Types of wood and cladding used in garden buildings
Posted by on 29 August 2013 02:11 PM

Types of wood and cladding used in Garden Buildings


This short article will help to explain the types of cladding used in sheds, summerhouses etc.   Please see our product range of Wooden Sheds and Summerhouses for a selection of our products


Types of wood used in the cladding construction


Planed Deal standard wood:  This is a standard cladding and is usually pine of various grades depending on the manufacturer of the shed.  Wood is graded according to its intended uses and does vary greatly.  Most shed construction will use a tongue and grooved (T&G) board.  The boards are slotted together and generally this is a better form of construction as it is less likely the boards will move and eventually open up.  Shiplap, feather edge is also used whereby the boards overlap each other, this generally makes for a cheaper building and there is a greater risk of curling of the boards.  Feather edge can be very attractive in a rustic environment and we do use this method when a customer requires this but generally we use a far greater thickness.


Tanalised, Pressure Treated timber: This is a forced treatment into the wood and gives the shed a green tinge but is really worth as its thorough treatment and will give the shed maintenance free for about 10 years and on most occasions even longer. This is great if the shed will be placed next to a fence or wall where you can't get round the side. Any timber can be tanalised but if it is not dried out correctly it can cause a great deal of shrinkage.  We have found that a cladding of 22mm is excellent for tanalised wood and performs well with little or no shrinkage once allowed to dry properly before manufacture.  Tanalised sheds or buildings are a greenish hue but can be painted, stained as appropriate once the building has weathered for about 3-6 months.


Cedar - This is a darker finish in colour to the other materials but looks really lovely and smells divine! Due to the inherent natural properties of cedar the building will last for years.  Cedar products, if left unfinished will turn a silvery grey for a rustic, weathered look, which some people prefer. However, the use of a quality stain can enhance both its good looks and its natural durability. It responds beautifully to oil-based stains in your choice of tinted transparent finishes for a natural effect, or lightly pigmented semi-transparent finishes. Look for a coating that offers good mildew protection and ultraviolet shielding properties as well as additional preservatives to protect its youthful complexion. Varnishes and other film-forming coatings can crack, peel and are not recommended for use on Cedar.


Other features of Cedar:


·Rich grain and vibrant colour·Excellent dimensional stability & endurance


·All weather building material, red cedar contains natural oils that act as preservatives to help the wood resist insects and decay


·Non-toxic, making it safe for all uses


·Cedar requires no chemical treatment unless the wood is in direct contact with the ground


·Cedar is best known for its distinctive attractive aroma.  Over time the wood remains subtly aromatic and the characteristic fragrance adds another dimension to the universal appeal of cedar timber buildings.


Other Claddings:


We have used several different types, oak is stunning and like cedar will last forever, we have it cut to any profile the customer requires and is usually used within studios, offices or accommodations.  This is an example of one of our Oak Studios.  Routed MDF or marine grade ply is also used depending on the effect you are looking for and of course longevity.  As an example these Offices use marine grade ply as an external cladding




Cladding Thicknesses:


The standard thickness of most cladding used in 12mm.  However, please note that when talking about wood this is the nominal thickness, this means that the wood used prior to planning is 12mm, the finished size is normal a few mm less.  12mm cladding is usually suitable for most uses when used as a standard shed or summerhouse.  Many people like to use their building as an office or studio, for this to be the case we would recommend that they are insulated.  In this case 12mm cladding is really not suitable mainly due to expansion problems.  The outside and inside temperature variations can be great and 12mm is not really suited to this.




19mm and 22mm.  A better cladding of a substantial thickness and ideally suited to heavy duty uses such as workshops or if you intend to insulate the building.  19mm is usually used in floor and 22m for the walls.




Types of Wood used


Wood used in the construction of sheds and summerhouses does vary considerably.  Most of them will all be advertised as pine but the quality can be so very different between each manufacturer.  The quality is mainly dependant on the grade of wood and its source.  Wood supplied from quick growing trees is not very dense and is liable to warping, cracking and rotting when compared to slow grown wood which is far denser and more resistant to rot.   Generally the more expensive the shed or summerhouse the better the quality of wood is.  Another consideration is the grade of the wood used, cheaper manufacturers pick a lower grade which basically means a greater number of knots and more defects in the wood.

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