Timber Cladding: The Only Guide You Need

Timber Cladding: The Only Guide You Need

Timber cladding, also known as weatherboard or siding, has evolved from an architectural style primarily used in agricultural buildings (e.g barns) into a popular design for residential and commercial buildings. 

Despite its emergence on the market, many consumers are in the dark when it comes to understanding what cladding is and how it’s used. If you are considering installing cladding on your home or simply want to educate yourself about the versatile timber material, read on, because this simple, yet comprehensive guide will teach you all you need to know.  

What is Timber Cladding?

It’s easiest to thinking of timber cladding as a second skin for a house. It is installed on the external façade of a building to protect against the weather; however, it can also improve the appeal of a building with its luxurious, chic aesthetic. Timber cladding also looks great on ceilings, adding a unique focal point to any room.

Timber cladding generally involves boards or planks of timber that overlap each other to act as a shield. This durable siding is designed to have a cavity between it and the main wall, so that if any moisture penetrates the cladding, it has a chance to evaporate or drain away.

Advantages of Timber Cladding

Timber cladding has become a prominent material for house siding in recent years because it successfully marries style and practicality. In addition, it also boasts a variety of useful qualities.


Cladding is versatile because it is both flexible and lightweight. It’s an inexpensive option because it doesn’t need to be supported by a continuous sub-floor wall – posts, columns and piers will be sufficient.  Unlike other building materials, cladding can be arranged to create non-traditional building shapes.


It has a light and smooth appearance that helps it blend well with natural surroundings. Various types of timber make cladding a versatile material that fits in with any style. It also comes in a range of profiles, textures and coatings.

Timber Cladding: The Only Guide You Need

Energy Efficiency

Buildings that have cladding installed will react quickly to cooling and heating systems, meaning less energy is required to keep the house at a comfortable temperature. 

Ease of Installation

Timber cladding is designed for ease of use and rapid installation. It also allows for less material handling than other materials. Typically, no scaffolding is required, though this depends on the area being covered. For more information on installation, check out Outdoor Structures Australia’s guide on Timber Cladding.


Sarking is a waterproof material that is fixed directly behind timber cladding. It allows any water that has penetrated the cladding to be directed to the outside, rather than remaining trapped behind the weatherboard or penetrating further. It has the additional benefit of acting as a barrier against draft, dust and wind-driven rain.

Cladding Design

Timber Cladding: The Only Guide You Need

To obtain the best performance, good design practices are necessary. Here are some things needed to get the most value from cladding.

  •     Wide eaves or verandas will protect the cladding and reduce heat build-up on the walls
  •     Consider having insulation installed behind the sarking to reduce heat transmission into the house
  •     To prevent distortion of the cladding, studs should be spaced no more than 450mm apart
  •     Cladding should finish at least 150mm above the ground level to prevent any moisture up take. The bottom of the cladding should slope upwards and inwards for the same reason for better water shed.

Cladding Maintenance

Before applying any sort of protective coating to the cladding, ensure that the wood is clean. Cladding is generally used on the exterior of a building. For that reason, it’s likely going to experience many weather conditions.

Therefore, it’s best to use a coating that has both water and UV resistant. This will help prevent rot, mould and structural damage from occurring.

The best method of treatment is prevention. If you have a regular maintenance schedule and keep an eye out for anything amiss, you will keep the cladding looking like new for many years to come.

Building requirements

Timber cladding must adhere to the Building Code of Australia (BCA). This dictates whether cladding can be used on different types of buildings. For example, there are classes of building that require non-combustible materials, which will limit the use of timber cladding.

If you have any questions or would like more information on outdoor wall cladding please contact us and one of our helpful staff will be able to assist you with any inquires.

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What our clients say

Austim are a great partner and timber supplier. Our business is based on the East Coast of Australia and we partner with Austim for WA projects. We have had a long lasting and great working relationship with Austim for many years. Highly recommend them.
daniel wright
daniel wright
06:31 18 Jun 19
Austim is always the first place I try when I need timber and it’s rare that I can’t get what I need there. Stuart is a rare gem of a gent to deal with – quick to respond to any queries, full of good advice and goes out of his way to help get whatever project I’m working on happening to my schedule, even when all I need is a few sticks and a handful of fixings. Highly recommend Austim, the team and young Stuart.
Anni Lilford
Anni Lilford
00:51 16 Nov 18
Stuart went out of his way to make sure we got the product we wanted. He made suggestions on possible constructions and timbers suitable. Very knowledgeable friendly staff all around. Excellent experience, highly recommended.
Holger Butenschon
Holger Butenschon
05:14 22 May 18
Hi Ben,Just wanted to thankyou for your help and advice in our selection of the Millboard Vintage Oak decking also in you recommending Grant from Premier Hardwood Decking. Grant has just completed our decking and we couldn't have asked for a more professional, reliable and competent tradesman. The decking has been installed to a very high standard and the decking itself is stunning. Ian and Sue
susan smith
susan smith
06:27 08 Oct 18
I've used Austim on a few occasions for home projects like decking and pergola, etc and each time the response to my requests for price and delivery have been excellent, the deliveries took place as negotiated, the timber quality was great and value for money. The team at Austim do a great job and make dealing with Austim a breeze.
Michael Robinson
Michael Robinson
09:06 25 Oct 18
I have worked with Austim for around 8 years now and they are one of the best suppliers in perth to deal with. I would highly recommend to use them for any timber needs!!!
Art of Timber
Art of Timber
07:55 05 Mar 20
I had been looking for some cedar for my kayak project and had rung a couple of other places with no luck. When I contacted Austim they were very helpful, had the timber in stock and I was on my was in 20 minutes. The wood was very good quality and has really finished up beautifully. Thanks to Austim.
mark alderson
mark alderson
02:03 08 Apr 17
I"d like to thank Austim for there help in supplying me with material that firstly I thought I'd have trouble sourcing as it was marring up with originally 30 year old existing timber.My project was not a massive project but still needed the attention of an new build.The timber supplied by Austim was machined to size with absolute perfection, where I had to remove old pieces and replace with the new pieces they fitted perfectly.once the floors are re-sanded and varnished they will be back to there former glory. Thanks again to the staff at Austim.Regards Bob Heppenstall.I've just added a finished photo after the Floor Sanding was completed.Original timber was Tassie Oak, and the new is Vic Ash, as you can see there is only a slight variation in the final product.I hope this gives anyone thinking doing the same the confidence to proceed. Regards Bob Heppenstall.
Robert Heppenstall
Robert Heppenstall
10:05 12 Oct 18
Great service over phone and by email. Product supplied is high quality - no issues. Staff accommodating and friendly.
00:18 07 May 20
Good service with fair prices.
Colin Della Bosca
Colin Della Bosca
08:14 04 Jun 20

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“The timber quality is excellent, the price was competitive, the communication spot on and the delivery just right. Well done and thanks again”