I'm building a unique home based on four glu-lam wood arches 40' across and a 4" thick cedar T&G roof deck; all recycled from a building slated for demolition. I've reused these parts for maximum space; employing conventional frame walls at the gable ends and building on two levels with the upper level comprising a loft type space on three sides. The open south side is thus clear span and unobstructed space thirty feet high in the center. The 4" thick timberdeck would be unaffordable today. I'm also using a hybred building tech. that is largely commercial grade with steel posts abd deck supporting the 1,800 ft. sq. loft. This was for using a radiant heat in masonry system. Since the building is in plan a simple rectangle, it will appear from the outside as a converted barn (all the new McMansions have very complex roofs). I'm using 4/4 rough cypress board and batten on the upper story and stone on the lower. All in all very cool and dramatic.
Question: What should I use behind the cypress siding, Cedar Breather or furring strips? Are there any cheaper products that will accomplish the same ventilation of the rear of the boards? Must I paint the reverse of the boards? Do you prefer an oil or latex stain for the wood?