Are you thinking about using wood for the external facade of a house or other building? Discover this increasingly common feature in today’s architecture

wooden facades


Wood is a building material with many virtues. It has warmth and natural aspect, excellent technical qualities and adapts elegantly to any environment or design, whether rustic or modern.

For some years, its use has been at the forefront again, among other reasons, due to the growing concern with the environment and the search for sustainable materials. But in our case it’s not just because of that, but also because wooden facades meet all necessary technical requirementsand a few more for use in this area.

Advantages of Wooden Facades

  • Versatility in formats and species. One of the great advantages of wood as a building material is that it is incredibly versatile. Not only can it be worked on to achieve almost any shape at a cost much lower than any other material (ventilated facades, slats, trusses, curves …), as well as there are different species and treatments, we can adapt an infinite number of environments.
  • Different types of installation. We can cover wooden facades using different techniques. Each one with its characteristics, which we will talk about later.
  • 100% recyclable material and ecological.
  • Wood is a thermal and acoustic insulation Natural.
  • Natural appearance and adaptability to any architectural and / or decorative style. It can also be easily combined with other materials, such as glass, concrete or stone.
  • Comparatively low cost.
  • Can be performed simple repairs and spare parts.

Disadvantages of Wooden Facades

  • Maintenance. This is, without a doubt, the disadvantage that makes many consumers retreat. The wood needs some maintenance. In this sense, it must also be said that today there are options and treatments to make it much smaller. We should also not forget that the alternatives also usually require maintenance, something that detractors of using wood as an outer covering tend to forget.
  • Fire resistance. When planning a wooden façade this is a criterion that must be considered, as the wood burns after all. Today’s architecture and industry offer solutions for wood to comply with all fire reaction standards and regulations. In addition, if done correctly, the result need not be worse than the other options.
  • In the event that parts need to be replaced, new ones will not have the same hue, although we used the same type of wood. With time and exposure to the sun, they will match up.

Wood cladding forms

Although there are different types of wooden facades, all must respect the nature of the material to achieve a lasting result:

  • All parts must be arranged in such a way that air. It is okay to get wet regularly; however, if the water becomes stagnant at some point, that’s when a problem will arise.
  • Should be respect the natural movements of the wood. These contractions and expansions are natural and typical of wood, so if we respect them, there will be no problem. Otherwise, there is a risk of breaks, cracks …
  • Must be done wood selection, not only in terms of species, but also in terms of quality (knots, cracks, warping, humidity …).
  • Proper treatment for the environment. For example, if we are in a marine environment, the temperature differential, etc.

Types of external wood cladding

types of wooden facades

Ventilated wooden facade. This type of facade consists of at least two layers separated from each other and in which air circulation is favored. A metal frame is usually used to support this additional layer, which can be made among other wood materials.

Its advantages include: reduced heating or cooling consumption, quick installation, reduced maintenance, simplified repairs and replacements, eliminates thermal bridges, increases the durability of the building as a whole …

Trusses. In these cases, the veneer sheets are separated from each other and there is also a separation between the interior facade and the wooden truss. The goal is to let the light through.

One of the great advantages of trusses is that they can be fixed and mobile, which considerably increases the possibilities.

Repair of battens. This has traditionally been the most common means of building wooden facades.

It is common to use inferior quality wood for battens. It is logical from the point of view of total cost, but we should not use low quality parts that put the result at risk.

Types of wood used and treatments for WOODEN FACADES

In our external wood section, you will find much more detailed information.

As a sketch:

  • Species. Not all woods are the same and have the same characteristics. For the use in question, we are interested in woods with special resistance to the elements (solar radiation, rain …), stable to environmental changes and durable against insects, fungi, etc. Some of them are iroko, larch, ipe, teak or cedar.
  • Heat treatment. Treatment that alters the composition of the wood based on heat and the absence of oxygen.
  • Autoclave. Drying of wood in the absence of air and application of copper salts.
  • Acetylated wood. It is a chemical process that reduces the wood’s ability to absorb water. This improves its stability and hardness.
  • Carbonization. Burning the top layer of the wood improves its strength.
  • Phenolic plates.
  • Composite or synthetic wood for facades. These panels, battens or battens are not entirely made of wood. They are an industrial production material that mixes wood fibers, resins and, to a lesser extent, other chemical components. The result is a highly durable, low-maintenance synthetic wood facade. The appearance does not have to be exactly what the wood offers, although you can imitate it.
  • Surface treatments: varnishes, pigments, linseed oil, teak oil …

Examples and images of external wood cladding

ventilated wooden facades
external wood cladding
wooden trusses