Monday, October 8, 2012

Siding Part 2 - Charred Cedar

The siding contractors have finished installing the first of three siding materials on the house - charred cedar. This type of siding originates from an old Japanese technique called shou sugi ban. Traditionally, planks of wood are set on fire and allowed to burn for a few minutes before being extinguished. This creates a dark layer of carbon on the surface of the wood that serves as a natural layer of protection. The benefit of this technique over staining is that it is low-maintenance and will not fade over time. 

A truly authentic application of this technique would have leave the wood planks with deep veins, which I didn't want in a modern application. The contractors instead used a blow torch to burn the surface, rinsed and scrubbed the planks, and repeated the process three times to achieve an even tone in the wood without over-burning it. 

Blow-torching cedar siding. That looks like fun! (he had a big smile while he was doing this)

Rinse, scrub, and repeat
The result
 It looks really nice on the house, and hopefully will be very low maintenance. I think that over time, the dark brownish tint of the siding coming up from beneath the carbon layer will fade to a grey and will still compliment the other materials on the house.

Front of the house in full sunlight

Back of the house

Western side of the house

1 comment:

  1. That looks pretty cool. I've never seen charred wood siding like that.
    Please keep posting, we are wrapping up our own framing stage.