One of the most popular applications of Western Red Cedar cladding in self-build projects at the moment is to accompany white or grey render as the exterior envelope of the building.
Alongside sections of sleek, clean looking render and large glass windows, Western Red Cedar adds a soft, natural touch that completely transforms the building. It is amazing how cedar changes the exterior so dramatically - turning an otherwise cold structure into a warm and inviting contemporary building that looks and feels like home.
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How to select your cedar cladding
To achieve this look, you’ll first need to select the grade of Western Red Cedar that you wish to use. If your building demands only the finest appearance then Clear Vertical Grain Heart is as good as it gets. No.2 Clear & Better is an economical alternative that still offers a clean appearance as it’s largely free of knots and other natural characteristics. No.4 Clear is an economical clear option albeit with a few more knots than No. 2 Clear & Better. Select Tight Knot features live (intergrown) knots and is the most economical grade offered.
You’ll then need to select the profile. Cedar cladding is produced in a range of standard profiles, each giving a subtly different look. In our opinion the Tongue & Groove or Microline Channel profiles work best for this application.
Both profiles display interesting shadow lines. Whereas the joint in Tongue & Groove boards is subtle, the shadow lines in Microline Channel profiles are more defined due to the wider gap. Both look great installed either horizontally or vertically and both create a clean contemporary look.
How to finish and maintain your cedar cladding
Just as your render will need maintaining in due course; so will your cedar cladding; however, this is not as troublesome as you may think. First, ask yourself what look you want to achieve. Typically, the answer is either:
I want it to weather to grey naturally
All wood will weather to a grey colour naturally over time, however if you leave it unfinished and exposed to the elements you may experience problems.
Moisture is the main problem. As wood constantly absorbs and releases moisture it swells and shrinks. Holding excess moisture can also cause algae to grow on the surface and discolouration to occur. These issues can easily be prevented. If you want the weathered look, rather than leaving wood exposed to the elements apply Sansin Wood Sealer. This seals out excess moisture, keeping the wood dimensionally stable and allowing it to gradually weather to an even silver grey colour. Wood Sealer is a clear liquid that has almost no effect on the natural look of the wood but works from within to protect.
Typically you would re-apply a single top up coat of Sansin Wood Sealer every 3 years.
I want to retain and enhance the natural vibrant wood tones
Most people are in pursuit of a ‘maintenance free product’ – and as with most external building materials; even composite; this is not possible. One product that offers very easy maintenance is Sansin SDF.
This high quality wood care solution is available in 80 colours ranging from very natural looking wood tones that allow the natural characteristics of the wood to shine through to vibrant opaque tones that can last over ten years before maintenance is required. The beauty of Sansin SDF is that maintenance is quick and simple – just wash the surface to remove dirt and apply a single top up coat.
Typically you would re-apply a single top up coat of Sansin SDF every 6 years.
Silva Timber’s Western Red Cedar cladding is some of the finest available anywhere. All our cladding products are properly kiln dried at source and exceed official industry grading rules. Not all Western Red Cedar is created equal – the much sought after fine grained wood fibre from the coastal region of British Columbia is our speciality. It is available in a choice of grades, profiles, widths and lengths. Pre-finishing is available in-house; with your timber arriving on site ready to install. Speak to one of our timber experts today! Contact us today to speak to a timber cladding expert...