioned in bearing relationship to an adjacent wall portion and has a downwardly facing retaining member to retain an upper end of an adjustable panel, and said upper end of the panel has a fastener extending through the panel and through the spacing and retaining member to extend into the wall so that the upper end of the panel is attached to the wall.

18. A spacing and locating device adapted for use in mounting panels to an outside surface of a wall in a manner to provide an air space between the siding assembly and the wall so that moist air in the air space is able to escape from the air space, where the assembly comprises: a) a plurality of laterally aligned panels having upper and lower panel edge portions and outside and inside surfaces, b) said panels being located at vertically spaced locations in a manner that each pair of upper and lower adjacent panels are positioned so that an upper front surface portion of the lower panel of the pair is adjacent to a lower rear surface portion of the upper panel of the pair at a laterally extending juncture location; said spacing and positioning device comprising; a) said spacing and positioning device being adapted to be used as one a plurality of said spacing and locating devices which are positioned at spaced locations along the juncture locations of the panels; b) each spacing and locating device comprising a spacing element which is in bearing engagement with the outside surface of the wall to space at least one of the panel from the outside surface of the wall and a positioning portion to locate relative vertical location of the device with at least one of the panels of an adjacent pair of panels or relative location of two adjacent panels to each other.

20. The spacing and locating device as recited in claim 18, wherein said spacing and locating device comprises a spacing and locating device designed to minimize heat transfer through the device to reduce probability of a fire or the like damaging a structure, said heat resistant device comprising a spacing section, with spacing elements which are extending from said panel as said side portions, said spacing elements comprising thin spacing portions which have a small thickness dimension and a small edge contact region with the outer surface of the wall to limit heat transfer.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority benefit of U.S. Ser. No. 60/883,134, filed Jan. 2, 2007.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

a) Field of the Disclosure

The present disclosure relates to a system, method, and spacing elements to provide open regions in wall structures to alleviate the problem of moisture accumulating in the wall structure. The disclosure also relates to the proper positioning of siding panels on an exterior wall of a structure.

b) Background Art

The problem toward which this invention is directed is that moisture will often collect within the wall structure of a home or other structure. Accordingly, there are various devices for creating vertical air spaces, which are between components of the wall structure and which open to outside air, so that the interior of the wall structure can dry out. Also, there are what are called “breather boards” which permit the water to permeate out through the breather board into an escape area that opens to outside air.

SUMMARY OF THE EMBODIMENTS

These relate to a panel siding assembly adapted to be mounted to an outside surface of wall in a manner to provide an air space between the siding assembly and the wall so that moist air in the airspace is able to escape from the air space.

There is a plurality of laterally aligned panels which are positioned adjacent to the outer wall surface in overlapping relationship. These panels are spaced from the outer wall surface by a plurality of spacing and locating devices that are positioned at space locations where the upper and lower edges of the panels are adjacent to one another. In one embodiment, the spacing elements are made in a manner to reduce heat transfer from the outer panels to the building structure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a sectional view taken along a vertical line of a first embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but showing only a portion of the first embodiment drawn to an enlarged scale;

FIG. 3 is an isometric view of a spacing element of the first embodiment;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view showing the side of a building structure with one form of the spacing elements located on the structure;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 2, but showing a second embodiment;

FIG. 6 is an isometric view similar to FIG. 3 showing the spacer of the second embodiment;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view similar to FIGS. 2 and 5 showing a third embodiment;

FIG. 8 is an isometric view similar to FIG. 6 showing the spacing element of the third embodiment;

FIG. 9 is a sectional view similar to FIGS. 1 and 2 showing a fourth embodiment;

FIG. 10 is an isometric view of the spacer of the fourth embodiment

FIG. 11 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 9 showing a fifth embodiment;

FIG. 12 is an isometric view of the spacer, similar to FIG. 10 of the fifth embodiment;

FIG. 13 is a front elevational view showing a spacing element of a sixth embodiment;

