Here's the Basics of Building a Shingle-Clad Home

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The layered effect of shingles, whether it is on your home's roof or exterior facades gives a timeless appeal. The sight of it takes us back to the previous times when homes are grand and standing beautifully amongst the lush, green surroundings. Now, we use shingle to create contemporary home exteriors. Homeowners can take advantage of the materials aesthetic details and texture to highlight their home's facade. It can make your humble abode stand out from all the concrete around you.

Aside from aesthetics, there are a lot more about shingles which make it attractive to homeowners. It is still a great roof and wall covering choice for some areas in the United States, Europe, Asia, and of course, Australia. If you're one of those who wants to own a shingle-clad home, here are the things you need to know before building one:

What are shingles made of?

The traditional shingle is made from wood. In fact, the most popular timber shingle in the country is made of red cedar, which the country imports from North America. This softwood was tested and was proven to withstand the harsh weather and environmental conditions of the country.

But the red cedar shingles can only last for about five to ten years. There are better hardwood alternatives such as Blackbutt, Merbau, Red Iron Bark, River Red Gum, Spotted Gum, Silvertop Ash, or Turpentine. The Australian building industry recognises the durability of these local hardwoods. In addition, these are naturally resistant to fire. It won't ignite easily under the scorching sun. Of course, you still have to make safety precautions to keep your home safe from fire. Installing roof sprinklers that saturate timber shingle roofing and incorporating your timber shingle cladding with modern fire retardant impregnation treatments will increase the integrity of your structure.



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In case your local building council prohibits the use of wooden shingles, your shingle choices falls down to stone, slate, asphalt, and zinc. Asphalt shingles are best used on the roof while others are best for cladding homes.

They come in different looks

The shingles available in the market are not limited to flat, smooth, and rectangular shapes. There are various shapes and designs that still give a clean and consistent look even if you overlap the material in layers. For example, zinc shingles have diamond patterns which give the exterior design a modern appeal. You can find fish-scale shingles being sold as well.  

On the other hand, a type of timber shingle called 'shake' is used for its rugged, irregular surfaces. The material's weathered texture is the main thing that elevates the exterior design of the structure. When installed correctly, shakes don’t require regular maintenance, painting, or surface treatment.

The wood shingles have standard sizes, from 400-600 millimetres in length and 10-13 millimetres in thickness. It can be customised, depending on your design needs. But, custom-made shingles tend to be expensive.

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