Wood materials for sheds and summerhouses

Sheds and summerhouses are commonplace in gardens across the country.

But there’s probably a lot you don’t know about these garden buildings, including the variety of different types of timber cladding they can be made from!

The most common types of timber cladding used in the creation of sheds and summerhouses are shiplap, loglap, feather edge, plywood and cedar cladding, which are all available in a variety of finishes.

By understanding the differences between these types of materials, you can make sure to choose the most appropriate material for its purpose.

Shiplap cladding (shop now)

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.

Loglap timber cladding

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

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 (shop now)

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

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.

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 (shop now).

Why use Redwood Pine Timber?
Redwoods are typically grown in cooler climates and have a lot more tension because of the tighter grain.
We recommend this better quality timber because it’s easier to use, nice and clean. It also looks very pretty!

Do I need to use pressure-treated wood for a shed?
Pressure-treating is the process of immersing timber in a liquid preservative and placing it inside pressure chambers.
The benefits of pressure treating your wood are huge. Not only will it make the timber stronger and more durable, but also give you peace of mind knowing that any rain or moisture won’t be able to cause rot inside because there is no room for dampness in this type of environment!

If you’re still undecided, at NLC Timber we’re here to help! Why not give us a call or email us and we can advise you on the best timber cladding option for you.