FIG. 14 is a side elevational view of the spacer of FIG. 13;

FIGS. 13A and 14A are views similar to FIGS. 13 and 14, respectively, but showing the various dimensional relationships;

FIG. 15 is a side elevational view of a portion of a building wall showing a seventh embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 15A is a front view of the spacing element of this seventh embodiment;

FIG. 16 is a view similar to FIG. 11, but showing only the portion of the wall structure which is at one of the overlapping locations of the two planks 16d;

FIG. 17 is a view similar to FIG. 16, but with the main spacing member having its forward and rear surfaces formed so as to provide better support for the plank;

FIG. 18 shows a spacing element of a ninth embodiment in its pre-fold condition;

FIG. 19 is an isometric view showing the spacing element of the ninth embodiment formed into its operating configuration;

FIG. 20 is a side-elevational view of the spacing element of FIGS. 18 and 19;

FIG. 21A is a sectional-view taken through a lower part of the wall structure and showing how the lowermost panel and its spacing elements are installed;

FIG. 21B is a view similar to FIG. 21A but showing an upper portion of the wall structure with the panels and spacing elements being installed; and

FIG. 22 is a plan view similar to FIG. 4 showing the positioning of the spacing elements of the ninth embodiment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

The present disclosure is directed toward a panel siding assembly adapted to be mounted to an outside surface of a wall to provide an air space between the siding assembly and the wall so that the moist air in the air space is able to escape from the air space either the bottom or top (or both) of the siding layer.

This siding assembly comprises a plurality of laterally aligned panels having upper and lower panel edge portions and outer and inside surfaces. The panels are located at vertically spaced locations in a manner that each pair of upper and lower adjacent panels are positioned so that an upper front portion of the lower panel of the pair is adjacent to a lower rear portion of the upper panel of the pair at a laterally extending juncture location.

Then there is a plurality of spacing and locating devices which are positioned at spaced locations along the juncture locations. Each spacing and location device comprises a spacing element which is in bearing engagement with the outside surface of the wall to position the lower end portion of the upper panel of its related pair and a positioning portion which positions the upper portion of the lower panel of its related pair.

To describe these components in more detail, with reference to FIG. 1, there is a main wall structure 10 which rests on a foundation 11 with which a first embodiment of the present invention is being used. The wall structure is typical of the prior art and comprises 2-inch by 4-inch (nominally) wall studs 12 and 4-foot by 8-foot subsiding panels 14 which are nailed to the studs 12 and which form the outer wall section of the main wall structure. These panels 14 could be plywood boards or some type of composite panels. A typical house wrap (portions of which are shown at 15 in FIG. 2) is placed over the panels 14. Then the tapered siding planks 16 are nailed by the nails 17 that are driven through the plank 16, the house wrap 15 and panels 14 and into the studs 12. These components 10 through 17 already exist in the prior art.

The embodiments of the present invention relate to spacing and positioning devices 18 also called elements. For convenience, the several embodiments of the spacing and positioning elements or devices 18 will simply be referred to as “spacing elements”. Such spacing element 18 of a first embodiment is shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. These spacing elements are positioned between the planks 16 and the panels 14. However, before describing the structure and functions of the spacing elements 18, we will digress a moment and discuss the way the siding planks 16 are conventionally nailed to the wall structure 10, assuming that the spacing elements 18 are not present.

It will be noted that each of the siding planks 16 is tapered in its thickness in an upward direction so that it is thicker at the bottom and thinner at the top. When the first plank 16′ is placed against main wall structure 10 in the method of the prior art, there are two workmen near opposite ends of the plank 16′ who will hold the plank level, and then nail it into place, this being followed by nailing along the length of that same plank 16′. Then the next plank 16′ is positioned against the wall 10 at a higher location so that its bottom edge portion overlaps the upper edge portion of the lower plank 16′. Again, the two workmen have to make sure the plank 16′ is level.

