What Is The Exterior Cladding

What Is The Exterior Cladding?

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    Start with great exterior cladding options to make your home stand out on the street. Kerb appeal is everything about great first impressions that end up being a talking point and last for a long period of time.

    With the right external wall cladding material and design ideas, you can have an aesthetically stunning home with personality and style.

    Recent biophilic architecture trends emphasise bringing nature indoors. You still need to protect your home from the elements. Large windows and indoor plants can give a home a natural feel, but they must be protected from rain, wind, wetness, and cold.

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    Exterior cladding, called siding in the US, protects a house's "skin." They protect the interior and structure from outside elements. The outside cladding consists of the wall's exterior, a plastic wrap to keep out moisture, insulation, and vapour barriers. Brick and plastic siding are popular exterior cladding materials. Modern building materials offer many cladding options.

    Below, we'll compare the pros, cons, costs, and embodied energy of different exterior cladding options. The procedure energy requirement (PER) is the amount of energy directly used in the material's manufacture. MJ/kg measures this.

    Exterior Cladding Pros, Cons

    Brick Siding

    Bricks are one of the products that are used for cladding exteriors of buildings the most frequently. This product is not only beautiful, but it is also easy to find and source, and the majority of professionals have previous experience constructing with physical.

    Pros of Brick Siding

    Brick and mortar cladding are both derived from natural products, specifically clay soil that has been baked in kilns to form bricks. This is one of the advantages of using these materials. Bricks are also extremely durable and do not require any kind of exterior painting during their entire lifespan. Bricks have a thermal mass that can be used to store heat in passive solar homes. This is an advantage of using bricks. Additional insulation is provided to the house by the space that is located between the wall sheathing and the brick cladding that is located on the exterior of the house.

    Last but not least, an increasing number of forward-thinking companies are now manufacturing bricks from recycled materials such as fly ash, which is a by-product of coal power plants. A recent research study commissioned by the World Bank found that the use of these bricks can significantly cut down on the carbon emissions associated with the building industry.

    Cons of Brick Siding

    The significant amount of energy that is required to manufacture bricks is the most significant environmental drawback associated with brick cladding. Because bricks are produced by burning materials in kilns, the production of bricks requires massive amounts of energy. Cement is used in the mortar that is used to bind the bricks together. The carbon footprint left by the cement industry accounts for five percent of the total CO2 emissions worldwide.

    Vinyl Siding

    Over 27 percent of newly built homes since 2015 have vinyl siding installed on their exteriors, making it the most popular choice among cladding materials for new homes. What are the positives and negatives associated with the product that is utilised on a regular basis?

    Pros of Vinyl Siding

    Vinyl siding, on the other hand, has a very long life span, typically lasting for over 50 years with very little maintenance required during that time. Vinyl is one of the cladding materials that has the lowest overall cost. You have the ability to raise the R-value of your home's overall insulation capacity by choosing insulated vinyl siding for your home. In addition, it is said that the production of vinyl siding requires considerably less energy and fuel than the production of brick siding does.

    Cons of Vinyl Siding

    The fact that vinyl siding is derived from a resource that does not replenish itself is easily the most noticeable disadvantage associated with this material. A substance called polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is an ingredient in vinyl siding, is known to cause cancer in humans. People who are exposed to the dioxins during the manufacturing process or in the future when the PVC material catches fire are at risk of developing severe illnesses as a result of this.

    Wood Siding

    Wood is an extremely versatile material for use in construction. A wide variety of exterior siding options are available to you in your region. Some of these options include board and batten, shiplap, bevel, shake, shingle, clapboard tongue and groove, to name just a few. Wood siding is also available in a wide variety of types and types, including recovered wood (many different species), cedar, pine, redwood, Douglas Fir, and many ranges in between these three types of wood.

    Pros of Wood Siding

    Wood siding is a renewable resource. FSC-certified wood siding ensures that the wood came from sustainably managed forests.

