Cladding advice needed

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New member
4 Oct 2020
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I'm in the process of re-cladding the front of my workshop which had decayed over time due to poor maintenance by the previous owner. I've picked up some British cedar tongue and groove cladding around 140mm wide to be attached vertically. The underlying framing is 4x2 treated timber with 12mm OSB sheathing covered in Tyvek house wrap. I don't want the cladding protruding any more than I have to so I was going to use:
19x38 vertical counterbattens
38x50 horizontal battens
20mm PTGV cladding
I'm going to use 50mm stainless ring shank nails put in by hand for the cladding, but I have a few questions about the rest of it and wondered if someone could advise:

1. What nails or screws should I use for the counterbattens and battens to attach to the frame? I have a first fix nail gun that I was going to use for the battens and counter battens with smooth galvanised 90mm or should I go for something else (ring shank nails, screws, etc, which I would need to buy)?

2. Should I allow for expansion when putting the PTGV boards side-by-side. If so, would 2mm be OK for cedar?

3. Should I use 1 or 2 nails per board per batten? I was going to use 2 for this width board.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks, James.


Established Member
19 Jan 2019
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The best guide is MikeG's Workshop Build alas he's now moved to the other place where you can find his cladding advice (and one or two self-confessed mistakes) here TheWoodHaven2 • View topic - Mike's Workshop Build (Extension & slates) pages 10 and 11 and I quote 'One nail per board per counter batten. That nail should be about 30/ 35mm up from the bottom (assuming a 25mm board overlap), so that the top board holds the top edge of the lower board, but still allows it to expand and contract with the seasons without splitting. I have seen boards nailed top and bottom, and I have seen them nailed too close to the bottom edge so that the nail goes through both boards. Both are big mistakes.'
I would also caution using 38mm wide battens as nailing or screwing 2 butted ends risks missing the batten or splitting the ends of the cladding. This is not such an issue if you have no butted joints. I used 50mm battens, the horizontals were air gunned in with 2nd fix 18g 50mm nails then the verticals were air gunned in through the intersection of the horizontals and verticals with 1st fix 90mm ring shanks. I also used quality battens (red brash) but blue are also good with few, if any knots that cause weakness. This is more of an issue if you are using them on a roof mind you.

Others may do it differently so have a read of the various workshop builds especially @DBT85 DBT85s Workshop - Moved in and now time to fit it out |

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