Timber cladding is being used more often for the exterior of both commercial and residential buildings. Sometimes called timber siding, this is the more economical way to finish the exterior while still giving it a great new look. This siding is weatherproof and is incredibly durable.
First steps - Fix a damp-proof material on the surface of the walls before attaching timber battens. This will prevent excess moisture from getting into the structure. Choose whether you will be installing the timber cladding horizontally or vertically. Horizontal is recommended, otherwise rain and other types of precipitation will penetrate the structure to a greater degree. The actual method of securing or snapping in the timber cladding will depend on what type of panels you purchase, as there are several different types.
Installation - Start to place the first row of panels at the bottom of the surface. Weatherboard timber cladding requires that you cut the bottom edge on a 15 degree angle to allow for better water runoff. Choose whether you are cutting your panel before you attach it or fixing them all at one time after they are attached. Either way, there should be enough cladding left at the end so that moisture doesn't build up near the wall. Lay the first board according to a straight string line run across the wall. Run the string across and partially drive in a nail into every third or fourth stud. Remove the string as you go and fix in the nails once the string is totally removed. This will ensure a straight first row, which is crucial. Do not drive in the nail with too much force as this may cause splitting. Overlap each row according to the type of wood you are using. For example, lap hardwood and treated pine boards must be overlapped by 30mm (1 1/4 inches), while red cedar boards are overlapped by 20mm (7/8 inch). The joints must be placed over the studs, but successive rows must be staggered if longer than one panel. Take measurements as you go to ensure the panels are parallel with each other.
Finishing - Apply a sealer or primer to the end of each panel and seal all joints and open or stopped ends. Use a silicon sealant or compatible mastic for this. It is not necessary to use a stop for the cut panels at windows or doors as long as it is cut neatly. Once the panels are placed, fill the nail holes accordingly unless being stained. Punch the holes if you are planning on using stain. Apply two coats of the paint or stain appropriate to the type of wood you have used. Always read the labels and instructions for these materials.