Douglas Fir Timber Cladding – A Beginner’s Guide
With so many timber specie available, it can be hard to determine the best specie for timber cladding. Considering durability, appearance, price and an assortment of other factors, choosing a dream timber cladding material is no mean feat.
At NORclad, we are timber cladding experts, routinely sourcing and supplying fine specie to elevate building projects. From softwoods to hardwoods, we offer a range of timber cladding solutions to fit all budgets, specifications and visions. Why not check out some of our work?
We put together this helpful guide to Douglas fir so you can learn more about this notable timber species, its properties, and many applications including timber cladding.
Douglas fir is a redwood timber grown in UK woodland as well as overseas. It is sometimes referred to as Oregon pine, British Columbian pine or Columbian pine. As with all the timber supplied by NORclad, Douglas fir can be sourced from sustainable forests with FSC or PEFC certification, following our environmental policy.
Although a softwood, Douglas fir is renowned for its notable durability, strength and subsequent versatility. Softwoods are generally lighter and have a softer surface than hardwoods, yet still maintain comparable levels of strength. Additionally, softwoods are inherently largely resistant to bacteria, termites and moisture, thus its outdoor applications. Due to its consideration as more sustainable wood, softwood accounts for approximately 80% of timber.
See more: Hardwood Vs Softwood – Which is Best for Timber Cladding.
We at NORclad champion Douglas fir as a cost effective alternative to Oak, a timber species with similar properties; find out more about Oak and how it compares to Douglas fir.
Properties of Douglas Fir
Strength – Douglas fir is one of the strongest homegrown softwoods, known for being tough. It is 60% stiffer, 40% harder and more resilient than European Redwood, a comparative softwood.
Versatility – Due to its strength, Douglas fir is favourable for many timber applications, especially cladding. Aside from physical application, Douglas fir is aesthetically striking and therefore suited to outdoor use to enhance attractiveness.
Density – For a softwood, Douglas fir has a significant density of 530 kg/m3. In the realms of timber specie this is moderately dense, slightly lower than other, particularly heavy, timber specie. However, when compared to Canadian Cedar with an average density of 390 kg/m3, Douglas fir is reasonably dense.
Durability – Douglas fir is relatively durable, inherently resilient to fungal decay and other quality-decreasing factors. With life expectancy of well over 35 years, Douglas fir is regarded as a generally hardwearing species. Additionally, due to high resin content, Douglas fir can be left untreated and still maintain durability over time. this also allows for the natural and stunning process of weathering.
Colour – As a redwood, Douglas fir is usually an attractive red-brown colour. However, this may differ according to part of the tree cut, with colour variations of pink, brown, and cream. Douglas fir is often left untreated and undergoes weathering, changing the colour from reddy-brown to a striking silvery grey over time.
Notably, Douglas fir is often very characteristic timber, usually with quite a few knots and larger grain patterns, adding to the overall appearances. These characteristics and possible colour variations are often incredibly desirable and what draws timber cladding clients to Douglas fir.
Want to learn more about the different colour and appearances of timber specie? Read this helpful guide.
Homegrown – It is possible to source Douglas fir timber grown in the UK, favoured for its relative strength even when compared to overseas timber and its reduced transport impact. When homegrown, transport complexity and emissions are reduced, often decreasing costs and carbon emissions. This prevention of carbon emissions through delivery is especially key for promoting timber as a carbon-neutral material.
Length – As Douglas fir trees grow long and straight, greater lengths of up to 5m can often be supplied. This may be especially attractive to architects and designers, looking to create a very specific vision of uniform cladding. Combining the versatile uses of Douglas fir with its characteristic aesthetic makes it a dream timber cladding material.
Interested in sourcing Douglas fir for your next building project? Get in contact with NORclad, timber cladding specialists.
Douglas Fir Uses
Similar to Oak, likewise a strong and durable timber species, Douglas fir is used for a wide variety of applications. From interior and exterior uses, Douglas fir is chosen for both its durability and strength as well as its striking appearances and possible characteristic colour variation.
Douglas fir is often used for:
- Timber frames
- Exterior cladding
- Interior cladding
Douglas Fir Cladding
Douglas fir is undoubtedly suited to outdoor use. From its inherent resilience to fungal decay and notable strength, to its stunning appearance and characteristic variation, Douglas fir is a timber cladding top runner.
For maximum longevity, install Douglas fir timber cladding between the months of October and April. As with any timber specie cladding, ensure positioning is well considered to minimise exposure to damaging weather; constant exposure to wind and rain, for example, may impact life expectancy.
Due to its high durability and resistance, Douglas fir timber cladding is often left untreated, resulting in nature taking its toll. However, natural weathering results in colour changes over time, developing the original reddy-brown Douglas fir cladding to a striking silvery-grey shade.
Learn more about how timber cladding weathers.
Find Douglas Fir Timber Cladding with NORclad
To find the ideal timber specie for your timber cladding project, talk to one of our experts today. As timber cladding specialists with over 40 years’ experience supplying timber cladding, our team at NORclad can guide you through our range of timber specie.