CHOICES FOR EXTERIOR WOOD CLADDING
POSTED IN: MAY 25, 2012 BY EMILIO BONILLA | NO COMMENTS
The exterior of a home says a lot about the people who live there. The surfaces that form the exterior of a home — such as the wall, windows, doors and trim — are referred to as cladding. Different types of exterior wood cladding are available to finish the look of a home as well as to provide protection against the elements.
When it comes to walls, there are many siding materials that can be used. These range from stucco to masonry to wood products, such as shingles, shakes, plywood, and hardboard. Additionally, vinyl as well as fiber-cement can be used here. Water resistance is an important part of exterior wood cladding, as is thermal insulation features. Wood siding is typically held in place by nails, being attached through building paper and sheathing to structural members, like studs.
Since water damage can be a significant threat, having the wood siding materials be at least 8 inches above grade should be followed as a matter of course. Siding materials too close to grade are usually the results of poor original construction or the grade levels having been changed during landscaping work. Rotted wood, cracking, and buckling are typically the damage that results to wood-based products.
Timber cladding is a popular means in use today due to its natural resistance to decay. Woods such as larch provide resistance against the weather and have a pleasing look that is all out of proportion to the economy of its pricing. Companies offering these materials provide cladding profiles that detail the materials. The homeowner will be able to choose between a sawn and a machined profile. Examples of sawn profiles are square-edge, feather-edge and waney-edge. Examples of machined profiles are shiplap, half-lap and splayed. Species of wood that apply here include green and dry oak, western red cedar, larch, Siberian larch, and elm. Species are available from varied locations, including those British grown and from Canada.
Another wood material to consider for cladding is plywood. Besides projecting a clean and straightforward appearance, plywood can be treated for termite resistance as well as for resistance against fungal attacks and intrusion by insects. In many cases the plywood, say, Pine plywood, is sourced from sustainable plantation forests. This not only creates less of a strain on the planet’s resources, but it also ensures the continuation of the material for future homeowners’ use. Going green, in this case, is as good for the homeowner as it is for the planet.