Choosing timber as a cladding material is a popular choice and for good reason.
Timber cladding possesses many properties that make timber appealing, and we can see why; it’s natural, isn’t a heavy material, environmentally friendly and incredibly durable. You can find out more below!
Natural insulator: Timber has a cellular structure meaning it provides natural insulation. Even during the winter, heat will be retained inside the structure.
Lightweight: The fact that timber isn’t a heavy material is what makes it attractive. It’s light nature makes the transportation process simpler and when hiring a professional to install your cladding, the cost will be notably cheaper.
Environmentally friendly: Another attractive property of timber cladding is that it is a natural material. Timber cladding is a renewable source and biodegradable, thus the environmentally friendly nature. There is considerably more energy that is used up when manufacturing and producing any other cladding, such as metal or concrete.
Durability: Timber, specifically cedar, is very durable. If the cladding is installed properly and treated often it will have a long life. The wood is resistant to pollution, corrosion, heat and frost – the only factor that will need to be controlled is moisture.
Things to consider when choosing a timber decking are as follows:
Colour: Each timber product will have a different colour and each will provide differing atmospheres for any home or project.
Grading: The grade of the timber is essentially what the characteristics of the wood you choose are. This can cover the grain type, the colour variations that are highly likely, the size and quantity of the knots.
Softwood and hardwood: There will need to be consideration of your timber floors’ hardness varying on where it will be placed. There are two types of hardness: softwood and hardwood, both having different properties. Softwood is typically cedar, fir, pine and spruce, which are easier to work with and manipulate because of the low density, it is also cheaper and lighter than hardwood. Hardwood will typically be mahogany, oak and teak will naturally be denser than the softwood thus it being expensive.
Style: Ensure you outline what type of board you want, either wide board or 2 or a 3 strip floor that boasts a busier feel on the floor. When considering planks of wood, you can think of either accentuating them by having micro bevels, known as small grooves, on the longer edge or on all four of the edges, or you could have a flat surface.
Finish: The surface finish of your wood can vary from a hard shiny surface or a subtly less-than-obvious sheen, again you can choose whether to feel the grain of the wood or opt for a smooth surface.
There are many considerations that should be looked at prior to installing timber decking, as shown above.
When cleaning wood and similar materials, most cleaning techniques involve a form of air blasting.
By using specifically designed units that blast different types of grit at the material to clean in question, and altering the pressure and amount of ‘grit’ so to not damage any delicate materials. Grits can vary from very soft, which could be baking powder used for cleaning window frames without inflicting damage on the glass, to harder grits like fine glass grit which would be used on timber.
Some methods use water for cleaning, some manufacturers claiming it cuts problems with dust, which it does, but fine grit and material being removed would easily be ingrained in the substrate and would be almost impossible to remove afterwards.
Timber and timber decking should be brushed to remove any dirt, debris or leaves, then proceed onto a pressure washer and then allow to dry for one or two days. Once your timber has completely dried, apply a varnish or timber protector and allow to dry also.
Shiplap cladding is traditionally used for the construction of garden sheds and summerhouses, getting its name from its unique design.
Taking inspiration from the method in which ships were built centuries ago, the boards in shiplap cladding construction overlap each other, which forms a watertight surface, meaning it can withstand harsh climates.
Each board has what’s called a ‘rabbet’ (a recess) that is cut into the top and bottom of the board, which allows them to be fitted together perfectly, preventing any leakage. This means this style is also very low maintenance, drying very quickly after it’s rained.
This superior protection occurs due to the ‘channel’ that is created in its construction, allowing the boards to contract and expand without warping. Not only does this offer a number of benefits, but it also creates a shadow line effect, which adds a smooth, neat finish to any garden building.
Although very similar to shiplap cladding, ‘loglap timber cladding’ is well known for its rustic look, making it the perfect choice for style conscious homeowners.
From the outside, loglap timber mimics that of a log, which can often recreate the look of a log cabin when used effectively. The boards are then designed to have a flat back, which allows for them to be securely fixed to the wall of a garden building.
Loglap timber cladding is usually made using ‘tongue and groove’ joints, which refers to the interlocking style of the boards, which allows them to be firmly attached to each other.
Feather edge timber cladding is traditionally used more for its design benefits, as opposed to its overall look.
You can easily spot a feather edge design as it’s usually thicker at the bottom, and thinner towards the top, which gives it the overlapped look it’s most known for.
This tapered finish is created by the boards being sawn on a diagonal angle, which means it’s a perfect solution for protection against the weather.
Plywood is the most economical timber cladding available, so is very often used as a building material to lower costs.
Plywood doesn’t crack when exposed to moisture, and being very strong, it has many uses including for external walls, furniture and flooring to name a few.