Then the nails 17 are driven, as shown in FIG. 1, in the lower part of the plank 17. It will be noted that the nails 17 are not driven through the thinner upper part of the plank 16. The reason for this is to allow each individual board to expand and contract with changes in the moisture content (MC) of the wood siding. Changing of the MC causes the wood to expand and contract. Thus, the planks 16 may be positioned so that there is a small gap 19 left between the upper edge surface of the plank 16 and the downwardly facing surface immediately above. If the wood siding planks 16 were nailed at the top and bottom of each plant 16 or if the upper edge surface 32 were installed in contact with the downward facing surface of the spacing element, this could cause the siding to crack or buckle.

With this prior art method having been described, we will now turn our attention back to the spacing elements 18 of the first embodiment. Reference is first made to FIG. 3. This spacing element 18 has the basic configuration of a rectangular prism with a recess 20 formed in the bottom front part of an upper spacing portion 21 and also a retaining member which may be in the shape of the finger 22 (see FIGS. 2 and 3). The finger 22 and a lower positioning portion 24 of the spacing element 18 can be considered to be a positioning section 25, and these form a downwardly facing slot 26 there-between into which the upper edge portion 27 of the lower plank fits.

To discuss the pattern of how the spacing elements 18 may be deployed, reference is made to FIG. 4 which is an elevational front view looking straight into the outer surface of the wall structure having a window, with the spacing elements 18 in place, and (for purposes of illustration) with the planks 16 being indicated only schematically by dashed lines. As can be seen in FIG. 4 there are arrows 28 which illustrates the flow of drier air which can pass upwardly into and through the dead air space between panels 14 and the siding planks 16.

One method of positioning the spacing elements 18 would be to have their uppermost edges aligned with a reference line 28 and then fastened to the wall structure 20 by nails. Of course, alternate fastening methods, such as screws, bolts or adhesives could also be utilized. The reference line could be a chalk-line snapped along the outer portion of the wall structure, or could possibly be a laser line from a laser level. Of course, those of ordinary skill in the art would know how to align the spacing elements 18 properly along the wall structure 12.

To describe how the spacing elements 18 can be used in nailing the siding plank 16 in place, reference is first made to FIG. 1. The lowermost siding plank 16′ would have a temporary attachment made between it and the lowermost spacing elements 18. This could possibly be done by some adhesive, or possibly a small positioning clip that would have two spring-loaded arms that could grip the finger 22 and the outside surface of the lower part of the plank 16′. Care would be taken so that with wood planks 16, the nailed wood plank and the spacing element 18 would be fastened in place to ensure the expansion gap 19 is attained. Then the lowermost plank 16′ and its associated spacing element 18 would be nailed into place, with the nail being indicated at 17.

The next upper set of spacing elements 18 would then be placed at laterally spaced locations over the upper edges of the lowermost plank 16′. This could be done either before this first plank 16′ is put into place or after it has been nailed into place.

Then the next plank 16′ is put into place above the lowermost plank 16′ and it is nailed in the manner shown in FIG. 1. The same procedure is used for subsequent planks 16. The lateral spacing of the nailing and spacing would normally follow the siding manufacturer's recommendations.

A second embodiment is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. This second embodiment is quite similar to the first embodiment of FIGS. 2 and 3. The components of this second embodiment which are the same as, or similar to, corresponding components of the first embodiment will be given like numerical designations with an “a” suffix denoting those of the second embodiment.

This second embodiment differs from the first embodiment in that the finger member 22a is extended further downwardly and at its lower end it has a forward and horizontally extending flat positioning and support member 30a having an upper positioning support surface 32a which is at a vertical location which is the same as that of the lower surface 33a of the adjacent siding plank 16a which is to be positioned immediately above the lower adjacent plank 16a.

Thus, with the several spacing and positioning members 18a in place along the same horizontal row, the two workmen could put the next plank 16a in place with proper horizontal alignment, and thus minimize the need for using a level instrument or tape or the like to properly position the plank. As another benefit, it would be possible for a single workman to lift the plank and put it into place properly aligned.

