With the popularity of programs such as Grand Designs and George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, timber cladding is now firmly back in fashion.

timber cladding extension

Why timber clad your extension?

Timber cladding can be a design statement, an insulation protector and a sustainable building material – especially if locally sourced wood is used. If you are building a timber framed extension, timber cladding can be a cheap and lightweight build compared to masonry. Hugo Tugman, founder of Architect Your Home and Interior Your Home told Real Homes magazine that “Timber cladding can introduce a completely new character, sometimes used in blocks, breaking up a bland masonry façade and creating more depth, modelling and composition to an elevation. Such cladding is often used to great effect in upgrading old council houses.”

For historical houses timber cladding can be used to play up the differences between materials and the eras in which the house and the extensions were built.

How much will timber cladding cost?

Like with most things, the cost of timber cladding varies on what kind of wood you use and how much you need. For example, the Western cedar, which is grown in the UK can start at around £3 per metre and go up to over £7 a metre while European larch starts at around £2 per metre. Labour costs will also be needed to be factored in.

“Cedar wood is usually used to achieve a nice effect,” said Helen Wood from Simply Extend “This can prove costly though to clad an entire extension so some of our clients choose to clad only a section of the exterior.”

Is it hard to get planning permission for timber cladding?

Depending on where you live and the type of house you have you will need to apply for planning permission. In 2008, a change in permitted development rules saw the introduction of the requirement that the materials of an extension would have to be “similar” to the materials of the existing house. However, this does not mean there is no point in applying for planning permission. There is now a line of thinking that an extension should be different from the original building for legible and honesty reasons.

What kind of timber is there?

There are many types of timber cladding but the most popular are Western cedar, European larch, Siberian larch, European oak, Sweet Chestnut and Douglas fir.

  • Western Red Cedar is currently one of the most popular forms of cladding and can be grown in the UK. If left untreated the wood fades to a silver/grey colour. One thing to take note of is natural oils in the timber have a corrosive effect on ferrous (iron) material, so avoid the use of galvanised or stainless-steel if you wish to use western red cedar cladding.
  • European Larch is a softwood and is mainly home-grown, making it a good suitability option. Left untreated it will weather to silver. If you live in exposed coastal areas its expected service life can be shortened.
  • Imported from Russia, Siberian Larch is higher in quality than European larch. This is because it is slow growing and thus has fewer knots. This is one of the most expensive forms of cladding.
  • European Oak is a durable hardwood. Rustic in appearance, oak can be one of the most expensive cladding materials but it is sustainable and is grown in the UK as well as on the continent. If left untreated the oak will change to silvery grey.
  • Sweet chestnut is similar to European oak in the way it weathers. It can be expensive and is generally only available in small quantities.
  • Douglas Fur goes by many names such as Oregon pine, British Columbian pine or Columbian pine. This pacific coastal pine is a softwood and fades to silver grey.

No matter which wood you opt for make sure your materials are either FSC or PEFC certified. This means that the wood has been taken from a sustainably managed forest.

If you are interested in having an extension built in your London home the call Simply Extend 0800 917 7571 on email for a no obligation quote.


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