Breckenridge is a type of plywood made by Roseburg Lumber Products in Oregon. We purchase the material and then mill it to match the Thinline or Plank-Tex patterns. The face of this product is made out of Mahogany and has no patches, or "football" repairs. It is really the only option if you desire to use an exterior stain instead of painting. Of course it can be painted as well.
There are some advantages and drawbacks to Breckenridge vs. MDO. That is why we offer both choices for Thinline.
Advantages: Breckenridge is 5/8" thick and therefore has a greater shear strength then 1/2" MDO. Though it is slightly rough sawn, it does present a real wood grain pattern which some people prefer. It is also more readily available in 4X8, and 4X10 sizes, and not just the most commonly used 4X9 size. (Many homes need a size which measures 8' 4" or close to that. This is why our most popular size is 4X9) Many installers like using Breckenridge vs. MDO because it also cuts and nails easier. MDO tends to be a bit brittle on the surface which is why it also tends to weather better.
Disadvantages: Breckenridge tends to have more voids show up within the grooves that are milled to make Eichler Siding. Voids result when the original lumber mill makes the plywood sheet. Plywood is made out of layers or "plys" of very thin sheets. When sheets beneath the surface do not match perfectly, and then a groove is milled in the sheet, a void will result. These voids are very common in all types of plywood that is made today. The exception is MDO which has a thicker top layer. The voids can be filled with a good quality caulk by your painter. Some people simply leave the voids open and hope the paint will plug them. We recommend that they be filled before the siding is painted. A professional painter can give you some good tips on how best to do this.
Our customers are equally divided over which material is best, Breckenridge, or MDO. Consider your situation. Discuss these issues with your contractor and painter, and then make your decision. Keep in mind that we have had very good results with both products.
For more information including the APA rating for Breckenridge click here.