Home Builder What You Should Know Before Choosing Cladding For Your Home

What You Should Know Before Choosing Cladding For Your Home

by Peter Hall
Cladding Melbourne

If you’re in the midst of designing your dream home, you’ve probably heard about external cladding. Cladding is a material that’s attached to the exterior of a home’s walls, creating a layer of waterproof skin. It can be made from a number of different materials, such as aluminium, fibre cement or polycarbonate, each suited to different types of structures.

To choose the right kind of cladding material for your home, you need to know what you’re looking for. Below, we’ll explore what you need to know about cladding before making your final decision and making this important investment in your future.

Cost and availability

The availability, buildability and cost of cladding all come down to the material chosen. While some materials, such as timber weatherboard or brick, are widely available in Australia, other options such as exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) will be harder to come by and more expensive.

This will result in not only a higher cost, but difficulty finding a builder who can work with these materials and complete construction to your satisfaction.

Durability

Every type of cladding is going to come with its own levels of durability and predicted lifespan. While some materials, such as timber weatherboards, may rot or split over time, this can be prevented with proper maintenance and repainting or refinishing.

Speak with your supplier and make sure they offer manufacturer warranties and that all their work is industry compliant. This will keep your investment safe and ensure that you’re protected in case something goes wrong.

Aesthetics

External Cladding

While it’s important to choose the right material for your home functionality-wise, make sure you don’t overlook the aesthetics. With every type of cladding comes different colours, textures and finishes. The outcome you’ll be able to achieve will depend on your budget, your designer, council regulations and site conditions.

The right choice for you will depend on the style and age of your home, although it’s generally recommended to opt for lighter colours in Australia to avoid attracting heat.

Insulation

Cladding is an integral part of high-quality insulation and energy efficiency in a home. Make sure to look out for the R-value of the external cladding you select, as a higher R-value means the more resistance to heat flow that it has.

Some cladding options, such as iron or steel, can actually attract heat to a home. If proper insulation is a priority for you, opt for lighter materials such as vinyl.

Fire resistance

During the planning stage of your construction, your local council will be in contact to determine whether your property falls into a bushfire-prone area and what level of bushfire attack level (BAL) will be needed.

The results of this assessment will impact what products you can use for your external cladding, and your suppliers will be able to help you find something that’s suited to these requirements.

Environmental impacts

Every type of cladding will come with its own environmental impacts, and it’s up to you where your priorities lie. Some implications you should consider include:

  • The emissions and waste produced during construction and installation
  • Ability to be recycled or repurposed
  • Long-term performance and likelihood of it needing to be replaced in the near future
  • Durability and predicted lifespan of seals, joints and fixings
  • Its suitability to your house in terms of both of their expected lifespans

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