The best types of timber for… my garden shed cladding

The best types of timber for… my garden shed cladding

Published on Thursday, August 16, 2018

What’s the ideal type of wood for cladding your good ol’, sturdy, beautiful garden shed, we hear you ask? Luckily, we’ve pulled together a few of our top suggestions for types of timber that are more than up to the job.

These three types of cladding should help you out with that garden shed you’ve been meaning to crack on with for ages...

1. European Oak

European Oak cladding with a shiplap profile

This is a truly versatile timber is available in an unimaginable range of sizes, making it suitable for almost any project - which most certainly includes a garden shed.

A garden shed needs to be able to withstand Britain’s cold, drizzly weather - and that’s where European Oak’s natural rot resistance excels.

In terms of other properties, European Oak is incredibly durable, hard-wearing and easy to treat. Its yellow-brown colour and distinctive straight grain also makes it an attractive, aesthetically-pleasing external cladding. To further enhance its already stunning good looks, European Oak is easily stained.

Be careful during installation, however - oak reacts with iron, so stainless steel nails or screws are your best bet.

2. Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar cladding with a shiplap profile

As the name may suggest, this timber is a reddish-pink brown with a darker red streak - which makes it part of the timber elite when it comes to attractiveness. This, along with this timber’s fantastic physical properties, makes Western Red Cedar a go-to choice when looking to create a garden centerpiece such as a shed.

Western Red Cedar is an extremely versatile timber that lends itself to almost any cladding project. Along with a straight grain and a medium-coarse texture, this wood generally has excellent workability.

As with European Oak, Western Red Cedar has an extremely impressive, natural rot resistance - which also means this timber is unlikely to need treatment before being installed. It’s not prone to weathering, and as such, is a very strong contender for any garden shed project.

3. Siberian Larch

Siberian Larch is another type of timber cladding that ticks the right boxes for a garden shed project - attractive and strong.

With the unsorted grade having few knots, a straight grain and coming in a variety of beautiful shades from yellow to reddish-brown, Siberian Larch is a strong choice for that garden hideaway or storage area with a natural look.

Siberian Larch grows extremely slowly and is high in resin, making it extremely dense for a softwood - 575kg/mᵌ. This means the wood is knock and scratch-resistant - perfect for external cladding. Adding to Siberian Larch’s utility for garden sheds are its favourable screwing and nailing properties.

It’s worth noting, however, that if left untreated, Siberian Larch can be prone to weathering.


Of course, there are many types of timber out there that are perfectly suitable as a garden shed cladding solution - but you won’t go far wrong with any of the three choices outlined above.

What profile of cladding should I use for a garden shed?

Just as important as the type of timber is its profile - how the pieces of cladding fit together, and the properties that this fit provides.

Overlap, feather edge, shiplap or tongue & groove? Our blog post should hopefully shed (ahem, pardon the pun) some light on this dilemma - although, as a rule, you will encounter very few problems with shiplap cladding. Its longer lip gives additional rainwater protection, directing precipitation away. That’s not to mention the formidable strength that the fit of the cladding panels provides.


Need some more tailored advice about your garden shed project? Our friendly team of timber experts would be delighted to have a chat and get you started.

And if you’re nearby, why not pay a visit to our Woodworking Centre and cast your eyes over our enviable selection of wood? Go on, you know you want to… we’re just off the A1 near Ripon, in Melmerby.