New Ways with Wood

Posted by Penelope Barker and Jody Calvert on Sep 19, 2018


From early settler’s slab huts to gracious weatherboard homes, timber cladding has a long history in home design in New Zealand. Now contemporary homes are getting with it with wood.

New Zealand company, Herman Pacific, for example, supplies both vertical and horizontal weatherboards that sit flat, rather than overlapping like traditional weatherboard, giving a clean, modern look perfect for contemporary home design.  The weatherboards can be left plain or accented with different mouldings and look good combined with other contemporary finishes such as steel cladding. The company also supplies timber shingles which can be used to create interesting textural feature elements.

When you’re looking to build a timber home, an important consideration is that the timber comes from a sustainable source. Check that any timber used is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The FSC is a global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management worldwide. Other certifications to look for are the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certifications (PEFC), Verified Legal Compliance (VLC) and CertiSource, which applies to verified legal timber from Indonesia.

Of course, if sustainability is an important issue for you then recycled timber is also an option you could explore.

Lately, we’ve come across an ancient Japanese practice called shou-sugi-ban “the burning of Japanese cypress (sugi)” being used to great effect by Western architects. This technique involves using either an open fire or jet flame to torch the outside of the timber to achieve a charred finish. The process forms a carbon layer which protects the timber and is said to render it virtually maintenance free and make the boards more resistant to fire, rot and pests.

Depending on the type of timber used, shou-sugi-ban can give a solid black effect that softens to grey over time or unusual crocodile skin-like effects.

If you love the look of traditional weatherboard, but are put off by the painting and ongoing maintenance required, there are modern alternatives made from sand, cement and cellulose that look like the real deal.

Linea Weatherboard from Scyon Walls, for example, comes in a range of colours and is able to achieve the deep shadow line look of traditional timber options without the maintenance, as it is less prone to flaking, warping or swelling, and is resistant to fire and damage from termites and moisture. It’s also lightweight and easy to install.

 Image supplied by Architect Magazine

If an affordable luxury timber house is part of your plans, contact us here at Location Homes to discuss your ideas and find out how we can achieve your dream for you. 



Topics: taranaki, Mangawhai, far north, Cladding, location homes


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