Shingles are individual overlapping elements that are generally fixed over sheathing or timber battens. They are laid in courses, or rows, from the bottom to the top of a wall, with each successive course overlapping the one below. Shingles are typically applied in straight, single courses, but variations on this can be used to create interesting, decorative effects.
Cedar shingles are resistant to harsh weather and environmental conditions. Shingles take on a textured and rugged appearance as they naturally weather. They also grey with age unless stained, painted or coated with water-repellent preservative. Wood shingles are a fire hazard and some local Australian governments restrict their use.
But the use of shingles has taken a more contemporary turn in recent years, particularly in Australia. Used to clad clean and simple forms or highlight sections of facades, shingles bring detail and texture to the exterior of a home. Considering shingle cladding for your home? Read on to learn all about it, and peruse a selection of homes where it’s been used to great effect.
Shingles are a roof and wall covering consisting of individual overlapping elements. On walls, they are generally fixed over sheathing or timber battens.
Shingles are laid in courses or rows from the bottom to the top of the wall, with each successive course overlapping the joint of the one below. They are typically applied in straight single courses, but variations on this can be used to create interesting, decorative effects.
Wood has been the traditional material of choice for shingles. In Australia, timber shingles are often made from imported western red cedar, which is one of North America’s most durable woods. It is more resistant to harsh weather and environmental factors than other softwoods. But shingles can also be made from stone, asphalt, slate, zinc and other materials.
While shingles are flat rectangular shapes, there are two types of timber shingles: shingles and shakes, and the difference is how they are made. A shingle is generated from a sawn piece of timber and is characterised by its relatively smooth surfaces. A shake is essentially a split piece of timber with a strongly textured and more rugged, irregular surface. Shakes may also have a thicker butt end than a shingle.
Wood shingles generally follow standard sizes, varying from about 400 to 600 millimetres in length and 10 to 13 millimetres in thickness. They can also be custom made.
- Cedar shingles are resistant to harsh weather and other environmental factors.
- The natural weathering of timber shingles creates a textured, rugged appearance that allows a house to sit beautifully in its natural environment.
- Timber shingles are produced from a renewable resource, especially if harvested from a sustainable forest.
- A pro or a con, depending on the desired effect, wood shingles will grey with age and weather, unless stained, painted or coated with water-repellent preservative. Pigmented stains may be used to retain a natural-looking timber colour.
- Wood shingles are a fire hazard and some local Australian governments restrict their use
Tower House by Austin Maynard Architects is a renovation and extension to a weatherboard home in Alphington, Melbourne. The house is comprised of numerous structures with western red cedar shingles cladding many of the exterior walls.