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.
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.