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A wooden garden house has a natural charm that fits very well in any garden. The same applies to wood paneling. You can read here which type of wood is well suited for this.

In a nutshell

  • different woods have different properties
  • Types of wood for outside must be weather-resistant
  • impregnated wood makes work easier
  • Wooden components must be maintained
  • regional woods are more environmentally friendly and the price is lower

Necessary properties

Garden sheds are naturally exposed to the elements. These include rain, wind, ice and dirt, but also strong sunlight. The type of wood used for construction must be resistant to these weather conditions so that the wooden house can last for a long time. Wood cladding, with which an old garden house is made attractive again, for example, must be weatherproof. There are two ways to achieve long shelf life. On the one hand, naturally durable wood can be used and on the other hand pre-treated wooden components.

Pests & Diseases

Pests, especially various wood-dwelling beetles and their larvae, can destroy wood, as can various fungal diseases. Mushrooms like it damp, so you should only use really dry wood when building a garden house. The residual moisture must not exceed 20 percent.

Notice: Wooden components that are too damp can warp after installation, which is why only dry wood is used.

Wood dries through proper storage or is sold dry. If the wood for the garden shed is freshly sawn, you should definitely store it in a dry place for a while before building it up. This is done by stacking it up so that enough air can circulate between the individual beams and boards.

Structural wood protection

To ensure that fungi and pests do not stand a chance, you must use structural wood protection. This ensures that rain either does not reach the wooden parts or can run off easily without the wood becoming heavily soaked. Ground contact can also increase wood moisture. Structural measures:

  • let the roof protrude
  • sloping wooden edges
  • Provide horizontal wooden surfaces with a slope
  • possibly protect horizontal surfaces with sheet metal against rain
  • Planting climbing plants can protect wooden walls from moisture penetration

Basically, you should protect all components that you have not provided or will not provide with wood preservatives from the weather. You can achieve this with posts, for example, by inserting them into metal ground spikes so that they do not rest on the ground.

construction wood

Construction wood includes all wooden components that you need for the basic construction of the garden house, for example squared timber, posts and boards. The properties of the wood must be:

  • as dry as possible so that there is little or no shrinkage afterwards
  • viable
  • cut in such a way that less cracking can be expected
  • mostly in defined sizes and shapes

Types of wood for construction timber


  • Description: Softwood, few knots, straight growth, very resinous and resinous smell
  • Colour: light-dark structured, darkens later
  • Resistance: without treatment, little natural resistance to fungi or insects
  • versatile wood, which is suitable for all construction projects, often the lowest price

Notice: Pressure treated spruce wood is most commonly used in horticulture.


  • Origin: Siberian larch is imported because it is rare in Germany
  • Description: hardest domestic coniferous wood, slightly resinous smell, knotty depending on origin
  • Colour: reddish to reddish-brown, darkens rapidly, strongly grained
  • Durability: little to moderate naturally permanent

Black Locust (False Acacia)

  • Origin: comes from North America, cultivated and invasive in Germany
  • Description: Hardwood, trees often grow crooked, wood yield then low, knotty, processing difficult
  • Colour: yellowish green to brown, darkens with age
  • Resistance: very durable
  • Use: particularly well suited for gardening and landscaping due to its natural resilience, but less frequently available than softwoods, prices may be higher
Robinia wood

wood paneling

The wood paneling fulfills two tasks. On the one hand, it protects the construction wood from the weather, on the other hand, it should give the garden house a decorative appearance. Therefore, sometimes different wood is used than for the basic construction of your garden house. It is also possible to use tropical woods for the wood paneling, which due to their natural properties are usually better protected against the weather than domestic woods. Native types of wood should always be treated with wood preservatives if they are to be used as wood panelling. Tropical types of wood are usually much more expensive than domestic woods, but they also have a more elegant appearance.

Notice: Tongue and groove wood cladding is particularly easy to install and offers many advantages. Another possibility is to attach horizontal boards in a scale-like manner.

Native wood species

douglas fir

  • Origin: North America, cultivated in Germany
  • Description: Softwood, decorative, domestic wood mostly knotty, pleasantly aromatic smell
  • Colour: yellow-brown to reddish-brown, changing within the annual rings
  • Durability: little to moderate naturally permanent


  • Description: Softwood, straight grain, resinous and strong resinous smell
  • Colour: light to yellowish, rich in contrast, heartwood reddish brown, darkens
  • Durability: little to moderate naturally permanent


  • Description: straight growth, few knots, little resin
  • Colour: yellowish-white to reddish with a violet-grey tint
  • Durability: little to moderate naturally permanent
fir wood; Source: Achim Raschka, Wood Abies alba, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Non-native species of wood


  • Origin: comes from Southeast Asia
  • Description: high density, hard, heavy type of wood, prone to cracking, odorless
  • Colour: fresh yellowish, darkens to olive brown
  • Durability: very weather resistant


  • Origin: comes from Southeast Asia, West Africa or South America, today often cultivated
  • Description: very high quality wood species, greasy surface, wood from younger trees of lower quality, slightly rancid smell
  • Colour: light to darker brown, with darker stripes
  • Durability: very durable if of good quality, often used for garden furniture

Pre-treated wood

thermal wood

Thermally treated wood is resistant to moisture thanks to a special heat treatment, making it perfect for a garden shed. This also makes types of wood that are otherwise unsuitable for outdoor use weather-resistant. These include, for example, beech and ash. Thermowood is suitable for floors or wood paneling, but not for load-bearing components, as the strength of the wood suffers during treatment. The heat treatment also ensures that certain components of the wood change in such a way that fungi and insects are deprived of their basis of life.
Due to the thermal treatment, deciduous woods are better suited for outdoor use than softwoods, whose strength is more severely impaired. Every type of wood darkens during treatment, but can lighten again through UV radiation.

Pressure-treated wood

In the boiler pressure process, wood is impregnated with chemical wood preservatives under pressure. The pressure ensures that the agent can penetrate deep into the wood. So it's not just superficially protected. The protection is permanent and extends the life of the wood in your garden shed.

Other wood preservatives

These include oils, paints and varnishes. While oils penetrate deep into wood and provide good protection against moisture, paints and varnishes can also prevent fungus from penetrating. A distinction is made between film-forming wood preservatives and agents with biocides that are used in the commercial sector. If you buy chemically treated wood for the garden shed, you should let it air out for some time. In the interest of the environment, you should only buy wood that has been treated with biologically compatible agents.

frequently asked Questions

Which type of wood is the most environmentally friendly?

These include domestic, untreated woods of spruce, larch or pine. With tropical woods, not only the origin is a problem, but also the long transport. Treated woods may have been treated with chemicals that are not environmentally friendly.

Where can you buy good lumber?

The regional sawmill is a good contact for all types of wooden components. It pays to get quotes from multiple suppliers for the amount of lumber you need, and then choose the best price and quality. In addition to the usual types of wood, many sawmills offer other types on request.

How is wood properly cared for?

Treated wood usually only needs refreshment care. Untreated wood must be treated with a wood preservative. After that, annual care with fresh paint, glaze or oil is sufficient, depending on the type of wood.

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