Ah timber… the smell, the feel, the look. No wonder so many of us opt for a timber shed despite knowing that there are longer-lasting, lower maintenance options such as coated steel and even polypropylene.
The beauty and natural appeal of wood have made it a popular choice for sheds and other outdoor structures for centuries. Even with the advent of better, wood remains a popular choice for its visual appeal and traditional feel.
If you’ve opted for a timber shed, here are some tips on making sure your investment stays in great shape for decades to come…
Timber is a living material. Well, it was before it was milled anyways. As a result, it is comprised of cells that expand and contract with heat and cold. And if the timber dries out, it can warp and crack.
Each new crack accelerates the drying, shrinking and cracking process so early prevention really is the cure.
It’s not just oil and water that don’t mix, waxes and paints don’t either. If you decide on an oil preservative understand that it will need regular application. Depending on your climate, that could be as often as every six months.
The good news is that timber oils are easy and quick to apply as long as that first application is done correctly.
Not ready for an annual (or semi-annual) task? Major paint manufacturers now guarantee their paints will stand up to all weather conditions for at least 10 years. That guarantee is valid only if the paints have been properly applied. That includes preparation, base coats (if needed) and proper application of the top coat.
Whether you intend to use an oil-based preservative or a paint finish, time is not on your side. Just like sunscreen, it’s too late once the damage is done. You will see a significant amount of weathering within a month if you leave your shed untreated. Yes, that even includes timbers that are naturally weather resistant like cedar.
Sun and rain, snow and dampness… they all lead to swelling and shrinking and that can create gaps around your windows where moisture can penetrate.
When installing your windows, it’s a good idea to bed them in silicone. Silicone is both very long-lasting and very flexible. It can withstand weather extremes and endless flexing.
A vine or creeper may look lovely growing over your shed but, as sure as day follows night, you’re dramatically shortening your timber shed’s life.
If you’re thinking about planting a vine or creeper near your timber shed, you should know that it can have a serious impact on the lifespan of your timber shed. Vines and creepers can put a lot of pressure on the shed’s structure, which can shorten its lifespan dramatically.
In some cases, the weight of the vines can even cause the timber shed to collapse. So, if you want to keep your timber shed around for a long time, it’s best to avoid planting anything too close to it.
If possible, ensure that there is good ventilation on all sides and that there are no branches overhanging your shed.
Exterior paints now come in every imaginable colour and there are now many alternative application methods allowing a wide range of finished appearances. You’re only limited by your imagination. (Or in my case, by ‘her’ imagination 🙂 )
And now for some final tips…
Thanks to Ireland’s Crowe Saw Mills for the illustrations.