How your timber cladding choice will affect your budget

One of the most significant costs in a garden room build is the external cladding. Timber claddings are by far the most popular option for the exterior of a garden room, because of their aesthetic appeal, the layer of thermal insulation they add to the build-up and the ease of installation.

You need to invest in a durable timber cladding, after all, you want your garden room to stand the test of time to maximise the time and financial investment you are putting in. You will want your cladding to age gracefully without it requiring too much maintenance.

The most popular exterior finishes used in garden room design are Western Red Cedar on high-spec designs and Thermowood on more budget concious designs. We are seeing Siberian Larch being used more often, as like Cedar it has a natural durability and long lifespan. Larch is a much blonder wood than the richness of Cedar when it is new. Left to weather naturally, Larch like Cedar and Thermowood will transform into a silvery grey finish.

All of these timber claddings are commonly used in a tongue & groove profile, creating a flat modern finish. Some garden room designers are looking for more texture in their cladding and opting for featheredge weatherboard cladding. They tend to use Q-Clad to create this look; this comes in a pre-stained options.

The cheapest of garden room designs make use of pressure treated shiplap boards. This is considered an old fashioned finish in garden room design and offers very little aesthetic appeal unless you choose to paint it but in painting it you are adding a maintence committment to your todo list.

Comparing timber cladding by price

In some of our sample cost estimates which accompany our self-build garden room plans, we quote for Cedar cladding as this is the most desired finish, but we do mention that you could save a significant amount by opting for Thermowood.

Looking at prices for timber cladding per square meter you can quickly see the affect different finishes will have on your budget. We found these prices online and include VAT:

  • Western Red Cedar (grade no.2 clear & better) around £65 per square meter
  • Siberian Larch around £28 per square meter
  • Thermowood around £30 per square meter
  • Pressure treated softwood around £20 per square meter
  • Q-Clad featheredge weatherboard around £19 per square meter

You could save on these prices

We have taken these prices from various websites but we know from experience that by contacting different suppliers directly by phone or email you can bring these prices down.

We have just brought some Cedar from Millworks. Online suppliers had our chosen board at £6.13 including VAT per linear meter, but by talking to Millworks we have got it for £3.96 per meter including VAT, so a HUGE saving!

So, if your budget is tight give some careful thought to your cladding choice. Also, take your time to shop around for the best deals.