Timber cladding your house
Timber cladding is an ever popular method of giving your home a new look. It’s currently on trend and one of the top tips for giving your house a fresh contemporary feel. In the UK, we remain loyal to our standardised architect designed houses, but there are options available to make your home stand out from the crowd. It’s a straightforward option and is simple to do.
Timber Cladding – Go Simple
Arnold Laver offers some fantastic choices on cladding and our recent blog gives you the low down on cladding solutions for the 21st century. It can also direct you to your planning portal to check whether you need permission to add cladding. It’s vital you check this ahead of commitment so you’re confident you have the necessary authority. If you choose to go down the natural wood route, then our helpful hints on how to get your cladding spot on will help you add that fresh new look to your house and help you get it right the first time. Remember, you can always have cladding as a feature, and less may be best.
Choosing the natural wood look for your cladding? We have a variety of suitable woods from which to choose and you can be assured of their sustainability credentials. Pine is excellent value and practical; Larch – ever popular – is a superb durable softwood; Western Red Cedar – again one of the most popular woods for cladding; the exceptionally durable Accoya; Thermowood, thermally modified for increased stability; a variety of Hardwoods including Cumaru, Red Louro and Ipe, and a range of premium Redwood cladding. Our knowledgeable teams will be able to give you guidance and information to help you decide and get it right.
The weathered look is currently very popular, where wood is allowed to respond to the elements and your cladding may take on a silvered look. Varnish, paints and oils are always an option, but remember you will need to keep on top of the finish so your house retains its tip-top look. Now that’s worth considering in those harder to reach areas.
Carefully measure the space which you’d like to clad, and ensure you order sufficient wood. Also measure for batons, which should be 38mm high by 50mm wide if you’re covering over brickwork. It might seem obvious, but keep to hand a pencil and a vacuum cleaner. You will also need nails or pins, a saw, a power drill, a combination square and right angle square, a spirit level, a hammer, a sander or sandpaper, and wood filler. Always make sure you are safe at heights when cladding – a second person is good to have to hand! Remember too, if your cladding is a feature, you might want to consider framing the cladding so measure up and order mouldings to keep it neat.
Batons are Key
The positioning of your batons is key and these need to be firmly attached to your wall. Factor in external features and remember to retain access where necessary. Vents and pipes will always need to be clear, and wires at least accessible. Be very careful when affixing your batons that you avoid any electrical elements. TV aerial wires are often attached to a wall, so watch out for those. Once the baton frame is in place, start to attach your cladding from the most prominent edge, so if you’re going vertical start left to right, and bottom to top if you’re going horizontal and overlapping your cladding.
Horizontal, Vertical or Patterned
Traditional timber cladding often takes on a horizontal format, with the wood predominantly used to protect the exterior wall of the house offering additional shelter from the elements. This is the same for some of the oldest structures in the country, such as agricultural buildings and houses predominantly in the south of our country and on the coast. Today, cladding is used horizontally, vertically and even both! Whatever you do is your call and some patterned cladding can be very effective when it is a feature.
Make sure you think about your pattern and map it out ahead of attaching the batons so you know where the timbers will need support. If you’re going for a shadow-gap between the wood (usually around 10mm), then remember to factor this in when you’re measuring and planning the batons, and think about the wall behind. If you’re going for the weathered look, you’ll get that silvered look in approximately 18 months’ time.
Whatever you choose is individual to you and your house, but cladding done properly can certainly add a dash of the contemporary to a home and ensure it certainly stands out from the crowd.
For more information on timber options, visit our dedicated cladding page