Choosing the Right Cladding

Cladding is used to provide additional thermal insulation, weather resistance and protection, while improving the overall appearance of a structure. Today, there are types of cladding that are fire-retardant and/or PEFC-certified to avoid fire accidents. Technological innovations include self-cleaning models that are impact-resistant and ecological FSC-certified cladding. A lot of commercial buildings and office structures have integrated LED into their cladding.

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  • How to choose cladding?

    In order to choose the right cladding, you should consider the different configurations, finishes, appearances and colors. Begin by identifying which parts of your home or building need cladding and note which areas have more exposure to extreme heat, cold, rain or sun. We’ve put together an eight-point guide to help during the process.

    • Material
    • Installation
    • Finishes
    • Appearance
    • Configuration
    • Color
    • Other characteristics
    • Maintenance
  • What are the material choices for cladding?

    Metal cladding by Hunter Douglas

    Metal cladding by Hunter Douglas

    The top materials used for cladding include metal, stone and wood. Metal is the most durable type of material for cladding and, although expensive, titanium or bronze are at the top of the list. Stone is also durable, although it can crack over time, depending on its thickness and exposure to extreme weather conditions. This category includes not only types of natural stone but engineered stone as well. Wood is preferred for rustic and country style homes.  It can be pricey, though, and also has a tendency to crack over time if it’s not properly treated, fixed and maintained. Again, this category includes natural types of wood as well as engineered types. A large variety of other materials are also available.

  • How is cladding installed?

    Ventilated wooden Cladding by Prodema

    Ventilated wooden Cladding by Prodema

    There are two main types of installation: single-skin cladding and double-skin cladding.

    • Single-skin: The cladding is added to the building directly, acting as an external barrier.
    • Double-skin: Insulation is inserted in between the two layers of cladding.

    You can also find pre-assembled insulation cladding and ventilated cladding.

    Here’s an important reminder: Install ventilation to avoid moisture retention under the paneling, between the cladding and the load-bearing wall or between the cladding and the insulation. In the absence of insulation, the thickness of the cleats is often enough to create this blade. 

  • What are the options for finishes?

    Corrugated Cladding by Acelor Mittal

    Corrugated Cladding by Acelor Mittal

    There are different types of finishes for cladding; the most popular options are smooth, polished, lacquered and natural. Your choice will depend on personal preference and budget. Choose the finish that will best complement the exterior of your home or building and change it accordingly when you alter or renovate the exterior.

    Other kinds of finishes include: textured, grooved, ribbed, perforated, matte, patina, reflective, painted, high-gloss, brushed, sandblasted, 3D-printed, aged, oiled, bush hammered, embossed, metallized, oxidized, satin, lozenge-patterned, mirror and rounded.

  • What are the different appearances available?

    3D Claddinng by m&r Manufaktur GmbH

    3D Claddinng by m&r Manufaktur GmbH

    The appearance of the cladding can have an impact on the overall look of the home or building. Some homes have cladding that can look like stone, wood and terracotta, creating a natural and rustic appearance. Cladding that looks like bricks consists of thin layers of masonry which imitate the appearance of conventional bricks and can be seen in both homes and commercial buildings. For modern urban buildings, there is cladding that can resemble metal or concrete. There are other appearances available for cladding that can create a unique translucent look, fabric look, tile look, and 3D-effect.

    Cladding looks include:

  • How do I choose the right configuration?

    Cassette Cladding by Cantori

    Cassette Cladding by Cantori

    The cladding configuration will alter the appearance of the home or building and can provide the necessary protection from extreme heat or cold temperatures. A variety of cladding configurations exist, including panel, strip, sheet, brickwork, cassette, mesh, shingle, textile and tube.

    The brickwork configuration consists of exterior cladding made with bricks. It is ideal for homes that are exposed to cold weather conditions as the bricks added to the exterior façade provide thermal insulation that can protect the home from external weather conditions. 

    The cassette panel system is a versatile open jointed configuration based on the Rainscreen principle. It is ideal for horizontal or vertical application on low and high-rise structures. The cassettes have bent edges and are attached with clips to an aluminum frame, which is then secured to the cladding.

  • What do I need to know about color?

    Check your neighborhood’s local planning regulations to find out if there is a specific color or colors for walls or cladding required in your area.  

    Consider multi-colored cladding for your home. Houses can look attractive with a red terracotta style cladding on the top half and a paler shade on the bottom. Try to get a digital mock-up of your home so you can clearly picture the finished result of multi-colored cladding. If you plan on selling your home in the next few years, stick to neutral colors that will attract potential buyers. Lastly, not all cladding is made in a full range of colors. Identify the colors that are available for each type of cladding before you decide. Also, keep in mind that color can add to the cost of the cladding.

  • What are the other characteristics?

    On both the home and commercial markets, there are many additional characteristics for cladding. Durable, incombustible, fire-retardant and impact-resistant are characteristics that are essential to have for cladding in homes and other buildings. Other cladding characteristics seen in low and high-rise buildings include FSC-certified, PEFC-certified, integrated LED, and backlit. Trending nowadays is cladding with a green wall. Many buildings and homes are opting to have cladding adorned with plants, moss and grass  to have a better-looking exterior that improves the environment at the same time.

  • What are good maintenance practices for cladding?

    Depending on the cladding configuration and material you have installed in your home or building, there are criteria that should be considered for proper maintenance. Time may reduce the aesthetic touch of the finish; replace the cladding when deterioration begins unless you’re able to apply a new finish. If elements peel or fall off, replace them immediately.

    Here’s our advice:

    • Remove dirt and stains. Wash away stains and traces of dirt and pollution from your cladding before painting and applying other forms of treatment. Applying a new coat of paint every year can help keep your cladding looking fresh.
    • Replace broken cladding. If you see a damaged piece, replace it immediately.
    • Treat cladding with weather protection products. Apply sealers and glues where necessary. This will keep the cladding intact during extreme hot and cold weather conditions.
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1 comment
  • Shaylee Packer says:

    As you mentioned, metal is the most durable type of material for cladding. My father is wanting something that he wont have to worry about replacing again soon. I will have to share this article with him, and see what he thinks.

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