Considering using feather edge cladding for an upcoming home improvement or landscaping project? We are here with everything you need to know about this fantastic cladding profile.
Find out what feather edge is, some of its key beneficial properties as a cladding profile and where it can be used as well as the different types of feather edge cladding available.
We’ve also set out the basics as to how to install feather edge cladding with some helpful tips and advice. Plus find out what fixtures and accessories you’ll need to complete a home feather edge cladding project.
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Feather edge is a specific style of cladding profile. You may also see it referred to as ‘weatherboarding’ or ‘feather-edge boarding’.
It’s traditional in its style and is often the go-to cladding profile of choice amongst those looking to create a natural-looking and timeless exterior on a barn or an oak-framed building within an agricultural setting.
Each plank of feather edge cladding board has a sawn finish. It’s cut on an angle, creating a tapered, wedge-shaped board across its width. And, unlike rustic-looking waney edge cladding, it has a straight edge.
Feather edge is designed to be laid horizontally. The cladded look is created by overlapping sawn and tapered timber planks. This creates a stunning, uniform finish with plenty of character and aesthetic appeal.
Feather edge cladding can be created from a wide variety of timbers.
You’ve got a great deal of choice as to which type of timber you can choose from.
This untreated timber cladding has been cut from Cedar “homegrown” within the UK.
It has few knots and it is renowned for being particularly stable, offering little shrinkage.
Visually, Western Red Cedar has an enriched mixture of pale pink and golden tones. It’s much lighter in colour compared to Canadian Red Cedar.
Because it’s grown in the UK, it’s travelled fewer miles, making it a cheaper and more environmentally friendly cladding option. It can be stained or left to its own devices, it will weather to a silver-grey colour.
This is a strong and durable softwood timber that shows off a vast array of pink, orange and brown tones when cut.
Without treatment, over time the boards will weather to a striking grey, and it’s normal to see natural splits, cracks and a few knots after it has been cut.
Green Oak is a type of timber that has been freshly cut. Compared to seasoned timbers, it is left to dry naturally outside, which depending on the thickness of the timber, can take several years.
As the Green Oak feather edge boards dry on their own accord, they will shrink, providing a more rustic appearance. You should expect boards to change to a silver-grey over time.
They are described as ‘wet’ because of their naturally high moisture content. This makes this type of cladding easy to work with, whilst being particularly strong, durable and resistant to insect and fungal damage.
This is a type of softwood that has been pressure treated to ensure resistance against weather, moisture and insect and fungal damage.
It’s a cost-effective option and ideal if you’re working to a budget or cladding a large area, such as multiple stables or a large barn.
Choose from a variety of board widths, available in a choice of lengths.
Dark exteriors and the use of black and grey to create modern gardens and landscapes is on trend at the moment. For that reason, black cladding has increased in popularity, and it’s certainly a feather-edge cladding trend that’s set to continue.
Black feather edge is produced from slow-grown Scandinavian whitewood that has been kiln-dried to a specific moisture level suitable for external use before being pressure treated. Each board has been painted with black primer to save time on installation.
Feather edge cladding is a really popular option here in the UK, and there are a few good reasons for that.
Firstly, when installed properly, feather edge cladding is strong and difficult to climb, making it a secure option for buildings and fences.
It’s also natural in appearance, giving homeowners and developers an easy option to create building exteriors that blend and complement natural outdoor elements such as trees, garden areas and rural landscapes.
Feather edge also provides a stunning appearance from both sides – meaning if you’re using this cladding to create a fence, your neighbours will also benefit from its appearance.
It’s timeless and has been a go-to profile of choice for hundreds of years, therefore it’s not something that’s going out of fashion any time soon.
This cladding profile is fairly easy to install (more on that later) and compared to other cladding profiles, it’s one of the most budget-friendly options.
One of the best things about feather edge cladding is the fact it lends itself to a vast array of applications.
This cladding profile looks just as fantastic over large surface areas such as houses and barns, as it does over small sections.
Many choose this cladding profile to revamp their shed or garage whilst others opt for feather edge cladding to complete the exterior of a new garden room, such as a home office or studio.
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If you’re in need of a new log store, and a new DIY project, then feather edge is a superb choice for enclosing the sides of your store.
Or if you jumped on the garden hot tub bandwagon in lockdown and never looked back but are now looking for ways to make your hot tub all-year-round-friendly, then why not build a hot tub shelter? Complete the look with this superb cladding choice to create a stylish garden feature piece.
This cladding can also be used as an alternative to traditional fencing if you’re looking for something a bit different.
Many also use feather edge to clad stables, field shelters, feed rooms and tack rooms.
Here’s a quick and easy guide to get you started:
Find out how much feather edge you’ll need:
Measure the area. Calculate this in square metres.
Next, calculate the overlap:
Feather edge should typically have an overlap of 10-20%. For example, if your boards are 200mm wide, a 20 – 40mm overlap would be appropriate.
Next, calculate the linear metres
You need to consider the overlap. Take the full width of the board and minus the overlap. Using the example above, this would give a width of 170mm. Divide the total square meterage by this number (the width of your chosen feather board minus the overlap). This will tell you how many linear metres are required.
Then calculate how many boards are needed:
Take the linear metre figure and divide this by the board length you’d like to use. Then, times this figure by 1.1 and round up to the nearest whole figure.
Treat and paint first:
Get any paint or treatment on the boards before you start the installation process.
You’ll need to wait for the boards to dry, but, this will save lots of time in the long run, and it’s a far safer option than trying to paint or stain at height.
Fixing feather edge cladding to a wall:
Attach softwood battens vertically to a brick wall. This will provide a means of fixing the feather edge cladding to the wall.
Start from the bottom:
Whenever installing feather edge cladding, it’s essential that you start from the bottom.
Use a 10mm strip behind the lower edge to support. Ensure this board is completely level. Overlap the next board, and continue upwards.
Whenever installing feather edge cladding you should consider a 25-30% overlap. Measure out this overlap and always aim for a consistent overlap between each feather edge board. When using Green Oak, you should factor in shrinking.
You should always use stainless steel nails and fixings when installing feather edge cladding. This is because normal steel will corrode under outdoor conditions and moisture.
The accessories and extra fixtures and fittings needed will depend on what, specifically, you are cladding. However, there are a few things you’re likely going to need to add to your shopping list: