Timber cladding is back in style, and for good reason. It can transform the look of any structure, and can contribute to a building’s sustainable footprint. For those who lean strongly towards the green, timber cladding can be a great start. But how do you know which timber is the best to use?
Softwood Timber Cladding
Softwood’s a popular choice for cladding, it’s usually knot-free and looks great when finished. Western redcedar, for example, has a natural resistance to moisture absorption and decay, so it typically doesn’t need to be treated before it’s installed. But it’s not so great when it comes to knocks, softwoods tend to dent quite easily. Scottish and Scandinavian larch is better at coping with knocks, but may restrict the type of finish you can choose, or need pre-drilling which can increase costs.
Hardwood Timber Cladding
Oak and sweet chestnut are great choices if you’re after something that’s low maintenance. They’ll naturally weather as they age, although they can produce tannin streaks that do disappear but can take some years to weather away. These aren’t for you if you’re after a golden colour, as they’ll turn silver-grey as they age.
UK grown timbers may not be as durable as those grown in Canada and the US, but there are locally grown woods that may be suitable for your needs. If green is your reasoning behind using timber cladding, you’ll need to take into account the environmental cost of importing your chosen wood against the need for maintenance and treatment. Regardless of your source, make sure it’s from a sustainable and managed forest.
Not only are there a number of different timbers to choose from, but different styles too. From shingles, to tongue and grove to waney-edge fresh sawn, to factory finished – and everything in between.
If you’re interested in adding timber cladding to your home and are based in the Oxfordshire or Buckinghamshire area, why not get in touch to discuss your requirements.