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Timber clad houses

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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There is something truly magical about a timber clad home. Wood is one of those exceptional building materials that over time ages with grace, allowing the occupant to witness subtle changes over the years. It is almost like your house is growing; evolving into the shape it has been cast against and wrinkling with wisdom as the decades pass. The most exciting characteristic of wood is that each panel is unique; no two pieces will ever be the same. Aside from a home with incredible aesthetics, building in timber hosts a whole range of positive factors.

Once you have decided on a budget, you can then establish the type of wood you would like to clad your home with. There are generally two types of timber to choose from—softwood or hardwood, and both have their own unique characteristics. Cedar wood is definitely the most popular choice of home owners and architects today. This beautiful softwood doesn't require sealing and is great at repelling moisture. This means there is little movement in the timber, resulting in a clean and uniform external finish of your home for as long as it stands. Unfortunately, the only downfall of this all-rounder cladding is that if knocked or hit, it will visibly dent.

After Cedar, Larch is the next most popular cladding choice. It is also used to build boats and yachts and is considered one of the best materials in Europe for external cladding. It is durable, weather resistant and readily available. Possessing similar qualities to the aforementioned Cedar, the only noticeable differences are in grain and colour. Following this, hardwoods such as Oak and Chestnut weather over the years, resulting in that incredible silver-grey finish that is most sought after in Scandinavian and minimalist homes. These types of wood last for centuries and are a financial investment that will reward you at each passing year. You can combat the weathering of the timber by regularly applying a coat of stain or resin, however, this persistent upkeep is only hindering the desired effect of these types of wood.

The final, and definitely the most cost effective choice for timber cladding is Weatherboard. Nowadays, these commercially manufactured panels are created from recycled or reconstituted timber, and stamped with the woodgrain circles to create an authentic look. Unfortunately, the finished Weatherboard product does not have the same effect as the other examples of timber cladding, however, there are some very close replicas on the market, which are only getting better.

Today, we are going to look at some stunning examples of timber clad houses by our talented homify experts. Take a look..

Weathered wonders

 Houses by UID

Pit house


This beautiful example of timber cladding promotes the silver-grey tones mentioned in the introduction. Despite the fact this is a new residential property, these pieces of timber cladding appear to be delicately aged. This does not detract from the property at all, in fact, it only further adds to its appeal. The entire project by UID, plays with various material forms in their most raw and natural state. If you are on a budget, and can only afford to clad a portion of the house, this home displays how timber can so easily complement a wide range of building materials for maximum effect. This silver toned wood is one of the most sought after for modern design, and often involves years of waiting before the desired outcome is achieved. If this is the look you are going for, this is a property that will evolve with you. If you have young children, the rate that the timber weathers will be on par with their growth. It is certainly not for those who like to change houses frequently, but is definitely for those who want to have their patience rewarded.


​This particular timber clad marvel is an extension to the main house. We love how the designers have opted for timber in two different tones, as well as installed it in two different directions. This is a clever way to play with a natural resource and make the most of the different types of wood available. The minimalist and modern style of the property is complemented by the strict geometry that the wood provides, further elongating the rectangular shape. We also love the visible attention to detail. The window and door frames match the black capping which lines the roof of the building. This acts as a wonderful, but subtle outline of the dwelling, showing the definition between the two buildings. This example also displays the versatility of a wood cladding—you are not limited to building in a box style. It is very easily adapted to many shapes, which means you can let your creative license run wild in the concept and planning stages of your dream home. 

Timber expanses

​For some, an endless expanse of timber cladding is exactly what they want to see. This particular project called Langhaus has creatively used wood panelling for both the exterior and interior of this home. Situated on a sloping block, this property replaced an old house and barn and was turned into a comfortable, open plan home for three. The main focus of the design was to blend the property into its rural environment, following the vernacular of houses in the area. The barn-like appearance of this house comes as no surprise, given the existing structure was a barn house. So, to modernise the home, the designers have playfully positioned windows of varying shapes and sizes around the property. This not only allows for ample light inside the building, but it also helps viewers to distinguish that is in fact a home, and no longer a barn. 

Escape the city

​This delightful little log cabin, given the name, could not have been built in any material other than wood. Located in the Perche National Park in the Loire Valley, this particular home reflects and pays homage to its woody surroundings and luscious landscape. Surprisingly, this little gem can be found one hour from Paris by car. Lined with apple orchards, meadows and small lakes, this wonderful little pocket of land is the perfect escape for those tired of concrete city life. This house too has obeyed some classic sustainable design principles. The shed style roof, among other things, is a great way to make the most of a breathtaking view, but it also allows for the maximum amount of natural light to penetrate the building. The cantilever structure is also a great way to circulate airflow underneath the property. 

Hidden landscapes

This project, titled M&M House, is a wonderful example of sustainable design at its very best. Not only has the house been clad with this beautiful example of warm brown timber, but they have also gone the extra mile and installed a green roof. Low-rising and horizontal, the architecture responds to the environment in which it is placed, allowing inside and outside spaces to interact with one another. If you are building in an area of natural significance, choosing a timber exterior is a great way to remain as anonymous as possible in the landscape, allowing the property to blend in, rather than stand out.

Environmentally aware

​If the environment and sustainable design are at the forefront of ideas for your home concept, you cannot overlook wood as an external finish. Contrary to popular and traditional belief, timber is one of the most environmentally sound materials you can choose. It is a renewable resource that has the highest potential for reuse in the future, as well as boasting one of the lowest figures of embodied energy in the production and manufacturing stage. On top of this, it is also a material that performs exceptionally well as a thermal and acoustic barrier. The last, and one of the most important elements of timber cladding is the build time. This is significantly less than standard masonry construction, as there is no drying time required. You can also have the panels precut off site, so all that is required is that they are transported and installed on site. 

Opposites attract

As mentioned above, this wooden clad space extends from the existing home. ​But, unlike some modern day interpretations of extensions, this example doesn't jut out as an eyesore, rather, it seamlessly attaches itself to the existing shell. This is yet again, another brilliant example of the adaptability of timber. The designers have cleverly opted to clad the front section in grey weathered timber, which plays marvellously against the grey stone and beige paint. Whilst their appearances contrast against one another, the two designs, from two completely different eras, have formed a wonderful unity together as one whole building.

What's on the inside counts

The last example displays how timber cladding can be applied to internal spaces with great effect. ​This Swedish-spa style interior simply radiates minimalist and modern design. The cladding acts as a blank canvas, you can add as much or as little decoration or colour as you see fit. Interior timber panels, due to the fact that they are not exposed to free radicals and elements, remain untouched and unspoiled without the need for upkeep or maintenance. You can also see that there is no such thing as too much wood! The designers have carried the timber planks into the table design, allowing for a full-scale cabin feel inside this property. The only question you will need to ask yourself is: do you decorate, or let these beautiful wood grain walls take centre stage, and be your art instead?

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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