Stand Out From the Crowd
For homeowners looking to differentiate, wood siding can bring an unexpected and unique aesthetic that will help your clients stand out from the neighbors.
Wood siding is highly versatile and offers a wide range of profiles, from rustic shakes to traditional planks and ultra modern architectural panels. Wood also can be stained, treated, and painted in a variety of shades to create a truly custom look.
This collection of single-family homes is a reinterpretation of the traditional snow-country architecture typically found in Lake Tahoe, bringing distinction with dramatic roof shapes, full-height operable glass windows, and Western Red Cedar siding on the exterior walls and soffits.
According to BAR Architects, the clean interiors, particularly the exposed steel structure against the beautiful cedar in featured areas, are a favorite among buyers. “Western Red Cedar on walls and ceilings seamlessly extend from inside to the exterior, drawing the eye outside and emphasizing the connection between home and the surrounding outdoor environment,” said Jeff Goodwin, BAR Architects’ principal.
Play Well with Others
Another exterior cladding design technique growing in popularity for modern homes is mixed material use. Wood offers a variety of texture and design orientation options, making it a great choice for combining with various architectural styles and building materials.
“Authenticity comes from good architecture, great detailing, and a thoughtful approach to materials that are true to the local vernacular,” says Thomas Devine, AIA, senior partner at Housing Design Matters. Guilliams emphasizes the importance of using materials to lead the eye and create a hierarchy.
Buena Vista Residences
Located between Buena Vista Park and Corona Heights, Calif., the Buena Vista Residence has a modern aesthetic that is “immediately apparent in the two wood-clad volumes connected by a tall glass atrium, sitting atop a concrete plinth," says Devine.
"The variegated tone and grain of the redwood siding achieves an ideal balance between the home’s clean, structured lines and the urban foliage surrounding the site. A concrete and steel exterior staircase provides a bold yet inviting approach to the home’s second floor entrance.”
"The majority of homebuyers are seeking exterior aesthetics that lean toward a carefully curated mixed palette,” says Devine.
Show How Much You Care
As consumers look for more eco-friendly homes, sustainable siding options are an excellent way to reduce a home’s carbon footprint and embrace green construction.
Wood siding ranks high for having a low environmental impact. It is sustainable, and can last for over 100 years when properly maintained. Wood is also recyclable, and a renewable resource. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) ranks cedar siding as one of the highest in eco-friendly siding options, when compared to vinyl, brick, stucco, and aluminum.
New York architect Vincent Appel designed Sheffield House to replace the resident’s childhood home with cedar siding and walls as the “picture frame of the spaces of memory.”
This Massachusetts home is covered in boards of Western Red Cedar finished with a mix of bleach and pre-weathering stain in order to create an even weathering and to contrast the lush surroundings.
“The finish will ‘live’ through the life of the building and eventually weather to a silver-blond-grey,” said the studio.
Appel completed Sheffield House with Kent Hicks Construction and Energy Efficiency Associates in Massachusetts to achieve Passivhaus standards of low-energy design.
Bring Form and Function
One of the more recent innovations in wood facades promises to bring both aesthetic appeal and sensible functionality. Operable, “kinetic” facades change their appearance to create different usable space or to respond to environmental conditions.
Kinetic facades with wood cladding can provide protection from outside elements, while also incorporating various levels of privacy, design elegance, and warmth.
In rural Utrecht, The Netherlands, this compact recreation house was built on an existing garden house to include a new structure and envelope with wood window shutters.
Architect Zecc Architecten used kinetic design techniques to create a facade that rotates to be both transparent and completely closed.
The result is a high level of design craftsmanship and practical functionality. The horizontal slats of the shutters continue into the cladding inside the cottage so that when the shutters are closed, the house has a cohesive character.
Wood Resources and More
As you explore external cladding options with your client or project architect, consider which wood selection is best based on location, design preferences, and durability.
If you’re ready to make their vision a reality, take a look at our step-by-step tutorial on how to install exterior wood siding.
When working on any exterior project, it’s important to choose a wood species that has resistance to the effects of weathering and sun. Learn more about choosing the right wood for any job in this blog.
Photo credits (in order): Boulder - BAR Architects, Buena Vista - George Bradley | Architecture + Design, Recreation - Vincent Appel / Of Possible, Sheffield - Stijn Poelstra / Zecc Architecten