    "Green" exterior wood siding options abound. Japanese charred wood siding is burned wood treated with natural oils. This method protects wood from weather and insects without chemical preservatives or pesticides. High-temperature thermal adjustment adds weather-resistance and durability without chemicals. This type of wood is resistant to moisture, bugs, and mould and lasts a long time. Barn boards can be repurposed as exterior siding. Reclaimed wood gives your home a rugged, traditional look while upcycling lost wood.

    Cons of Wood Siding

    On the other hand, wood that is not accredited by the FSC could have originated from illegally logged tropical wood forests located all over the world. These forests are primarily managed in an unsustainable manner. The vast majority of wood products have to be protected with varnish and other substances in order for them to withstand the elements and ward off insects like termites. These items may be manufactured using hazardous chemicals that emit toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Consider utilising charred wood or thermally modified wood as a non-toxic alternative to traditional wood siding.

    Composite Siding

    Sawdust, scrap wood, and other byproducts are typically used in the production of composite siding, which is an exterior cladding material that requires little to no maintenance. Binders typically have low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and there is little waste produced during production.

    The aesthetic qualities of real wood are replicated in composite siding through the manufacturing process. In general, it is less vulnerable to damage from water, debris, and other components. PVC Composite and Fiber Cement are two examples of additional materials that belong to the composite family. It is essential to take note of this fact because these two materials are considered to be composites.

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    Pros of Composite Siding

    Composite siding is not only affordable but also long-lasting, lightweight, and requires little to no maintenance. Composite cladding is resistant to fire, insects, and moisture, in contrast to other cladding products on the market. In addition, neither its scope nor its magnitude change. Despite the fact that earlier iterations of composite siding experienced failures due to moisture, a significant amount of research and development has actually increased the siding's resistance and durability. Since research done in the real world is still relatively new and limited, the majority of manufacturers offer service warranties that are more comprehensive than those offered by most alternatives.

    Con of Composite Siding

    Composite siding is new. ROI over product life is unclear, and warranties vary. Products and production methods can determine if an item is reusable or recyclable. Ask the manufacturer about the product's production process and recyclability. These recycled building products may contain formaldehyde or glues that off-gas harmful VOCs. Environmental concerns can be addressed by asking manufacturers about their sourcing and manufacturing process. Manufacturers whose products are recognised by green building bodies are common.

    Stone Siding

    Pieces of stone that have been cut and polished for use as an exterior home finish are known as stone siding. Stone is a natural material that is simple to maintain and will last significantly longer than the majority of other types of siding. Stone veneer will typically cost less than natural stone, but natural stone will last approximately twice as long. Flint, limestone, travertine, granite, Quartzite marble, and sandstone are the types of stone that are most frequently used for the exterior surfaces of residential homes.

    Pros of Stone Siding

    Genuine stone siding is made of stone that was quarried from the ground and is extremely durable even when subjected to the elements. Stone lends an air of authenticity to a home, does not deteriorate over time, and can last for decades if it is properly maintained. Additionally, it is not susceptible to fire, insects, or mould, and it can be recycled when it has reached the end of its useful life. Although considerable, the amount of energy required for quarrying and processing stone is significantly less than that required for cement or steel production.

    Cons of Stone Siding

    Real stone siding is more expensive. Mining harms the environment and uses nonrenewable fuels. Due to the stone's weight, shipping embodied energy is high. Stone siding requires a costly expert mason. If damaged or installed improperly, it can crack, allowing moisture buildup and mould.

    PVC Composite Siding

    Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) composite cladding is a type of plastic exterior siding that closely resembles the cut and shape of real wood. This siding can be used to replicate dutch lap, beaded, vertical, log, shingles, clapboard, or board & batten siding styles.

