Fitting cedar cladding is a job that has to be done right if you want it to look good. Using the right nails and, in some situations, screws for the job is important. If you use good quality nails and do not scrimp on them your cladding will stay in place and will not warp, but more about that later in the article. First you have to decide if cedar is the right wood to use to clad your home or outbuildings.
What Is Cedar Cladding?
Recently cladding buildings in wood has enjoyed a renaissance. One of the most popular forms of timber cladding is cedar cladding, which is made up of planks of high quality cedar that you apply to your building plank by plank. It is possible to buy cedar cladding in sheets, but the finish is inferior and the colour matching is not as good as cedar cladding that you apply to your building plank by plank.
Where to Use Cedar Cladding
Cedar cladding can be used in virtually any climate. It also looks great inside buildings and is suitable for use in most rooms.
Cedar cladding is naturally reddish in colour, but over time fades to a silvery grey colour if used on the exterior of a building. However, if you want to you can stain it to either maintain its natural colour or stain it a totally new colour. This means that you can make cedar cladding blend into any environment or landscape. Cedar cladding does not require any maintenance in its natural state, so it can be used even in inaccessible places where regular maintenance and staining is not practical.
Finding Good Quality Cedar Cladding
The quality of cedar cladding varies widely, so it is important to do your research and to shop around before buying.
Cedar cladding regulates its own moisture content to cope with the ambient temperatures around it, which is one of the reasons it rarely cracks or warps and decays slowly. However, for this to happen effectively you need to buy cedar cladding that has good natural levels of moisture in the first place. This means that you need to check how moist your cedar cladding is prior to buying it. Moisture contents of 20% are about right.
You can find good quality cedar cladding by searching online and comparing what is on offer there with what your local builder’s merchant has available. Look for suppliers who are members of timber trade associations, who offer guarantees and are available to speak to over the phone.
Installing your cladding
For cedar cladding, the best nails to use are stainless steel especially if you are using it on the exterior of your property. When cedar weathers it fades to a silvery colour, so the nails blend in better and will not rust. For seacoast cladding you need to use a 316 galvanised nail or screw. It is best to use hot dipped galvanised nails and screws if you can buy them.
Do not scrimp on the nails or screws doing so will just mean that the wood will warp. Ring shank nails are best for securing the cladding to the battens, but use screws for the battening. It takes longer but you get a more secure fit.