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How To Choose Timber Cladding for Your New Shed Summerhouse Workshop Log Cabin

How To Choose Timber Cladding for Your New Shed Summerhouse Workshop Log Cabin
How To Choose Timber Cladding for Your New Shed Summerhouse Workshop Log Cabin

Author is Robin Antill - expert in garden buildings Written By Robin - Expert in Garden Buildings For 39 Years.
Hi, I'm Robin Antill, founder of 1st Choice Leisure Buildings, and I use my expertise gained over 39 years in the garden buildings industry to understand that each customer is different. With my manufacturing, retailing and customer service experience my articles help people choose their ideal shed, garden workshop, summerhouse, log cabin or garden office needs to suit their requirement and that is key to satisfaction. And what do I do when I'm not writing? You may find me following Grimsby Town Football Club or riding roller coasters - so plenty of 'ups and downs' in my life.

You will find there is a great deal of variation in the timber used on garden buildings. On the very cheap sheds you are likely to find that the planks of wood for the walls are just sawn timber (i.e., will have a rough finish) and each of these boards will overlap the one above. Some boards are cut in a feather edge finish (i.e. If you look end on to the plank it will appear triangular) and these overlap each other. In my view these are better than the square planks of wood as the feather edge makes for a smoother finish.

Both of these are OK if you are on a small budget but it's vital that the timber is not wafer thin. You need to ensure that the boards are at least 12mm thick so the wood can cope with changes in weather conditions. Any less than that and there is a good chance the boards will split during any long hot spells of weather. You will find that some of the cheap sheds are made from boards only 6 mm thick which is crazy. These boards will not last more than a few years at best.

As important is how much the boards overlap each other. Ensure that there is at least 22mm ( in) on each board. Any less than this you will find that when the boards shrink during any hot spell gaps will appear. Always ask the question BEFORE you buy and don't be fobbed off with any fluffy answers. I do know you need at least that amount as I made sheds for over 20 years.

The next popular option is shiplap cladding. Traditionally this cladding was flat with a lip on the top and channel on the bottom so they fit together. This ensured a smooth surface on the inside and a profile on the outside. This is how shiplap was in the early 1980's.

I asked a timber company at that time, when I was making garden sheds, whether they could put a tongue and groove (T&G) on the boards as I felt this would make for a better finish. They did this and from then on we only used the T&G on our garden sheds. Amazingly after that many more timber suppliers and garden shed manufacturers started using T&G shiplap as well.

So I think I can claim to be responsible for T&G shiplap. The beauty of this is that the boards slot in together so when a shed side is completed it effectively becomes one complete side. Nearly impossible to prise boards off to gain entrance unlike overlap shiplap, feather edge or square boarding. Some sheds are made from square T&G boarding which can look a little more utilitarian.

Another popular option is loglap cladding. Essentially this is the same as shiplap except that on the outside of each plank of wood there is a rounded effect which gives an log cabin effect, sort of. On the inside walls it is smooth. Again try to ensure you insist of T&G boards as this helps to strengthen the walls against intruders. If you are offered overlap loglap be a little wary.

On some of the thicker loglap, such as the Platinum Workshops and Garden Studios, there are grooves cut on the inside of the boards and this helps to stabilise the boards from 'cupping'. This is when the boards try to go back to their natural shape.

The key to choosing is quite often cosmetic but economics can come into your sums. However, if you are on a budget think carefully about the cheap sheds being offered. These sheds are cheap because the material is not as good as the better sheds. Nothing overly wrong with that provided they last a number of years before they need renewing. If you are only needing a shed for a few years then they may do the job. But when you come to move and you have a garden shed in your garden in a right state this may put of any potential purchasers. Just a thought before lashing out on a new shed.

Where ever possible try to view the garden shed before buying and also take a look at any INDEPENDENT customer feedback sites. This usually gives you a good idea of the quality of the product as well as how good their customer service is. You will often find with the cheap shed companies they don't want to know after they have got your money.

Another important thing to consider is what type of garden sheds and where your new garden shed should go. Take a look at this page for information explaining the what to look out for.


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Woking Garden Buildings Display Site Sutton Green Garden Centre,
Whitmoor Ln, Sutton Green,
Guildford, Surrey. UK. GU4 7QA

Phone 0333 800 8880
Our display site is normally manned and open for viewing 9.00am to 5.00pm every day

The garden centre is visible from A320 main road between Woking and Guildford.

Currently on display at Sutton Green:
are Platinum & Diamond Timber Buildings, Trentan Cabins, SafeStore, Lidget Garages & Secure storage concrete sheds.
Please see this page for a full list.



Farnham Garden Buildings Display Site Squires Garden Centre,
Badshot Lea Road, Badshot Lea,
Farnham, Surrey. UK. GU9 9JX
Phone 01252 311085
Our display site is normally manned and open for viewing 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Saturday & 10.30am to 4.30pm on Sundays.

The garden centre is visible from B3208 road between Farnham and Aldershot.

Currently on display at Badshot Lea: are Platinum & Diamond Timber Buildings, Trentan Garden Cabins and Lidget Garages. Please see this page for a full list.




Phone (01483) 237550 or (0333) 800 8880 - Fax (0333) 8008810
(0333) numbers are charged as LOCAL Rate on both mobiles and landlines - saving you money.
Email to 1clb@leisurebuildings.com or Contact Us Here
1st Choice Leisure Buildings Established in 1979 for All Garden Buildings. Sheds, Workshops, Log Cabins
On Display for viewing near to Guildford, Godalming, Cobham, Dorking, Leatherhead and Ripley in Surrey. UK

Office ONLY Address is 260 Woodham Lane, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey. KT15 3NS.
Close To Byfleet, Chertsey, Weybridge, Walton On Thames, Esher, Bagshot, Staines.