    Pros of PVC Composite Siding

    The PVC composite exterior cladding has a minimum lifespan of thirty years and does not require any maintenance. Composite siding is typically 500 percent thicker than the vinyl siding that is most commonly found on houses today. Vinyl siding is made from polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. PVC composite siding, on the other hand, has an increased thickness, which results in a higher R-value and a lower sound reduction when compared to traditional vinyl siding. The majority of PVC composite siding is manufactured with recycled materials, and it is also possible to recycle the siding once its useful life has passed.

    Cons of PVC Composite Siding

    PVC Composite exterior cladding is a product that has just recently been introduced to the market. Even though the testing turns out to be relatively positive, some people might find it concerning that the product has not yet achieved widespread recognition in the real world. When compared to traditional siding options, manufacturers have actually invested a significant amount of money in research and development, and they frequently stand behind their products by providing longer warranty periods.

    Fibre Cement Siding

    The appearance of traditional wood sidings, such as board and batten, clapboard, and shingles, can be achieved with fibre cement siding. Cement, sand, and fibre are combined in the manufacturing process of fibre cement siding. The most well-known manufacturer of fibre cement siding is James Hardie, so this material is frequently referred to as "Hardie board" or "Hardiplank," both of which are derived from his last name.

    Pros of Fiber Cement Siding

    Fibre cement siding is waterproof and resistant to salt air, heavy winds, rain, hail, rot, bugs, and vermin. Many manufacturers offer 50-year warranties, and fibre cement's expected lifespan is even longer. Fiber cement siding can look like wood, brick, or stone. Fiber cement can be painted quickly with a solid colour. Fiber cement siding is environmentally neutral, meaning it doesn't release contaminants when broken down.

    Cons of Fiber Cement Siding

    Despite the fact that fibre cement siding has no impact on the environment, it cannot be recycled. It is not necessary to perform much maintenance on fibre cement siding; however, you will need to clean it every two years and paint it every ten to fifteen years. The local climate and conditions will determine the precise schedule for performing maintenance on the facility. Although the installation fee for fibre cement siding is typically two to three times higher than that of vinyl siding, the fibre cement siding lasts a great deal longer.

    Metal Siding

    Another option for the exterior siding of your home that is both long-lasting and low-maintenance is to use metal cladding because it is durable. Common types of metal siding include galvanised steel, aluminium, zinc, and copper. Galvanized steel is the most common. Metal cladding, which is comparable to composite cladding, is available in a wide variety of architectural designs and finishes.

    Pros of Metal Siding

    Metal siding is a low-maintenance, long-lasting exterior cladding option. Metal cladding lasts years once installed. It's not affected by rain or snow and doesn't support mould or fungal growth, which can cause illness. Metal siding is insect-proof, so you won't have to spray it like you would with wood. Metal siding is fireproof and will help secure your home in a fire.

    Cons of Metal Siding

    Mining is required for metal siding, which is a process that is not always kind to the environment. Nevertheless, metal is a material that can be recycled, and a number of businesses are now offering recycled steel panels for use in roofing and siding. Cladding made of metal is another material that is susceptible to damage. Steel siding is generally more resistant to damage than aluminium siding; however, steel siding is more expensive, and significant hail damage can cause dents that could be costly to repair.


    Plaster made of Portland cement, sand, and water is typically referred to as stucco. Stucco is a type of cement plaster. Lime, sand, and water were the typical ingredients in its production. In many cases, fibres or horsehair are also utilised in the process. Acrylic stucco, also known as artificial stucco, can be used in certain circumstances to provide a surface that is resistant to fractures and is applied on top of cement plasters. It is possible to apply it directly to walls constructed of masonry or concrete, as well as walls constructed of wood framed over metal lath. The addition of pigments to the stucco mixture allows for the material to be coloured.

