Not sure which cladding material to choose for your house’s new exterior look? Will we be making this decision even more difficult for you once we mention that you not only have to take into account the visual appearance of that material, but also the amount of maintenance it will require (plus its costs)?
But seriously, house cladding is not a new concept. Houses in the UK were usually built with solid walls via local materials like stone or brick. It was during the 20th century, however, that standard wall-building practice changed to incorporate cavities between the inner and outer walls (these were usually referred to as leaves or skins). All of this meant that the load-bearing responsibility could now be carried out by the inner leaf, while the outer one takes care of weatherproofing, heat retention (achieved by adding insulation in-between the two leaves) and, of course, the visual style.
And as that outer wall now hangs off that inner skin, architects, inventors and designers have realised that the former could be made of much thinner sections as it doesn’t have to be self supporting, but only needs to keep the weather out.
So, what are the most popular exterior cladding options for your house?
A true tried-and-tested material, brick remains one of the oldest external (and even internal) wall cladding systems. Ensuring a striking finish full of visual detail, a brick-clad wall is also fire resistant, thermally efficient, durable, provides great sound insulation, is weatherproof, low maintenance, plus non-toxic.
And remember that bricks (which are available in numerous colours, sizes, finishes and textures) are also sustainable – making them just about perfect for our ‘going green’ age.
With sustainability a keyword in today’s age, wood cladding has seen a definite rise in popularity due to it being a great sustainable alternative to more traditional construction materials. And let’s not forget how wood cladding can give a home some striking personality with its multiple hues, grainy texture, and interesting patterns.
If you’re up for a very modern look and feel (or an industrial style), metal is one of your best bets for exterior cladding. With its strong characteristics (both physically and visually speaking) , metal cladding has also proven to be a popular choice when it comes to mixing and matching exterior / interior cladding materials, especially wood / timber, and glass.
The Ancient Egyptians were among the first to appreciate ceramic tile cladding. In more modern times, terracotta rainscreen cladding and brick-slip systems have become the trendy choices for clients’ construction- and design projects.
Ceramic rainscreen cladding systems are also quite adept at protecting a building’s exterior surfaces from the elements while providing a fantastic finish.
Concrete cladding panels are precast off site and then transported to the relevant construction spot. These panels, which can be cast in numerous sizes, colours, textures and shapes, can be used for a wide range of applications, including interior cladding.
Thanks to the development of innovative stone-cladding systems that simply slot together, stone cladding has become not only practical, but also cost effective. And with stone being quite the versatile material in appearance, opting for it in exterior-cladding form is the perfect way to enhance your property’s style, whether it’s modern, rustic, traditional…
Composite cladding is a great alternative (in terms of cost and sustainability) to timber cladding. Typically constructed from a combination of recycled wood and plastic, composite cladding crosses the traditional look of wood with the toughness of an engineered composite. No wonder it’s become one of the trendiest construction / design materials in the past decade.
Since we’re busy beautifying your outdoor spaces, we may as well take a look at these 6 steps to a sparkling spring-ready terrace, right?