Timber cladding has a beautiful, timeless appeal that makes continues to make it a popular choice for exterior walls and sheds.

It has a number of benefits that make it a suitable option for use outdoors, including being a natural insulator, lightweight and durable.

All these factors mean it can be used in a variety of locations, making it a useful material across the home or for building work.

But, with so many options to choose from, there can be some common mistakes when it comes to choosing the timber cladding that's best for you.

So, the experts here at Shiplap Timber have highlighted the key factors to be aware of, the different types of timber cladding, and the mistakes to avoid when installing your timber cladding option.

So, let's start from the beginning.

What is timber cladding?

Timber cladding is the process used to 'clad' buildings with high-quality timber to create a stunning, natural finish.

Otherwise known as 'weather boards', timber cladding is used by both builders and architects not only to provide sufficient durability, but to also create that beautiful effect that timber cladding is well known for.

Timber cladding can last for many, many years and most options today are environmentally friendly.

What are the different types of timber cladding?

There are also a number of different timber cladding styles, which differ due to the size of the overlap.

Chamferboard timber cladding has the smallest overlap of all the timber cladding boards available, at just 12mm. You may have heard the term 'Dutchlap' used to describe this type of board, and you may notice the distinct shape of this style; it is notched with the top of the board shaped at an angle of around 10 degrees.

Notched Lap timber cladding also has a small overlap, one of around 15mm, and both the top and bottom of the board are notched. This design element allows the pieces to easily fit together during installation.

Shiplap timber typically has an overlap of around 25mm, and again has a notched overlap, paired with a slight angle after the notch, for a stylistic element.

Tapered Lap timber cladding has the longest overlap of around 30 mm. This type of timber cladding has a tapered thickness at the top of the board, but also has a widened bottom to create that signature 'tapered' style.

And with so many different styles and patterns to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which option is the best for you. And what's even harder is the fact that so many different mistakes can also occur when installing timber cladding.

So, to help you make sure you don't make any mistakes when installing timber cladding, here are our top timber cladding mistakes, and how you can best avoid them.

What are the most common mistakes with timber cladding?

Timber cladding is, of course, a great choice for use in internal and external cladding.

But, as we mentioned earlier in this blog post, there are some mistakes that can occur when deciding on the option that's best for you.

Read our top tips to understand what to look out for when purchasing your timber cladding:

Tip 1 - Be selective with your timber cladding location

Living in the UK, you'll understand the fluctuating weather we are so used to experiencing throughout the year. Of course, being in a damp climate, certain areas of our garden can often be plunged into darkness or in constant shade, which can lead to damp and other issues.

It is believed that it is best to avoid using cladding in areas facing the east or north, as they are less likely to see daylight, which can add moisture to the wood.

This can, of course, run the risk of rotting the timber, meaning it won't last for as long as possible.

Tip 2 - Feel the pressure

Nobody likes feeling pressured; expect for timber cladding.

As we mentioned in Tip 1, the UK is a damp climate, which means any outdoor timber products can quickly be made vulnerable to the elements.

With this in mind, we would say it is essential to ensure you purchase pressure treated timber cladding. Although it's more expensive than non-treated alternatives, it certainly works out more cost-effectively when weather-beaten standard boards succumb to the damp UK climate.

Pressure-treated timber is treated with special chemicals would ensure they are durable and can easily stand the test of time.

Pressure-treating your timber also ensures that your boards are less likely to deal with rot, which can, of course, see you changing the timber more regularly if you go for a cheaper alternative.

Tip 3 - Stay out of the heat

Although we're not used to heatwaves in the UK, a few weeks of the year we can experience intense, hot weather that many of us weren't expecting.

When it comes to installing your timber cladding, we'd recommend listening in to the news to see if you can be expecting hot weather, as this can greatly impact the installation process.

Tip 4 - A hard choice?

You may not be aware, but you can actually purchase hardwood and softwood cladding.

They both have their positives and negatives, but in most cases we would recommend hardwood cladding as it often lasts longer than softwood.

If you need more advice on which option is best for your application, we would recommend speaking with an experienced installer who can explain which is most suited to your location.

Tip 5 - Maintain the grain

Remembering to stay on top maintaining your timber cladding probably isn't high on the priority list. But, making sure to protect your cladding is essential to ensure it stands the test of time.

If you decide to pay out for pressure-treated boards, having to treat them won't need to be a priority for a while, as they have already been protected ahead of installation.

We would recommend doing this once or twice a year though, using a protective coating that is UV and water-resistant to ensure your boards stay looking as good as new for longer.

Tip 6 - Do your research

Timber cladding is a wonderful material that certainly looks beautiful and can stand the test of time when protected. But, that means it does come with a price tag.

When it comes to making your selection, it's best to shop around to understand exactly what you're looking for; budget and style-wise.

By understanding the size of your project, you can easily work out what you'd be expected to pay out and you can do your research to find a price that best suits your intended budget.

As we mentioned in Tip 2, it's important to not just opt for the cheapest alternative though, as this may not stand the test of time, and may see you paying out more in the long-term.

Tip 7 - Don't try installing timber cladding yourself

Whether you're an avid DIYer or just starting out, we would only recommend a professional installer takes on a timber cladding installation project.

Timber cladding isn't the easiest of materials to install, and if not correctly installed can mean the cladding won't stand the test of time, allowing moisture in easily through any gaps.

A trained expert can get timber cladding up and running in no time at all, so we would recommend seeking out an experienced installer, even if you feel like you can take on the job.

Need some more expert help and advice with your timber cladding installation?

Get in touch with the experts at Shiplap Timber for more information and help on which timber cladding is best suited for its purpose by calling us on 01377 254930 or send us an email on nlctimber@hotmail.com.