External timber cladding for a house extension - have you fallen for the latest ‘kitch’ modern
design styling technique?
I will be honest with you - I am not a great fan of having external timber boarding
simply stuck onto a building or in strange patches simply to obtain a so called ‘contemporary’ external design of
house extension. Whether it be horizontal cedar or vertical pine I tend to avoid its use unless it is for defined
purpose other than appearance.
Employing external timber cladding simply for visual decoration is nuts in my opinion and often leads on to poor
design detailing. Just take a look at all the buildings from one off modern houses to blocks of flats and town
centre offices that have used it over the last five years. They look very crisp and modern for the first year then
it starts - the water staining, the bleaching, the distortion, the fixing failures etc.
Without continued maintenance or re-staining it often ends up looking tatty and unfinished. Some so called
‘architects’ out their love how it ages and consider this aspect to be a wonderful design feature. I think they
bluff. OK, call me a philistine or charlatan but that’s how I feel.
If external timber cladding is to be used for a house extension then please position it clear of any causes of
weathering - perhaps in a recessed veranda area to emphasise the shading for the recess of the design. Do not place
it on a wall that does not have a decent soffit overhang above. Avoid horizontal boarding with gaps between as the
penetrating UV light will destroy the under-felt and your young child will love climbing to the roof line.
Timber weather or feather edge boarding for a barn style or rural type of house extension are fine and very much
in the vein and purpose for its design. External contrasts and textures can be an very important part of a house
extension wall design to create relief and interest and avoid ugly massing of one material but do not leap on the
current trend for slender cedar boarding simply placed on a part of the wall without any other design integrity
reasoning for its use.
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