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Long neglected, the siding returns in force. It transforms the appearance of the house while giving it character. But if solid wood is still preferred, alternatives exist.

solid wood cladding

In wood, cement or PVC fibers, the cladding adapts to both wood and masonry construction. In both cases, it is installed on a frame with or without external thermal insulation.

Softwoods in the spotlight

The commonly used woods are softwoods (spruce, larch, Douglas fir, maritime pine or sylvan, red cedar).
There are, however, some hardwoods (oak, chestnut or acacia), but their high tannin content causes the appearance of traces (that the rain removes over time), the oxidation of the fasteners and limits or even prevents use of many cleaning products (stains, nicks, etc.). Although some species are naturally more resistant to climatic conditions, they may be prone to the development of fungi or to be prey to xylophagous insects. The way to avoid this inconvenience is to ensure that the exposure to moisture of the material is consistent with its natural resistance and / or its treatment.

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Six job classes

The woods are defined according to "classes of employment" which make it possible to evaluate their resistance. By identifying a class, we determine the species best suited to its site. Six in number, only three classes allow the implementation of wooden cladding (3a, 3b and 4).

  • Species classified 3a are intended for use on facades weakly exposed to moisture (dry climate).
  • Those classified 3b are compatible with a facade frequently and regularly exposed (moderate climate).
  • As for the cladding boards classified 4, they accept a quasi permanent humidification and can be implemented at less than 20 cm of the ground and in front of sea. In spite of its treatment, the wooden cladding requires a regular maintenance throughout its life.

Eight cladding blades in solid wood and imitation wood: imitation

New materials without maintenance

In addition, the products offer various aspects: rough sawn, planed, sanded, stained, painted, etc. The blades usually have grooves and tongues or are furrowed for a recessed installation (with flat or inclined surface imitating clapboard, grooves way clear-way, etc.).
In non-machined versions, there are "board-type" boards that sit edge-to-edge, lap-sided, with joint cover, overlap or slatted.
The alternative to solid wood is fiber cement, composite, reconstituted wood or PVC.
Common points: lack of maintenance, resistance to shocks, humidity, insects... and the ability to imitate wood. To increase wood performance, manufacturers process their products to suit all configurations. This is particularly the case for the species that have retained their sapwood, a softer layer located between the bark and the heartwood (more solid).
However, the heartwood of some species may also require treatment: impregnation (autoclave) or cooking (thermal).

Cladding and ITE, a global solution

thermal insulation from the outside

As part of a renovation or construction, some homeowners make the choice of thermal insulation from the outside (ITE). Among the solutions, there is the ITE under ventilated cladding, much easier to implement than an ITE under coating.
Manufacturers offer turnkey systems (frame, insulation, cladding...) like the "REDAir System" complex from Rockwool.

buy the products separately

However, it is possible to buy the products separately by purchasing an insulation such as Efigreen ITE Efisol to associate with the cladding of his choice.


arrangement of an air space

It is essential to arrange an air gap (thickness 10 mm) between the support and the blades.
For horizontal installation, a simple network of vertical cleats is sufficient.

install cleats

In the vertical, it is necessary a double network of cleats (horizontal and vertical) or a simple packing in staggered for a good air circulation.

Visible fixation blade

Visible fastening blades, traditionally nailed, are increasingly stapled or screwed.

Aspect of the blades

The surface finish is what gives the cladding its character.
A product with a planed surface is perfectly flat, smooth and smooth.
Brushed wood is to smooth the surface while highlighting its grain.
As for the "raw" sawn timber, it offers a rustic appearance and a fibrous effect.
For wood-imitating materials, some are available with smooth surfaces while others have a more structured appearance imitating the natural look of wood.

Price of cladding boards

Most cladding is distributed through dealer networks, so rates can vary widely. When drawing up the budget and requests for quotation, it must also be kept in mind that all the necessary accessories (screws, nails, cleats, profiles, etc.) can have an impact on the final cost.

Comparison of eight cladding boards

Comparison of 8 claddings including 4 in solid wood and 4 others in imitation wood (table in pdf)

Eight cladding blades in solid wood and imitation wood: cladding

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