Timber claddings are by far the most commonly used option in garden office design, but you do have other options. Many companies offer manmade composite cladding products which come in different colours and profiles. A handful of companies offer crisply rendered finishes in a palette of colours. A few companies are now offering slate or brick cladding, which used as a feature wall can offer great character.
Last month when we were at the Chelsea Flower Show we spotted a nice example of slate cladding used on a garden office, on the Crown Pavilions stand. Crown Pavilions have developed a range of buildings called the Crown Clarence which allows you to mix a wall of slate, brick or render with timber cladding.
As you can see from this photo the slate-clad Crown Clarence on display looks quite different to a totally timber clad garden office. The different thicknesses of the slate tiles create a very tactile surface that you can’t help but run your hand across. There is a slight colour difference between each tile, which also looks very good.
The Crown Pavilions team have colour matched the door frames with the slate tiles, and combined it with timber cladding, creating a sharp contrast in materials. We were also impressed at how they had wrapped the slate around on to the side walls and butted this into the timber cladding with an angled joint. Their stand at Chelsea was so busy, that we didn’t get a good picture of this intersection, so we have modelled a CGI image which illustrates this joint.
Bespoke garden office suppliers such as SIPS Garden Rooms are also able to create a feature wall with slate cladding. This garden office features a small section of slate, again mixed with timber, creating an eye-catching detail.
Garden office designers tend to use slate cladding systems which come in sections of several tiles which are quick to hang, rather than hang one tile at a time, which would make it a labour intensive option. Whilst the tiles within each section are different thicknesses to give the texture of a hand-built wall, the overall thickness of the cladding is about 20mm, so about the same as the timber cladding used.
The materials for a slate clad wall are about 40% more expensive than using a quality timber cladding like Western Red Cedar, so you might want to focus it’s use as a feature wall, like Crown Pavilions & SIPS Garden Rooms have done.