Cladding is to houses as clothes are to people. House cladding is a thin layer of material placed on outside walls to protect it from the elements. It can also serve as heat and sound insulation as well as fire resistance. Just like clothes, it can also make your house look more attractive and increase its value if you choose the right kind.
Peter Bracey explains that cladding material is typically wood or fibre cement. Here are three house cladding options that you may want to consider.
Vinyl is very versatile. It comes in a wide range of colours and it is mostly maintenance-free. Cladding design can make it look like fibre cement or timber, but without the drawbacks.
Vinyl cladding, also known as UPVC, is ideal for weather conditions in Australia because it does not get sun or water damaged. Most manufacturers of vinyl cladding give as long as 50 years in warranties.
The Europeans have been using render for years, and it is now making its presence felt in Australia. It can be either pre-coloured white cement mixed with water or lime putties.
Render experts apply it to the outer walls by hand or with a spray. Application can be tricky, but in the hands of an expert it can look very appealing and it will last for many years. Lime render requires regular lime wash, but green builders love them.
Any house will look classy when encased in natural stone, but that can be very expensive. You can choose stone veneers instead, which is actually cement made to look like natural stone. The right pigments poured into moulds of natural stone before the cement help to make the stone veneers look more authentic. You get the look of natural stone without killing your budget.
You can choose any of these house cladding options or you could go for materials that are more traditional. Talk to your builder about the pros and cons of each so that you can make an informed decision.