As it’s made into a sheet material, manufactured by gluing together layers of veneer, plywood creates an overall smooth and consistent finish. If you are thinking of using plywood for external use, it’s important that each board is pressure treated to ensure it’s weather protected.
Cedar cladding has its own very distinctive style, although is the least common in the construction of garden buildings.
You’d notice cedar cladding on a shed or summerhouse as the timber used is very straight, has a fine grain and is very commonly mistaken for hardwood.
So, which wood material should I choose?
With the majority of these timber options all being suitable for use outdoors, the main deciding factor will usually be the look you want for your garden or summerhouse.
Shiplap cladding is usually used for garden sheds as its superior protection means for little upkeep, yet it still has a neat appearance that looks lovely in any garden.
For summerhouses, feather edge timber cladding creates a lovely effect that adds a stylish finish to any garden building. As it also has suitable weather protection, it’s the perfect summerhouse option as it will stay looking as good as new for a long period of time.
Timber cladding is an incredibly diverse building material, so why should you use it in your home?
Timber cladding is one of a number of options available to builders who are choosing which material to implement into their roofing and insulation plans when building a home. There are a number of advantages that timber cladding can provide, providing more benefits than steel, PVC and even aluminium. Read our blog to find out exactly what benefits timber cladding can bring you in your construction plans.
Lightweight – In comparison with its building material rivals, timber is incredibly lightweight when compared with steel and concrete. The massive decrease in weight will allow for savings, helping builders put the necessary funds into other areas of the building project, which will produce a higher quality build. The lightweight nature provides a viable material for roof covering, reducing the overall weight of the home even further.
Flexible – Timber cladding is a very flexible material, holding the ability to be cut and crafted to fit almost any design that is desired. The cladding also has a natural flex to it, where as it can withstand many situations where concrete and brick would crack and crumble. The flexibility of timber helps builders to create windows and archways seamlessly blend in with the rest of the construction plans.
Insulation – Timber cladding provides natural insulation for the home it is inside, unlike steel and aluminium, which requires large amounts of insulation in the walls. It removes the need for masonry walls in between the siding and inner walls, which will further reduce the costs.
Environmentally friendly – Despite popular belief, the use of timber as a building option in home is one of the most environmentally friendly construction options that are available today. Other materials of construction, such as aluminium and steel, create over ten times the amount of carbon emissions than it does to harvest timber.
A timber cladding exterior of a home acts as a form of protection from moisture and air penetration.
Builders have been utilising wood cladding since the late eighteenth-century until they began implementing modern construction techniques.
There are few styles of timber claddings, but those that are offer unique character:
Tapered Lap Timber Cladding
Tapered Lap Timber Cladding has a certain tapered thickness at the very top of the cladding with a widened bottom. Cladding is installed horizontally with a 30mm overlap on each of the pieces. It is then nailed to the walls just above the overlap.
This particular cladding has the same taper to it as lap cladding, however the top and bottom are notched, thus allowing the pieces to fit together when they are installed. The overlap will be approximately 15mm and again, the cladding will be nailed to the wall just above the cladding overlap.
Shiplap Timber Cladding
Shiplap Timber Cladding has a notched overlap and a slight angle after the notch for that extra touch of character. This siding would be nailed directly through the face of the siding with two nails with a 25mm overlap.
Chamferbaord Timber Cladding
Also known as Dutchlap, the installation design is notched with the top shaped at a long angle of about 10 degrees. An overlap of approximately 12mm will be integrated into the design and will be nailed through the face of the of the siding ensuring it’s secured into the walls.
There are many rumors circling the scene about log cabin maintenance, but we’re going to put them to bed and tell your the truth behind a few.
Log cabin maintenance takes up a lot of time – MYTH
It doesn’t have to! If you plan ahead and design your cabin the correct way, you can save yourself a lot of work – large overhangs, porches, proper landscaping, and tall foundations will prevent maintenance nightmares. Of course, log cabins aren’t exactly the most conventional home, so it will definitely require non-conventional maintenance, but as long as you’re prepared, the difficult maintenance can be planned for and prevented.
Log cabins have mould problems – MYTH
Most surfaces have mould problems, and all or them can do. It’s all down to moisture, and shading trees, dripping roof-lines and back-splash are all contributions to your mould problem. If you keep your logs dry and avoid excess moisture exposure, they’ll last a life time.
Cracks in log cabins are an issue – MYTH
Cracks are a natural thing that happens to logs and aren’t anything to worry about, especially down the sides of your log cabin. If cracks are found on the topside of the log cabin where rain and snow can get in – make sure that cracks are treated with borate rods, are stained and then caulked.