by PHU Bortnowski

A step-by-step guide to wood cladding your home

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Have you ever looked at beautifully-clad homes and wondered how difficult of a project it would be to complete? For experienced construction teams, adding wood cladding to the outside of a property is a walk in the park, but with some handy hints and tips, we think this is actually a project that you could take on yourself. 

Adding instant style, sophistication and a serious injection of organic beauty, wood cladding is a great way to make your home simultaneously stand out and blend in with its surroundings, especially a well landscaped garden, so let's take a look at the process, in detail!

1. Measure, select and accrue.

The first important step in your cladding project will be to measure your home, calculate how much material you will need and then start looking at all the different varieties of wood that would work well in your conditions. Think about colour, grain and availability and then set about gathering enough material to have everything you need to begin, on site and ready to go. By buying the full amount in one hit, you will negate issues of trying to match tones later on.

2. Install batons.

The first structural stage of cladding your home will be adding vertical batons to your external walls. These will screw into your exterior and offer an easy framework for applying horizontal slats, while offsetting them from your walls enough to maintain consistent spacing. Simple!

3. Work from the bottom, up.

You'll discover that most exterior wood cladding follows a tongue and groove construction method, meaning that slats slot into each other for a cohesive and secure finish and this means that you need to work from the ground, up. This is handy, as any uneven finishes can be neatly disguised under fascias.

4. Leave room for sills.

Naturally, you will have window sills to account for, so a good tip is to apply your cladding in its entirety and then go back and trim excess material with a router. This will ensure that you have a neat edge that your sill can rest on. 

5. Invest in a mitre saw.

For crisp corners, you will need to master the art of mitred edges. This is a piece of cake if you choose to buy a mitre saw, as you can set a perfect 45° angle and get the crisp angles that you need. Don't try to eyeball this process, as it's the corners that will really stand out!

6. Protect your house.

Using power tools of any kind near your home can put you at risk of making mistakes that can be costly to fix. The key here is to work slowly and meticulously, especially around your windows. The last thing you want to do is try to trim a section, only to lose control of a tool and break some glass.

7. Use the right screws.

With so many varieties of screws to choose form, it's vital that you select proper wood screws, which are suitable for outdoor use. Galvanised styles are frequently the best choice, as they won't be affected by poor weather conditions and are usually far tougher and more reliable in terms of good threads.

8. Remember that the project will move quickly.

If you have everything you need on site, cladding your home will be a project that yields fast results, so don't think of this as a task that you can do as and when you have a little free time. Set aside a whole weekend and get the project finished in one hit, as that way, you'll get in a flow and be pleasantly surprised by the favourable timescale.

9. Enjoy the result!

When your cladding is all in place, it's time to add some protective stain or paint and then simply step back and admire your handiwork! Be prepared to start thinking about landscaping your garden though, as with a stunning house in place, the surroundings really need to be coherent!

For more wood inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Building a wooden prefabricated house: how it works!

Do you feel ready to tackle a cladding project now?
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