What are the Different Cladding Options for the Walls of a Summerhouse?

So, what exactly is cladding on a summerhouse?

Cladding is how the timber boards fit together to create the walls.

There are a number of cladding types which dictate how the boards are assembled. The differences between them not only affect the summerhouse’s appearance but also weather resistance and insulation.

The main 3 types of cladding that are used for summerhouses are:

  • Shiplap
  • Tongue and Groove
  • Overlap


  • Interlocking timber boards
  • Traditional style
  • Slight indent along each board producing a tight overlapping/interlocking edge
  • Scalloped profile
  • No gaps
  • Rainwater runs off easily
  • Extremely weather resistant
  • No gaps
  • Robust

Example of Shiplap summerhouses – Shire Barclay Summerhouse or Shire Westminster Summerhouse

Tongue and Groove

  • Interlocking timber boards – the same benefits of shiplap
  • Timber boards interlock with, and slot into, each other to create a flat wall
  • Slot cut along the edge of the board – the groove
  • Opposite edge has a deep, thin ridge – the tongue
  • The tongue slots into the groove of adjacent piece
  • Very tight seal
  • Extremely weather resistant
  • No gaps
  • Robust
  • Sleek finish
  • Robust

Example of Tongue and Groove summerhouse – Mercia Helios Summerhouse


  • Timber boards nailed to building’s frame
  • Each board overlaps is attached to the board beneath
  • Allows rain to run off
  • Allows timber to expand and contract easily with the changing temperatures throughout the year
  • Not a closed seal
  • Prone to moisture
  • Draughts

Example of Overlap summerhouse – Forest Oakley Summerhouse

So, in summary, the interlocking timbers of both tongue and groove and shiplap cladding create a tight seal which result in strong, durable and weather resistant walls, keeping moisure and draughts out.

They are a superior option for a summerhouse compared with overlap cladding which does not create as tight a seal, therefore making it more prone to leaks and moisture getting in.

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Jo is the face of Jack's Garden Store and has led our customer service for more than a decade. If you have a garden product question, she's got the answer! Unless she hasn't, in which case she'll call you back when she does...

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