There are various options available for timber cladding, Western red cedar is among the most popular softwoods used today. It has a natural resistance to decay and moisture absorption, meaning it can typically be installed without treatment. It's also the most stable of the softwoods, subject to little movement once installed, and its low resin content means it can be readily stained or painted. However, it is susceptible to being dented if knocked.
Doulglas Fir is another popular choice. UK grown Douglas fir may require a protective coating to improve durability. Scottish and Scandinavian larch is denser than western red cedar, making it more resilient to knocks.
Green oak will naturally weather with age to a silver-grey colour and has the advantage that no further maintenance will usually be required for anywhere between 25 to 100 years. Sweet chestnut is another hardwood choice. Both oak and sweet chestnut contain high tannin levels which can leach out resulting in dark streaks.
Treated and Composite Timber
There are also an emerging group of thermally modified timbers such as ThermoWood, Accoya, Thor, Kebony, Keywood and PlatoWood. These are created by a process that typically involves heating less durable softwoods such as pine in order to remove moisture and resin. The timber may also be injected with chemicals. The result is a very durable and stable product.
New and Emerging Cladding Systems
there are numerous cladding systems which offer alternatives to natural timber. These materials and can be effective way of introducing colour, texture and interest to elevations and are particularly effective over larger areas and in breaking elevations. These include:
- Metallic (Steel, Zinc, Copper)
- Vinyl (uPVC)
- Glass (self-cleaning, etched etc.)
- Bio Cladding (green walling & Sedum)