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Originally Posted On: https://www.celtictimber.co.uk/alternatives-to-cedar-cladding/
Western Red Cedar, often shortened to just Cedar, is one of the most popular choices for cladding in the UK, and with good reason.
It is a beautiful, light-coloured wood that is hard-wearing and long-lasting.
Both Canadian Cedar and British Cedar are used extensively for exterior cladding. However, because of its high quality and in the case of Canadian Cedar, import costs, cedar is more expensive than many of its alternatives.
We often get asked for our best advice on alternatives to cedar cladding. If you are looking for timber of similar quality but lower in price, you won’t find many better options than larch cladding or douglas fir.
What is the difference between cedar and larch/douglas fir?
The main difference is that cedar is a little softer, contains fewer knots and is less prone to movement.
Cedar is also slightly yellower in colour to larch/douglas fir’s red.
Why Is British Larch Cladding sometimes sold as Douglas Fir Cladding?
Since around 2013, a fungal-like pathogen called Phytophthora ramorum (often referred to as Sudden Larch Death) has killed thousands of larch trees in the UK. It is capable of killing more than 95% of larch trees in a single forest stand.
When larch tree numbers started falling short of supply and demand, douglas fir rose in popularity. They are incredibly similar timbers. Douglas fir is a little harder and slightly pinker when freshly cut. They both weather to the same silver/grey colour.
Why is larch a good alternative to cedar cladding?
Both larch and douglas fir have high resin content. This helps them to last for years in external conditions without requiring any treatment.
We do stock a range of exterior oils that you can use to extend their lifespan even further or to maintain/adjust the timber’s natural colour.
British larch is more cost-effective than British cedar. You don’t sacrifice much in terms of appearance and performance when switching from cedar to larch, but can save money, especially over larger projects.
Be different. Here’s our summary poem:
For those that like zig while others are zagging,
Larch is the perfect alternative to cedar cladding.
Got any further questions about larch, douglas fir, cedar or any of our other cladding options? Contact us and our team will answer any query you may have.