Local timber cladding using larch
Larch is growing in popularity as a cladding timber. It is a homegrown softwood that makes an attractive cladding.
The colouring of Larch is a pale orange brown when Fresh Sawn. The colour mellows as it dries and, if left unfinished, it slowly greys to a silver which varies in tone and depth depending on orientation and weathering. At first the sap and heart are contrasting but this contrast will not be visible as it silvers.
Fresh Sawn Larch is best used where a planed finish is not required and the machined profile is fairly simple and especially thin or long dimensions are not required. FS timber is generally suitable for overlapping profiles only.
It is typically available in square-edge, feather-edge and waney-edge boards in dimensions up to 300mm wide and lengths up to 4.0m. Shingles and shakes are also available and can be produced from Fresh Sawn material, whether machine sawn or hand riven. Once sawn, Larch will Air dry to 25-30% within about 4 weeks.
Larch is a slightly durable timber which suggests issues with shortened lifespan but with careful detailing it can have good lifespan potential. As with all the softwoods, Larch only has small moisture movement in changing moisture levels. It is difficult to treat due to resin content, density and levels of moisture present but once the surface has dried it will take an external finish for colour maintenance.
Larch is much stronger than WRC and very tough with a density of around 550kg/m³ when dried (12% moisture content).
We have a cladding price sheet that details some standard sizes for F/S cladding and the guide prices to match, these are good for a rough idea but we would advise you contact us for a firm quote on your requirements. Generally the softwoods cost less than the hardwoods.
Larch has a tendency to split when nailed so fixing needs some careful consideration and drilling and screwing may be a preferred option