A third embodiment of the disclosure is shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. Components of this third embodiment which are the same as, or similar to, components of the earlier two embodiments will be given like numerical designations, with a “b” suffix distinguishing those of the third embodiment.

This third embodiment of FIGS. 7 and 8 has a configuration similar to the second embodiment of FIGS. 5 and 6. It differs in that in addition to having the horizontally extending positioning and support member 30b that connects to the finger 22b, the member 30b has at its forward end an upturned upwardly extending planar retaining member 34b. Thus there is formed an upwardly facing U-shaped slot 36b.

An advantage of this third embodiment is that the plank 16b could be put in place prior to nailing, and would be more reliably retained in its installed position while the nailing of the lower part of plank 16b takes place.

A fourth embodiment of the present disclosure is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. Components of this fourth embodiment which are the same as, or similar to, components of any of the first, second and third embodiments will be given like numerical designations, with a “c” suffix distinguishing those of the fourth embodiment from other embodiments.

This fourth embodiment is arranged for being used with planks 16c made with a composite material, which could be made of various ingredients, including possibly cement or cement-like ingredients. Such composite siding materials are common in the art. As shown herein, there is no taper in the planks 16c. Also, since the composite material does not expand in the presence of moisture, there is no requirement for an expansion gap 19 for the fiber cement lap siding. In FIG. 9 there is shown a lower plank 16c′ that has an upper edge portion 37c, with a spacing element 18c positioned at its upper back surface. This spacing element 18c comprises a main body portion 38c shaped as a rectangular prism, and at the upper end of this body portion 38c, the spacing member 18c further comprises a positioning section generally designated 40c.

This positioning section 40c has an upper horizontal rear portion 42c that is extending forwardly from an upper edge of the body portion 38c. At the forward edge of the member 42c there is a downwardly extending vertically aligned connecting member 44c that is connected to and extends downwardly from the forward edge of the member 42c. At the lower edge of the member 44c there is a forward horizontally aligned positioning member 46c, and at the forward edge of the member 46c there is a vertically upwardly extending retaining member 48c. The body 38c and the components 42c, 44c, 46c and 48c can be formed as one integral piece, and could be made, for example, as a plastic member possibly formed by a process including injection molding.

In the operating position of FIG. 9, there is a lower plank 16c′ and the spacing member 38c is mounted to the top part of the siding plank 16c′ in a manner that the upper part of the plank 16c′ is positioned in an inverted U-shaped slot formed by the body member 38c, the horizontal member 42c and the vertically and downwardly extending member 44c. Then the components 44c, 46c and 48c form an upwardly facing U-shaped recess 50c that receives the lower edge portion 52c of the next plank 16c′.

To describe now the manner in which the fourth embodiment is utilized, prior to positioning the lowermost plank member 16c′, several of the spacing members 18c are mounted to the upper edge portion 36c of the plank 16c as shown in FIG. 9. Then a nail is driven through both the upper edge portion 37c and also through the body portion 38c of the spacing member 18c, with this nail then extending through the panel 14c and into the stud (not shown in FIG. 9). Then when the next plank 16′ is to be installed, the lower edge portion of the next plank 16c′ is positioned so that it is supported in the recess 50c and extends upwardly therefrom. In this position, the head of the nail 29c is thus hidden from sight. Also, the spacing member 18c of FIG. 10 could be designed allowing the member 46c to snap off from the member 44c so there is no visual remains of the spacer.

The spacing members 18c may also be manufactured in a tape or string application with predetermined intervals assigned to the stud layout for faster installation.

FIGS. 11 and 12 show a fifth embodiment. Components of this fifth embodiment which are the same as, or similar to, components of earlier embodiments will be given like numerical designations with a “d” suffix distinguishing those of this fifth embodiment.

