Cedar cladding has become a desirable finish on garden room buildings. It is chosen by many buyers because it has a natural durability, which gives it a long lifespan, requiring little maintenance. It is also desirable because of its natural colouring. Boards start out a mellow reddish brown colour. Each board is a variation on this colour depending on where it is cut from the log. Some lengths will be a deep brown/red, whilst others will be a much paler salmon pink colour. This variation in shades can look beautiful fitted along the length of the wall, and give the garden room real character.
Unless you protect Cedar quickly, it will change colour
If you want to maintain this natural reddish brown colour in the long term, you need to make the decision early, as once Cedar is exposed to sunlight it will start to change colour. Ultimately it will turn to a silver grey, which although beautiful in itself, does change the appearance of a garden room dramatically and make it look aged.
How quickly Cedar cladding will change colour depends on the exposure of the wall to sunlight. Here in the UK, a south facing elevation, for instance, is going to take the full force, and will likely change colour quicker than the other elevations of your room.
Even a few days can have an effect
In many cases, it will take a year or two, depending on the exposure, to see a significant difference in colour in Cedar cladding. A few days of exposure to strong sunlight can affect though, as we discovered this week here at Garden Room HQ.
We had a few offcut lengths of Cedar cladding piled against a wall, during a project. The Cedar is new, having arrived from the sawmill just a few days earlier. We had propped the offcuts against the wall while we completed our project. When we came to move them to a more permanent home, we were surprised to see how one piece sitting on top of another, showed a marked difference in colour at the end that was exposed.
The shorter length of cladding had been resting on the longer length, for about seven days. As you can see from these images, there is a marked difference in colour! The paler section is the unexposed colour; the darker end had been exposed to the sun for about seven days.
If you want to maintain the ‘new’ colour, make up your mind quickly
In many ways, there is nothing wrong with this change in colour; the sun has given the Cedar a darker appearance. The thing is, left exposed this colour will morph into a silver grey colour over the coming months. So, if you want to maintain the ‘new’ look of your Cedar cladding, you need to make the decision quickly so that it can be protected.
Many garden room companies will talk through your options at the design stage. They will ask you if you are happy for your Cedar cladding to age to silver. If you indicate that you would like to maintain the new look. They will suggest applying a UV-oil as the cladding is fitted.
A few garden room companies will offer to apply this oil as part of their overall project. Others will suggest that you apply the oil soon after the installation team leaves the site.
A clear oil is used. The most common one being OSMO clear UV-oil which offers a factor 12 protection. The oil is easy to apply by brush and gives the wood a soft, satin sheen. It also helps to repel rainwater.
Depending on the exposure of the cladding, the UV-oil will need reapplying every couple of years. So, to maintain the colour, you are committing to an ongoing maintenance schedule.