How to get the best value from your timber shed investment!

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 maintenence options such as coated steel and even polypropelene. 

If you’ve opted for timber, here are some tips on making sure your investment stays in great shape for decades to come…

Timber is a living material – kind of!

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. 

Timber treatment alternatives.
Timber treatment alternatives – Timber Preservers

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.

Most timber paints have a preservative content
Most timber paints have a preservative content

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.

Slip, Slap, Slop works for timber as well humans
Slip, Slap, Slop works for timber as well humans

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.

Timber moves and that can lead to leaky windows
Timber moves and that can lead to leaky windows

Sun and rain, snow and damp… 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.

Keep plants away from your shed.
No touching please!

A vine or creeper may look lovely growing over your shed but, as sure as day follows night, you’re dramatically shortening your shed’s life.

If possible, ensure that there is good ventilation on all sides and that there are no branches overhanging your shed.

Paint or oil? It's time to pick up that brush!
Paint or oil? It’s time to pick up that brush!

Exterior paints now come in every imaginable colour and there are now many alternative application methods allowing a wide range of finished appearance. You’re only limited by your imagination. (Or in my case, by ‘her’ imagination 🙂 )

And now for some final tips…

Tips for getting the best results from your shed painting labours
Tips for getting the best results from your shed painting labours

Thanks to Ireland’s Crowe Saw Mills for the illustrations.

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