This fifth embodiment is similar in some respects to the fourth embodiment and it has the two positioning members 42d and 44d. However, the horizontally extending member 46c, and the upwardly extending retaining member 48c, have been eliminated. This fifth embodiment could be used in various situations. For example, in this fifth embodiment there is no portion of the spacing element which is visible from the outside.

A sixth embodiment of the present disclosure will now be described with reference to FIGS. 13 and 14. Components of this sixth embodiment which are similar (or the same as) to components in the earlier embodiments will be given like numerical designations, with an “e” suffix added to distinguish those of the sixth embodiment.

The basic configuration of this embodiment is similar to the first embodiment, as shown in FIG. 3, but with some modifications. As in the first embodiment, there is a spacing element 18e which has a recess 20e formed in the bottom forward part of the spacing portions 21e and a retaining finger 22e. The finger 22e and a lower positioning portion 24e at a lower rear portion of the spacing element 18e form a downwardly facing slot 26e. However, the spacing element 18e of this sixth embodiment differs from the first embodiment in several ways.

First, the lower downwardly extending positioning portion 24e has a lowermost surface 60e which, instead of being substantially horizontally aligned, is formed as a forwardly and upwardly facing slanted surface 60e having a lower rear edge 62e and an upper front edge 64e. Thus, the lower positioning portion 24e has a wedge shape and is able to have its lower rear edge 62e enter into an area between a rear portion of the panel and the upper portion of a plank, so that as the spacing element 18e is pushed downwardly, the slanted surface 60e has a wedging action which pushes the upper edge of the plank forwardly from the back panels.

The spacing element or device 18e of this sixth embodiment also comprises a deflectable locating member 66e which has a rear end connecting location 68e where it connects to a forward surface 70e of the lower positioning portion 24e. The deflectable locating member 66e extends forwardly with a moderate upward slant.

This deflecting locating member 66e functions in a manner that when the spacing element 18e is pushed downwardly to engage the upper edge of the plank, first the plank is deflected forwardly, and then with further downward travel of the spacing element 18e, the upper edge of the plank engages the deflectable locating member 66e. The member 66e is sufficiently stiff so that it will moderately resist a further downward pushing force, and the person who is inserting the spacing element 18e will feel this resistance which will be a signal to that person that the positioning element 18e is at the proper elevation to form the gap, as shown in FIG. 2 at 19, into which the upper edge of the plank can expand when it is absorbing moisture.

Also, the forward surface 72e of the upper portion of the spacing element 18e has a slight downward and forward slant which is a very moderate deviation from a vertical plane so that the surface 72e would be at substantially the same slant as the upper rear surface portion of the plank that is being installed.

FIGS. 13A and 14A correspond to FIGS. 13 and 14, but without the numerical designations, and these illustrate various dimensional representations of the disclosure in one form. These are placed on separate figures (i.e. FIGS. 13A and 14A) simply to make the drawings less cluttered. In this particular embodiment, the dimensions “a” through “h” which are shown are the following:

Dimension a 2¼″

Dimension b 1½″

Dimension c ⅜″

Dimension d ½″

Dimension e ¼″

Dimension f ⅜″

Dimension g ⅜″

Dimension h ⅜″

Obviously, each of these dimensions could be selectively increased or decreased, depending upon a variety of considerations. For example, the dimension “h” which is the depth of the thickness dimension of the lower positioning portion end 24e could be modified depending on the desired depth of the spacing. Also, the relative dimensions could be modified, so that the vertical dimension, the lateral dimension and the forward to rearward thickness dimension could be in different sizes and ratios of dimensions. In general, any one of these dimensions or the ratios of any of these dimensions could be increased by 20%, 50%, 100%, 200%, 300%, 400%, 500%, or greater depending upon various circumstances, or decreased by 90%, 80%, 70%, 60%, 50%, 40%, 30%, 20% or less. These same dimensions and dimension ranges could also apply to the other embodiments.

