There are several material options available in the market today when it comes to selecting a suitable external cladding for the home.
Though external cladding was earlier meant to only protect the building from weather elements, the solution has evolved into an essential facade feature serving both functional and aesthetic requirements. Material options for external cladding include vinyl, aluminium, brick, timber and cement render, each adding its own unique charm and style to a project.
Facade materials also vary significantly in price, thermal quality, aesthetics, environmental efficiency, lifecycle and maintenance requirements.
Mitten Vinyl Australia advises architects, designers and specifiers to evaluate the pros and cons of popular external cladding materials on the market before making a decision.
Vinyl or PVC cladding is extremely affordable and virtually maintenance-free, offering a long lifecycle with minimal fading, rust, corrosion or warping. Key benefits also include excellent thermal performance, recyclability reducing environmental impact, and easy installation.
Vinyl or PVC cladding is susceptible to damage from extreme weather conditions such as hailstones, or rocks.
Aluminium cladding is a minimal maintenance material with fire resistance, and can be repainted easily if required.
Available only in limited colours, aluminium cladding’s colour can fade over time; the material can also dent and scratch easily.
Brick cladding has an aesthetic appearance, and offers high resistance to weather exposure with strong and durable characteristics.
Brick cladding is more expensive than other materials.
Timber cladding is a versatile material and can be specified to almost any colour and profile shape. Key benefits include excellent thermal and acoustic insulation, and renewable and eco-friendly resource if sourced from sustainable forests.
Timber is a high maintenance material and prone to rot if not well maintained.
Cement render offers good thermal and acoustic properties, provides a hard durable finish and can be painted in any colour.
Cement render will require repainting and is prone to cracking. It’s also expensive.
External cladding does not offer a one-size-fits-all solution, and has to be selected after considering various aspects of the project.