    Pros of Stucco

    Stucco is a material that can reduce a building's overall energy consumption. It has excellent insulating properties and can help you keep your home's temperature at a comfortable level, whether you prefer to keep it warm or cool. Both the tight sealing properties of its residential and commercial applications and the fire retardant qualities of the material contribute to a reduction in sound. Stucco is a material that can withstand a lot of wear and tear; it does not decay, mildew, or mould, and it requires very little maintenance over the course of its long lifespan.

    Cons of Stucco

    Due to the fact that it requires multiple layers, stucco installation is an expensive endeavour. Even if it is waterproof, it is not a good choice for moist climates or places that get a lot of rain because of its poor resistance to moisture.

    Advantages of Cladding

    Cladding, also known as siding, is a term used in the building and construction industry to refer to the process of finishing one product with another for both aesthetic and functional purposes. Cladding is a control feature that protects the building from the components of its environment. Wood, plastic (or vinyl), imitation stone or brick, metal, and cladding made of metal are the various types of cladding materials. Eastern white pine, plywood sheets, wood shingles, cedar, and redwood are some of the types of wood that can be used for siding. Aluminum and galvanised steel are two common types of metal siding.

    Low Maintenance

    Cladding buildings requires less maintenance than painting. Most exterior cladding only needs regular washing to stay new. Walls, facades, canopies, roofings, and column covers use extruded aluminium cladding. It provides long-lasting resilience, protecting the structure from weather while requiring little maintenance. Vinyl siding is a common exterior surface. It's made of easy-to-install, cut, and replace PVC panels. PVC cladding needs a two-year power wash. Stone or brick veneer cladding is expensive, but it lasts decades without maintenance.

    Safety and Protection

    The primary purpose of exterior cladding is to provide a defensive barrier. It decreases water absorption, increases resistance to sunlight, and offers resistance to air and chemical contamination in addition to increasing a structure's mechanical strength. Additionally, it enhances a structure's resistance to cracking during increased temperature level changes. The rain, strong winds, and moulds are some of the elements that can be warded off by cladding.

    Visual Value

    Cladding makes a drab building more appealing and increases its value. Granite cladding comes in different textures and colours. It can be polished, finished, or left rough based on homebuilders' preferences. Whitestone, vintage, rustic, rosebud, and grey wood brick cladding are available. Each gives a building's exterior a different look. Stone cladding comes in golden, cream, beige, charcoal, and yellow.

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    Practical advantages consist of

    • It is a strong yet lightweight material, although a few of the denser woods can be heavy.
    • It provides protective and ornamental style functions.
    • Wide choice of softwoods, hardwoods and modified woods to fit all budget plans.
    • Performance of low toughness species is easily improved by preservative treatment, wood modification, flame retardants.
    • Surface surfaces can be applied to contribute to or alter the appearance and provide included defence.
    • Impressive thermal and sound insulation properties.
    • Ideal for both brand-new construct and restoration tasks.
    • Relieve of repair work
    • Dry installation means the external envelope is quicker to install
    • Elimination of heavy masonry external walls decreases the size and cost of structures.
    • Cladding panels may be factory pre-fabricated total with insulation and breather membrane.

    FAQs About Cladding

    Timber. Timber is by far the cheapest option for external cladding. Depending on the size of the building and design of cladding chosen, the number of boards needed varies. On average around 600 boards will be required for a single-storey small property installation.

    Adding Wall Cladding to your home is a fantastic way to change the appearance of your building, but it could also help with insulation, maintenance, and boosting the curb value of your home.

    The most common types of cladding are Stone Cladding, Brick Cladding, UPVC Cladding, Timber Cladding, Metal Cladding, Concrete Cladding, Weatherboard Cladding, Glass Cladding.

    First things first, how long does PVC cladding last? Easily lasting around 20 years, high performance PVC cladding (like ours!) can last up to 50 years with the right care and attention.

    The most popular materials used for metal cladding include steel and aluminium; both of which come alongside their own individual benefits and drawbacks. One of the most significant benefits of the use of metal cladding in a commercial building is that the material is non-combustible.

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