Reference will now be made to FIGS. 15 and 15A to describe a seventh embodiment of the present invention. This seventh embodiment is used with a type of siding planks which are commonly identified as “shiplap”. In FIG. 15, there is shown a portion of a siding structure 80f, comprising two adjacent vertically aligned planks 82f, which are placed in overlapping relationship. These planks 82f have their lengthwise axes vertically aligned, and FIG. 15 is a sectional view taken along a horizontal plane cutting through the two planks 82f, showing the components being spaced from their operating position a short distance from one another.

Each plank 82f comprises a main plank portion 84f which in cross sections has a rectangular configuration. Each plank 84f has a pair of oppositely positioned side edges. One side has a back laterally extending edge extension 86f which forms with the main body portion 84f an adjacent front edge recess 88f, and at the opposite end there is a front edge extension 90f having an adjacent rear recess 92f.

It can be seen that in their erected operating position, each forward edge extension 90f of one plank fits into a front recess 88f of an adjacent plank. In like manner, the back edge extension 86f fits into a recess 92f in overlapping relationship.

The seventh embodiment comprises a spacing element 94f which comprises a main body portion 96f which has a configuration of a rectangular prism having a forward surface 98f and a rear surface 100f.

Each spacing element 94f also comprises a positioning member 102f which is shown somewhat schematically as having a planar configuration. Each positioning member 102f comprises a rear edge portion 104f which attaches to the forward surface 98f of the main body portion 96f, and a forward edge portion 106f which extends into the space which is formed by a surface 108f of a recess 88f and an adjacent surface 110f of an adjacent back edge extension 86f. Thus, the positioning member 102f is retained between these surfaces 110f and 92f. Other configurations of the positioning member 102f could be used.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 16 and 17 to show an eighth embodiment which is shown in FIG. 17. This eighth embodiment of FIG. 17 is similar in some respects to the fifth embodiment shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, but with a slight modification. Accordingly, the basic components of the fifth embodiment shown in FIG. 11 are shown in FIG. 16, but with adding a few changes with other numerical designations that are not present in FIG. 11, and all of these have a “d” suffix. Components of FIG. 17 which are similar to (or the same as) corresponding components in FIGS. 16, 11 and 12, will be given like numerical designations, but with a “g” suffix distinguishing those of the eighth embodiment shown in FIG. 17.

In FIG. 16, there are shown two overlapping planks 16d having the spacers 18d. The spacer 18d has the spacing portion 21d and the positioning portion 25d. The positioning portion 25d in turn comprises a horizontally extending member 42d and a vertically downwardly extending member 44d. The spacing portion 21d can be considered as having a forward surface 110d and a back surface 112d. Each panel 16d can be considered as having a back surface 114d.

In the configuration of FIG. 16, the two surfaces 110d and 112d are parallel to one another. In like manner, the rear surface 114d is substantially parallel to the front surface 116d. The result is that there is a small downwardly expanding gap 117d between the surface 110d and the surface 118d. The problem with this is that sometimes when a force is exerted against one of the planks 16d, parts of the plank 16d, such as corner portions which may be susceptible to higher loads, could break off.

To alleviate this, a change was made to that embodiment, and this is shown in FIG. 17. In discussing FIG. 17, the same numerical designations will be used as in the discussion of FIG. 16, but with a “g” suffix distinguishing those of this modified version of FIG. 17. Accordingly, a verbal description of each of the components that are also shown in FIG. 16 is not given, and reference is made only to those components which have been modified.

In FIG. 17, the front and back surfaces 110g and 112g of the spacing portion 21d are modified so that these do not run parallel to one another but have at least one of these surfaces 110g and 112g slanted slightly from a parallel configuration so that each spacing portion 21g is wider at the base than it is at the top. Thus, the back surface 112g will be bearing against the front surface of the wall 114g, and the front surface 110g of the spacing portion 21g is parallel to and fitting against the rear surface 118g of its adjacent plank 16g.

