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Why You Shouldn't Char Timber Yourself

Updated: Nov 1, 2021

Do you spend your time watching repeats of Ugly House to Lovely House like us? We have to admit, we love a bit of George Clarke. The first episode of Season 2 (2017) really resonated with us when we binged the entire series last week.

In this episode, a couple were planning to renovate their ugly house on a budget. Their architect had designed a beautiful house and specified the incorporation of charred cladding on the facade (a great choice we must say!) BUT the couple decided that in order to save costs, they would char the timber themselves...

The horror that we felt when we heard this is not easily explained, but you can assume that we had reservations about this very sporadic idea! We only needed to watch on to find out that our reservations were confirmed. It is NOT a good idea to char timber yourself!

Now, we have already talked about why you shouldn’t char materials such as Larch and Cedar here, because the boards ultimately, will just fall apart and without going through a thermal-modification process will still be susceptible to rotting, warping, cupping and fungal growth (pictured).

I mean, it is pretty self-explanatory as to why charring timber, with a blow torch, in your garden isn't the most sensible idea that some people have (you may be surprised to hear that the couple on Ugly House, Lovely House are not the only people to have done this). For one, the process is extremely dangerous, and without the proper protective equipment, the outcome of an accident could be dire. As well as this, the process from home will not be regulated and quality assured, leaving your timber in a burnt sorry mess, which flakes and breaks since an untreated, unregulated surface has been charred.

You can see that the final outcome does not look how charred cladding is supposed to look. If this was done professionally, the outcome would have been much less of an eyesore and more of a stunning finish, that will not deteriorate over time! As well as this, the charred timber is missing the factory coating which can only be applied professionally. During the end of the episode, the presenter runs his hand over the cladding and the charring comes off. We definitely don’t want that! We dread to think what this home looks like now that the low-quality material has been battered by the unpredictable British weather.

We really admire their effort but a word of professional advice... Please do not char the material yourself just to save some money! If you want a stunning, clean finish on timber that will last upwards of 30 years, then please opt for a quality supplier, to take care of the hard work!

Image: Channel 4

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