Timber Cladding Design Ideas for Your Self Build Project

Timber cladding is a popular external finish that works on a variety of projects, from rural renovations to ultra-modern self builds, but which style will suit your home? Sander Tel takes a look at the options
by Sander Tel
13th April 2023

Timber cladding makes a great external finish on a diverse range of self build, renovation or extension projects. It’s popular for its sturdiness, insulating properties and versatile designs – complementing ultra-contemporary new builds and period homes alike.

Hardwood timber cladding or thermally-treated boards tend to be a more durable option for the exterior of a home, as their sturdy properties mean it can better withstand harsh weather conditions without too much maintenance. Softwoods however, including the likes of cedar and Douglas fir, do still make great cladding options – they may simply require a little more attention (seals or coatings) to slow down unwanted changes over time. You should always research the timber’s specifications to ensure it’ll work well in your project.

The huge collection of wood species will mean price tags at both ends of the scale, but as timber cladding can prove to be a low-maintenance option – which ages beautifully over time – it will be worth the investment.

Whether you’re self building, renovating or looking for cladding options for an extension, to help you make the best-suited decision I’ve gathered a collection of unique and inspiring timber cladding projects.

Scandi-Style Timber Cladding

This Scandinavian-style log home by Orme Architecture and Honka Fusion has been completed with a blend of Vastern’s Brimstone heat-treated poplar timber cladding and Equitone’s fibre cement cladding to create an efficient and robust finish that will age well.

Photo: Nina Dodd

Countryside Charm

Theis and Khan architects revived a collection of outbuildings ancillary to a grade II listed farmhouse, positioned in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Stylish and durable oak cladding helps to ensure the converted home retains an authentic character.

Photo: Nick Kane

Read More: Julian Owen’s Guide on How to Mix Different Types of Wall Cladding

Natural Look Timber Cladding Design

This cubic, Bauhaus-inspired home by Baufritz has been finished with a “Scala” wooden facade. The organic finish – that has deliberately been left in its natural state – helps the property to blend seamlessly with the woodland surroundings. In accordance with the Baufritz principle, only biologically sound materials and healthy building materials were used.

BaufritzDark Timber Cladding for a Home Among the Trees

Accoya supplied the timber cladding for this woodland home. Complete with three durable yet rustic finishes, the knot-free, low-maintenance and sustainable dark wood helps blend the property with its surroundings.

Siberian Larch Timber Cladding for a Rural Design

Fiddes Architects finished this contemporary timber frame home with Russwood’s sleek Siberian larch cladding to echo the design of their clients’ previous granite farm house.

Photo: David Barbour

Contemporary Addition with Charred Timber Cladding

Paul Archer Design is behind this striking extension to a Victorian end-of-terrace townhouse. The two-storey addition maximises the awkward wedge-shaped plot and has been styled with Shou-Sugi-Ban’s Takage charred larch cladding for a modern finish.

Photo: Matt Chisnell

Learn More: House Extension Ideas: 30 of the Most Amazing UK Home Extensions

CLOSER LOOK Timber Cladding on Build It’s Self Build Education House

The Build It Self Build Education House in Graven Hill was designed by Lapd architects. They were tasked with delivering ‘wow’ factor on a budget, and so selected an ICF (insulated concrete formwork) construction system, and decided early on that timber cladding would be key to creating the architecturally-led contemporary finish they desired.

Russwood Siberian Larch SILA Select was chosen for the external finish, laid in 70mm width rainscreen profile. SiOO:X treatment retains the natural beauty of the timber but allows for uniform weathering, whilst secret fixings of FassadenClip® and L-GoFix® A2 screws provide a clean, contemporary finish.

See More: Build It’s Self Build Education House

Timber Cladding & Render Blend

Carbon by Design supplied the charred larch cladding for this extension to an 18th-century cottage in Warwickshire. Larch is a hardwearing, low-maintenance cladding option – providing a naturally textured finish that complements the main house’s period character.

Photo: William Goddard

Sensitive Timber Cladding Exterior

This home designed by Cameron Webster Architects is nestled perfectly among the Trossachs National Park woodland. The irregular shape gives the property its striking angular look and is cleverly orientated with wide glazing and a balcony to maximise the surrounding views.

Photo: Douglas Gibbs

The exterior of the property has been completed using Sarking timber cladding, a softwood commonly used for fencing and in agricultural structures, and coated in a Teknos finish for durability. The material is considered a low-grade timber, but the couple liked the rough surface texture as it helped the property to strike a better balance with its surroundings.

Dramatic & Efficient Timber Cladding

Luke Young of Young and Co Architects was tasked with renovating this elegant Edwardian home in Camden, London. The focal point of the renovation was Vastern’s Brimstone sycamore cladding, fitted in a herringbone pattern that makes a contemporary addition to the period structure.

Looking for established building material suppliers for your project? Browse Build It’s Company Directory

Mix & Match Timber Cladding

Freddie and Katie Pack saved up to build this contemporary and efficient house on their family’s Romney Marsh farm after living in a small cabin a few fields away.

They set out to renovate an existing 1950s brick house on the plot, but soon realised it would be easier to knock down and self build a new home, enlisting RX Architects to help them recreate the farm-style design with a modern twist.

Photo: Richard Gadsby

The sophisticated new property is clad in Siberian larch, with charred sections on the lower level. “I was used to working with larch and we went for shadow gaps rather than rebating. We had to put a black felt wrap on the exterior, followed by batons, a double skin of UV facade felt and then the cladding,” says Freddie.

More Inspiration: 30 of the Best Timber Frame Houses in the UK

Featured image: Paul Archer Design chose Shou-Sugi-Ban Takage charred larch cladding for this urban renovation project.

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