A home possessing timber cladding has a certain elegance to it.
However, like all exteriors, it will need to be maintained regularly to keep up its appearance and prepare the timber for periodic recoating that it may need.
Using exterior timber cladding is essentially providing a protective layer of material that separates a building’s structure and interior from the outside elements, including sound and weather.
Exterior cladding is effective at protecting against solar damage, temperature, water and wind.
The number of UK residents using timber cladding is rising.
And rightly so, as it is an incredibly appealing material, it is durable, environmentally friendly and sustainable. Using exterior timber cladding is a great simple way to give a building a facelift.
We’ve decided to take a look into what the UK is choosing in regards to timber cladding.
There are three popular timber cladding woods that all share the same qualities: they weather beautifully and fade to a soft, stylish silver after five or so years.
Western red cedar timber cladding
This particular cladding is a softwood, and notably, one of the most popular choices of timber cladding in the UK. When using the wood from the centre of a tree (heartwood), you are saving yourself a little bit of initial maintenance, as it possesses a naturally occurring chemical transformation, thus making it more resistant to decay.
The wood holds natural oils which can corrode iron-rich metals, so it is advised to use galvanised or stainless steel fixings. Be aware that the wood should be used in places where heavy damage is unlikely.
European oak timber cladding
European oak is a hardwood which is ideal for external cladding projects. Green oak is best used when you want to achieve a rustic, wavy-edged finish. In comparison to dry oak there is much better value for money. Note that green oak can shrink up to 7% once it has dried out, thus why it is often used in short lengths and requires a fast installation.
A common use of dry oak is for profiled cladding sections. The wood is frequently used untreated as it is quite rugged and hardwearing. However, in wet conditions, it is prone to water stains and can leak tannin. You may want to use stainless steel fixings with this particular wood.
Sweet chestnut timber cladding
Another hardwood, sweet chestnut will not need any initial treatment as long as the heartwood is used.
This external timber cladding is popular because of its durable and satble nature. Also, as the tree has a fast growth cycle, the wood is particularly sustainable, taking only 20-25 years to mature in comparison to oak and larch which takes up to 50-100 years.
Similar to European oak, sweet chestnut will stain when wet and leaks tannin, so it s wise to use stainless steel fixings.
Timber Shiplap Cladding are able to provide you with timber cladding solutions for all of your needs.
Following the installation of exterior timber cladding, you’ll want to ensure it stays in its best condition.
The best advice that can be given is that it should be treated prior to being fitted, if it needs the treatment, that is. We advise using a coating that is both UV and water resistant, and that will allow the timber to breathe. Generally, opaque coatings will require maintenance more often.
It is wise to avoid any paint, as this will form a film on the surface of the wood and will bubble up. Be sure to, instead, use a penetrating product which would only require a good wood clean first.
Lastly, ensure you are keeping an eye on your timber cladding and acting when you see something that doesn’t look quite right.
Remember that there isn’t a natural product that will not require maintenance. There are certain woods that are more durable than others, such as cedar.
Our timber cladding products have up to 15 years against rotting!
There are two different types of wood that people refer to when talking about timber: softwood and hardwood.
Although the names may suggest, this has nothing to do with the density of the wood. Some softwoods can be harder than some hardwood. The name solely comes from the tree the wood comes from.
Softwood is the wood that is extracted from coniferous trees that keep their foliage all year round. Common softwood trees are pine and fir which can be found in cooler areas of the globe.
The advantages of softwood is generally easier manipulate and has a variety of uses. Softwood is the prime wood for a lot of structural work and can be found in furniture as well as window and door frames.
Hardwood will generally come from broadleaved trees. Typically, these are native British trees such as ash, beech and oak. There are significantly more hardwood species compared to softwood.
Hardwood trees are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves in the winter months. The wood, however, is incredibly resistant to decay when it is used for any exterior work. Previous hardwoods, especially tropical hardwoods, had been widely available, unfortunately, the supply has been restricted as a result of the concern for conserving tropical forests.
Did you know?: 80% of all timber comes from softwood.
You’ve opted for exterior timber cladding and had it installed; you’ll want your wood lasting as long as possible, right?
Below, we’ve listed how to avoid the common mistakes that are made in order for you to have longer-lasting exterior timber cladding.
– England has a moderately damp climate which will inevitably lead to moisture – avoid cladding either the north or east facing surfaces.
– Timing – in order to avoid any warping and curling of green or timber that has recently been cut, apply the cladding between October and April to stop one surface drying faster than the rest.
– Avoid the installation of cladding during or prior to a heatwave.
– It is better to opt for hardwood cladding as it is much more durable than soft wood and choose an experienced installer.
– When using a wood finish, you will need to adopt a maintenance cycle to keep up the appearance of the wood.
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.
Selecting the right timber for your decking is crucial for both practical and visual appeal reasons.
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.
There are a range of different materials to choose from when selecting wood for sheds or purchasing a garden shed or summerhouse.
Which is why it is important to understand the materials available at hand so to determine which is the most appropriate material for the purpose you would like it for.
Wooden and timber cladding seem to be a popular choice for garden buildings.
Timber looks very natural and is environmentally friendly, so it looks in place in a garden’s environment. It is aesthetically pleasing and boasts style.
Timber cladding for sheds – available in a variety of finishes:
Feather edge – the plank it thicker at the bottom and thinner towards the top, perfect for the overlapped look
Shiplap boards – these boards have a much smoother, appealing finish
Loglap cladding – similar to shiplap boards, however, the profile of loglap cladding has a curved outer face, mildly similar to that of a log cabin
Cedar cladding – very straight with a fine grain, commonly mistaken as hardwood
Plywood – a smooth and consistent finish but for exterior use ensure your plywood is pressure treated
Alternatives to wood for sheds:
The benefit of using metal and steel sheets for your sheds is the little maintenance they need.
Once assembled, the sheets provide a tough, robust structure, perfect for keeping belongings secure on the inside, however, there is the issue of condensation and the fact a treatment (electroplating) would only coat the exterior of the metal and could become damaged, which would expose the metal to the elements.
Although plastic, these sheds are commonly made with an internal metal frame with the plastic cladding secured to it.
Like metal, it’s a great material for maintenance as it only requires a wash over every now and then.
The main selling point of a concrete shed is in the name; the great strength it will no doubt possess.
Many concrete sheds come with a ten-year guarantee.
The choice of cladding is entirely based on personal preference and will it serve the purpose it is being bought for?
For flexibility, timber cladding will offer the most versatility as they come in an array of sizes, compared to it’s lesser materials which usually come in a set size.
To learn more about using timber wood for your garden shed, take a look at our blog on how to paint timber cladding.
For the perfect finish to your wooden shed or summerhouse, browse our range of timber doors and windows.
Please visit our website for further information about timber cladding and the products that we can offer you!