Adding timber cladding to your home can give it a new lease of life. It can also improve the energy efficiency of your home and provide extra security and noise control. There are so many options out there when it comes to choosing your timber cladding, so narrowing down the best option for your particular project can be tough. Timber 2 U Direct have written a handy guide to help you with when making decisions on the type of timber cladding to use on your home.

Hardwood vs softwood

First things first, you need to decide on the type of wood you want to use for your timber panelling. The two main types to choose from are hardwood and softwood. Both have different strengths and weakness, and the benefits may differ depending on the nature of your project.


If you are looking for a finish that is darker in colour, then hardwood might be the right option for you. As well as its stunning colour, hardwood is also incredibly durable and sturdy. This makes it a highly popular choice for cladding on the outside of buildings, such as houses, schools, and offices. This type of wood has been used for decades to build homes and cottages alike.

Hardwood also provides an extra layer of protection to your home from the elements, such as extreme weather conditions. It is highly resistant to weather so if it rains, hails or snows, you can rest assured knowing that your cladding will not be damaged.

Hardwood is likely to be more expensive than softwood due to the time it takes to grow, however if you’re looking for a long-lasting, high quality material, it will most certainly be worth the investment. Hardwood timber cladding can last on the outside of your home for many years without needing to be replaced.


This type of timber cladding is lighter in weight and tone than hardwood. Softwood will give your home a soft and sleek finish. If you have a building that is oddly shaped, you may consider this over hardwood as it is easier to mould around less conventional shapes due to its flexibility. Despite this wood being flexible, it is still resistant to weather and other elements, allowing it to add a great exterior to your home.

Softwood is usually lower in cost than hardwood, however if it’s not treated with a high-quality stain or finish, the colour will change, and it may weather and fade. To avoid this from happening, ensure you treat your wood and carry out any maintenance needed.

Types of wood

Within the two categories of hardwood and softwood, there are different species that you can use. What specie you use can differ depending on the size, time frame and budget of your project, but here are some available options.

Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar is a very popular choice for timber cladding and even though it’s a softwood, it still has brilliant durability and stability. This type of wood can provide your home with not only thermal insulation, but also noise reduction. Western Red Cedar is also naturally resistant to decay and insects, so you do not need to worry about treating it as much as other softwoods. If you take care of it well enough, your cedar timber cladding could last up to 40 to 60 years.


As a hardwood, oak is extremely resistant to anything the world throws at it. Whether that be decay, insects or the weather, Oak is a perfect cladding material. It does not require any treatment for protection (although we would recommend giving it a coating of protective treatment just in case) and it can last for over 60 years on the outside of your home. As this is a hardwood, it does cost a lot more than any other wood and can be expensive if you are looking to cover your entire home. The benefits of oak seemingly outweigh the slightly higher cost when it gives your home such a good layer of protection.

Types of cladding

There are multiple types of timber cladding. Some are more suited to the outdoors, whereas others may be more suited to indoor home panelling projects.

Tongue and Groove Cladding

Tongue and groove cladding creates a flat wall. If you are looking for a smooth appearance on the outside of your home, this type is for you. This paneling creates a flat surface whilst also staying stable and sturdy. The flat surface means if you wish, you can attach anything to the outside of your house, such as decorative flowerbeds and light fixtures.

Shiplap cladding

If you are looking for a cladding that will provide excellent protection from the elements, then you may want to stick with shiplap cladding. The structure of the panels allow water to run off them making it perfect for keeping out draughts and giving your home extra shielding.

Waney Edge Cladding

This cladding is timber that has been cut with a layer of tree bark across one edge. This gives the outside of your house a rustic and natural feel. It is not usually used as a long-term

outdoor cladding option due to its poor resistance to the weather. If used in the long term, it needs regular maintenance to ensure it stays in good condition.


Each project is suited to a different type of timber cladding, so it is important to do your research before committing. Timber 2 U Direct, the online trading arm of Brooks Bros LTD, have a range of high-quality timber for you to choose from that you can order made-to-measure. Not only do we offer this service, but we are able to deliver direct to your door from one of our many warehouses across the UK.

Ready to start your outdoor timber cladding project today? Do not hesitate to get in touch with us.