Timber Cladding and how adaptable it can be

Timber Cladding provides many positive benefits, from being durable to being contemporary and versatile. Featuring Siberian Larch Cladding, Grand Designs showed their viewers just how adaptable timber cladding can be.

Looking to create a unique hideaway in the Essex woodlands, Bennetts Timber supplied their timber cladding to a couple wanting to achieve a unique, hidden space that was personalised for them. By requesting Siberian Larch in a satin black finish, the cladding showed how architectural conventions can be defied but still achieve aesthetically pleasing outcomes.

As the black cladding was used in such a dark environment, Kevin McCloud became sceptical of the design choices. So how did they achieve a beautiful and successful outcome with such bold cladding?

During the show, Kevin McCloud stated that larch is “plentiful, affordable and durable even in its natural untreated state” which is just one of many reasons people all over the world choose it for their builds. Mainly growing in the Russian forests, the severe seasons allow Siberian larch to grow very slowly, giving the material its longevity and durability.

The materials used in this episode were certified to either FSC or PEFC standards, ensuring the highest quality materials were used. The Siberian larch came from sustainable forests, imported in rough sawn planks and machined through one of the moulding machines in the manufactures mill. This process moulds the plank into the profile required and planes it at the same time.

In this case, the finished board was 20mm deep and 144mm wide with a secret nail profile, hiding any evidence of fixing nails when viewing the finished product. By using this method, the outcome was enhanced with a smooth and polished design.

Untreated boards can be used for cladding, turning into a desirable silver grey after time. However, in this episode the couple took an unconventional turn to customise the build to suit their preferences, aiming to attain a striking and sleek yet private home.

The desired visual outcome of a black satin finish was completed at the coating shop where Teknos 3 coat system was used, which includes a base coat and 2 top coats using 30 per cent satin finish in black translucent. Each coat was put on through a vacuum coater which applies accurately and consistently, the boards were then left to dry in-between coats to ensure the high quality finish.

Once the coating was completed and the boards had dried naturally and given a final quality check, they were then carefully packed and loaded for transport to site on Bennetts or a third party’s vehicles. Ready to be fixed into place on site, the prepared cladding became a pleasant surprise to many viewers once fitted.

By wanting to achieve a private hideaway that looked natural and blended in, the black cladding provided encapsulated the couples design ideas. Using the Siberian larch cladding in satin black, the darkness within the woodlands captured the light vs dark concept beautifully. Sleek and hidden externally but light and contemporary internally, this build showed how cladding can be used and customised for any homeowner to fulfil their visions.