A ninth embodiment of the present invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. 18 through 22.

In recent years, there has been a growing concern of the problem of protecting homes from brush fires and other fire hazards. As a result, many building envelopes are moving toward exterior fire barriers for protection against such structure fires, and fire resistant sidings and non-combustible sidings are already in the market. However, in some cases, the sidings transfer excessive heat to the structure. This results in the combustion of the subsiding components, and then leads to the structure fire itself. This ninth embodiment is designed to reduce heat transfer from the siding to the subsiding, which would delay combustion of the subsiding.

Components of this ninth embodiment which are the same as, or similar to, components of earlier components will be given like-numerical designations, with an “h” suffix distinguishing those of the present embodiment. Thus, with reference to FIG. 21, there are, as in prior embodiments, the wall structure 10h, panels 16h, the spacing elements 18h, and as needed nails 17h.

In accordance with some of the fundamental goals of the embodiments of the invention, the spacing elements 18h perform their spacing and positioning functions. However, beyond this the spacing elements are designed to reduce heat transfer from the siding to the subsiding so that this would delay combustion of the subsiding.

More specifically, in addition to providing the dead-air space which itself reduces the heat transfer, this ninth embodiment reduces direct contact of much of the structure of the spacing elements with the panels and the subsiding and further assists circulation of air by means of through openings.

To describe the spacing elements 18h, reference is first made to FIG. 18 which shows a “laid-flat condition” (or in other terms a “pre-folded condition”) spacing element 18h. This spacing element 18h comprises a rectangular center portion 120h having four sides. There are three flat support flanges 122h, 124h and 126h which are joined at juncture locations 128h of the rectangular center portion.

Then there is a fourth flat flange 130h which functions as a positioning member 130h, and this is also connected to the rectangular center portion at its juncture location 132.

To form this pre-fold configuration of the spacing member 18h into its operating configuration, the three support flanges are bent 90° in one direction about their respective juncture locations 128h to the configuration shown in FIG. 19. Then the fourth flange 130h is bent 90° in the opposite direction along its juncture line 130h to form the positioning member 130h. The center plate portion 120h has a circular opening 134h which functions as a nail access opening. Also the flanges 122h through 126h and 130h have openings 136h for ventilation.

This spacing element 118h can be made from a corrosion resistant metal. Alternatively, it could possibly be manufactured from materials such as fire-treated products or non-combustible materials with a high melting temperature. Obviously, the manufacture of this spacing member 18h from its pre-fold condition could possibly be accomplished in other ways. Also, the size and relative dimensions of these spacing elements 18h could, of course, vary substantially, depending upon the characteristics of the structure with which these are used and other factors.

To describe now the manner in which the siding panels of this ninth embodiment are applied to the wall structure 10h, reference is made to FIGS. 21A, 21B, and 22. In FIG. 22, the location of the spacing elements 18h are shown, and these are the same as, or similar to, the locations associated with the earlier embodiments.

FIG. 21A shows the lower-most panel 16h is installed by first providing two or more of the spacing elements 18h along with a lower spacing member 138h and nailing these to the wall 10h. Then the lowermost panel 16h is placed in a position shown in FIG. 21A, and the spacing element 18h is positioned at the top edge portion of the panel 16h with the spacing element 18h being supported by the positioning flange 130h. Then the upper end of the panel 18h and the spacing element 18h are nailed in place. The same procedure is followed as shown in FIG. 21B.

Various modifications could be made to these embodiments within the broader teachings of the present invention.

While the embodiments of the present invention are illustrated by description of several embodiments and while the illustrative embodiments are described in detail, it is not the intention of the applicants to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications within the scope of the appended claims will readily appear to those skilled in the art. The invention in its broader aspects is therefore not limited to the specific details, representative apparatus and methods, and illustrative examples shown and described. Accordingly, departures may be made from such details without departing from the spirit or scope of applicants' general concept.