How to Guide - Installing External Cladding

How to Guide - Installing External Cladding

External Cladding Installation 

These guides outline basic measures that must be taken to ensure a successful installation of Western Red Cedar on external walls.

Who’s it for?

  • Builders, installers, specifiers and competent handymen.

What you’ll need

  • A basic level of building skill.
  • Familiarity with standard building procedures – refer to the standard building code if necessary.
  • Carpentry tools.

Storing and handling your timber

Avoid damaging your timber by following these suggestions:

  • Keep it dry. Water stains on timber can be permanent.
  • Do not step on or knock your timber profiles as this can break off the tongue or groove or crack a board.
  • Handle pre-finished timber carefully to avoid scratching the face.
  • When tongue and groove profiled boards are stacked on site, take care that they are stacked with side spacing and not in direct contact with the ground.

Your goal

For external installation of Western Red Cedar, you should be aiming for a wall that not only looks good but has:

  • Professional appearance.
  • Neat ends and corners.
  • Allows no moisture inside the building.
  • Develops no rust streaks on the wall from fixings.


You’ll need the following equipment to complete this project:

  • Nails – hot dipped galvanised, stainless steel or silicon bronze.
  • Nail gun or hammer, measuring and levelling tools, drop saw.


You’ll need the following supplies to complete this project:

  • Breathable building paper
  • Nails – hot dipped galvanised, stainless steel or silicon bronze (see Step 7).
  • Preserving oil.

Watch: Moisture Control

Keeping moisture out must be your top priority to avoid rot and a wet interior. Timber must be kept ventilated and as dry as possible – all year round on both sides of the timber.

Install Guides:

Preserve your timber

NOTE: Any external finish on timber will need to be maintained, so choose wisely to minimise upkeep.

WARNING: Do not use clear or tinted lacquer varnish or polyurethane – it will crack, peel and look unsightly. This includes timber with a pre-lacquered finish from Cedar Sales (TwoTone and Satin) – these are for alfresco and verandah ceilings or internal use only. For external timber in any conditions, Cedar Sales only recommends oil or external paint.

Timber preserving oil

Oil will fade over time and need reapplication, however this is an easy process.

Clear Oil:
Use clear oil if you want timber to go grey. It will soak into the timber, and assist in keeping the timber stable and straight.

Tinted Oil:
Use tinted oil for UV protection to maintain the original colour of the timber and prevent it going grey.

Cutek® Timber Preserving Oil:
Use Cutek® Timber Preserving Oil for long term protection and low maintenance. It soaks into the timber, and if the timber becomes very dull, grey or dirty, it can be readily cleaned back with a timber cleaner, and the colour is restored with more oil. No sanding or stripping is ever needed.

Follow supplier recommendations for application and maintenance.

Black walls:
If you want an external black wall, Cedar Sales only recommends using Black Ash, or Triple Black Ash from Cutek®. Cutek® works better than most black stains to control dimensional stability.

Be very careful – a black surface can make timber fiercely hot, causing boards to be less stable.

Gates, Garage Doors and Fences

Western Red Cedar is perfect for feature gates, garage doors and fences, due to its durability, stability and light weight.

Our tips:

  • Do not make your gates or fences out of Blue Board, or similar, and then attach the timber directly to the board. Moisture will get to the back of the external timber cladding and the timber will rot. Add battens so there is an air space, and make sure that moisture can escape out the bottom.
  • It is best to use a metal frame for gates, with no backing behind the timber. Glue the timber to the metal frame, and screw it from behind using stainless steel screws to resist rust.
  • Make sure there is an air space at the bottom of fences. Do not make the timber sit in the dirt. Allow at least 20mm gap.
  • Garage doors are normally built using a specially constructed aluminium frame, and are clad with 12 or 15mm thick timber. Cedar Sales have profiles available that are machined on both sides so the door looks attractive on the inside as well as the outside. Make sure you request timber that is clean on both sides and inform Cedar Sales that it’s for a garage door.

Need a custom solution for your next interior or exterior cladding project?

At Cedar Sales, we can make your timber moulding design dreams come true. Our in-house manufacturing capabilities allow us to customise our standard offering to meet your expected project requirements. With our precision moulding and machining, we can match any existing profile. We can also provide a custom design consultation service to create existing new products for volume orders. This is backed by our multi-functional coating plant for pre-primed, satin and colour finishes. The possibilities are endless.