Narrower cladding can save you money

When it comes to the timber cladding for the exterior of your garden room, you’ll have choices when it comes to the width of the board. Narrower boards tend to be used by designers who are looking for a more modern look, yet wider boards reduce the number of lines the wall will have where the boards butt together.

I have spent this afternoon working out the materials for a job we are having done here at Garden Room HQ. We are looking to use Cedar tongue & groove cladding for this project. My partner and I differ on the board size to use, I favour the narrower 19mm x 86mm board, while my partner favours the wider 19mm x 144mm board.

To break our deadlock, I decided to price out both options to see if one board would work out cheaper than the other. My gut feeling was that the wider 19mm x 144mm board would, overall work out cheaper.

The prices we found were £4.19 plus VAT for the 19mm x 86mm Cedar board per meter. The 19mmx 144mm Cedar board cost £7.91 plus VAT per meter.

We only need a modest amount of Cedar for our project. We worked out the linear meterage for both thicknesses of the board. We found that we would need 196 meters of the 19mm x 86mm and 127m of the 19mm x 144mm board. So, a big difference in the linear meterage.


  • Multiplying the 196m of the 19mm x 86mm by £4.19 our project would cost £821.24 plus VAT
  • Multiplying the 127m of the 19mm x 144mm by £7.91 our project would cost £1,004.57 plus VAT

So, our initial assumption was clearly wrong. By opting for the narrower board (my preference, yay!), We could save a significant £183.33 or in other words make a 22% saving.

It can take time to work out the prices of using different size materials for your garden room project, but as you can see it can help you save significant amounts when designing a garden room.

Update 24 April 2017:

It has been pointed out to us, quite rightly, that by using a narrower cladding board will, in fact, cost us more in fixings, as we will have more boards to fix per meter. Stainless steel nails need to be used when fixing cladding, and these are pricey.

40mm angular ring shank nails will cost us about £15 a kilo inc VAT. A kilo of these nails is roughly 550 nails. For this project, we will probably get away with 1 kilo of nails. But, to be on the safe side if we ordered an extra kilo this would cost us an additional £15.

This £15 extra on nails for the narrower boards would reduce the saving we are making using the narrower boards to £168.33, so still significant.

You can also argue it will take us slightly longer to fit the narrower boards, as there will be more of them.