What Is Cladding Thickness?

Cladding is the material that makes up the outer structure of a garden building; in other words, the walls, floor and roof.

The measurements given in shed, summer house and log cabin descriptions, relating to these features, are referring to their thickness.

If, however, one measurement is given prominence, or is referred to in the title of the garden building, it will be describing the walls.

Therefore, 'cladding thickness' is generally just another name for wall thickness.

Is Cladding Thickness Important?

In relation to wooden sheds, log cabins and, to a slightly lesser extent, summerhouses, the answer is yes.

When it comes to metal and plastic sheds, cladding thickness is not very important. The main focus here should be on the type of metal or plastic used as cladding.

So, let's take a look at the cladding thickness of different types of wooden garden building and why it should influence your choice of shed, summer house or log cabin.

Typical Cladding Thickness of a Wooden Garden Building

A 10x7 wooden shed with 12mm tongue and groove shiplap cladding

Wooden Garden Sheds

Wooden sheds usually have walls between 7 and 12mm thick.

Their roofs are roughly the same, whilst the floors tend to be marginally thicker in order to support the weight of heavy garden equipment and regular footfall.

Overlap/ Tongue and Groove Wooden Sheds

As the name suggests, overlap cladding consists of sawn timber boards, nailed together to overlap each other.

This is a cheaper option than tongue and groove or shiplap cladding, where the boards are all interlocking.

Overlap-clad shed walls are normally 7-8mm thick, whilst tongue and groove and shiplap boards tend to be around the 12mm mark.

A wooden summer house with 12mm tongue and groove cladding, as well as bi-fold doors

Summer Houses

Summer houses are invariably made of wood and their cladding resembles a wooden garden shed, ranging from 7-12mm.

Anything thicker than this and it might get uncomfortable on a hot summer’s day.

A 15'x11' log cabin with 44mm cladding

Log Cabins

Log cabins originate from Scandinavia and are designed for year-round usage, so are the most thickly-clad garden buildings.

We stock log cabins with the following wall thickness: 19mm, 28mm, 34mm, 44mm and 70mm.

Reasons Why Cladding Thickness Is Important

A wooden, windowless shed with an apex roof and 8mm cladding


The general rule of thumb is the thicker the cladding, the more expensive the garden building.

If you want a cheap wooden shed, chances are it will be constructed from 7-8mm overlap cladding.

Likewise, if you’re buying a top-of-the-range log cabin, you should expect a cladding thickness of at least 44mm.

A log cabin with a large roof overhang and 44mm cladding

Thermal Insulation

All other things being equal, the thicker the walls, floor and roof, the better insulated the garden building.

This is why the most expensive log cabins have a cladding thickness of between 44 and 70mm.

As mentioned before, it is also why a summer house's cladding rarely exceeds 12mm.

A 7.8m x 4.8m log cabin with a roof overhang above the double doors and 70mm cladding

General Weather Resistance

As with insulation, the thicker the cladding, the greater the all-round weather resistance of the wooden garden building.

For example, in extremely windy conditions, a poorly maintained 7mm overlap-clad wood shed might be damaged, but a 70mm-thick log cabin will remain standing strong in almost any type of weather. 

A log cabin with a pent roof and 44mm cladding, designed as a home office


Another reason thickly-clad garden buildings are more expensive is that they are better equipped to block out noise.

In a garden storage shed, this probably isn’t important to you, but if you’re using your log cabin as a home office then it will undoubtedly be a consideration.

A wooden security shed with 12mm tongue and groove cladding


Your garden building’s security is usually rated according to the position/ absence of windows, the locking system and the bracing on the doors, but cladding thickness is an important factor too.

A determined thief with a hammer could quickly gain access to a 7mm overlap wooden shed, but a 70mm tongue and groove log cabin is a completely different proposition.

A storage unit consisting of a cupboard on top of shelves


With the exception of most (but not all) plastic sheds, any garden building will support shelving.

However, if you’re planning on putting up some seriously-heavy storage shelves, a 12mm tongue and groove wall will provide better support than 7mm overlap cladding.

A log cabin with 44mm cladding, a shingle roof, double doors and 8 windows


Your garden building’s appearance will clearly depend on a whole host of factors but cladding will play its part too, particularly when seen up close.

For example, 7-8mm overlap-clad sheds and summer houses often have a rustic, vintage feel, whilst 12mm tongue and groove sheds and 44mm log cabins ooze solidity.

Garden Buildings for Sale

A plastic-wooden-hybrid shed with double doors and an apex roof

Shedstore is the home of all garden buildings.

We stock plastic, metal and wooden sheds, as well as a fantastic range of summer houses and log cabins.

What’s more, if you ever need advice on the best cladding thickness to choose for your new garden building, one of our friendly, UK-based experts is always available to help.