External wall cladding: More than just kerb appeal
External wall cladding can be a simple way to improve your home’s kerb appeal, but did you know that choosing the right cladding can give you and your home a whole range of other benefits? Read on to find out what cladding would best suit your home and what you can expect from different claddings.
What is external wall cladding?
External cladding plays a role in kerb appeal because it’s often one of the first things someone will notice about your home. This cladding can be made from a variety of materials and ultimately should provide your home with some level of protection from the elements by covering up the internal structure. However, different claddings offer different benefits and may be a better choice for you than others.
Types of cladding
There are a range of claddings available on today’s market, with more coming as technology and manufacturing processes improve and advance. Use the information below to figure out which cladding will best suit your lifestyle, needs and wants.
Brick is a popular cladding in Australia and across the world as it has many great benefits. It is aesthetically pleasing and suits many styles of homes, while also being weatherproof and low maintenance. Brick is also fire and pest resistance making it a good option for homes that are near bush-land and at risk of termites and bush-fires.
Brick is also a sustainable choice as it can be recycled. However, it is not the best for insulating when compared with other cladding options.
- Wooden cladding
Wooden cladding has been in use for centuries and with the many types of wood and treated wood available, there is quite a variety in benefits out there. Firstly, wood can be quite a striking look and improve your home’s kerb appeal.
However, depending on the wood, it may not be termite-resistance which can lead to expensive pest control call outs. Similarly, it may not be fire resistant so shouldn’t be used in areas prone to bush-fires.
It also needs regularly maintenance, like painting and sealing, to ensure it stays looking good. You may also need to regularly check for mould.
Further, some wooden cladding is sustainable but not all. You need to check that it is not cut from old-growth forest and can be recycled.
- Fiber cement cladding
An alternative to brick, fiber cement is another low-maintenance option. It’s highly durable, so you won’t have to worry about fire or pests. It can also be a stylish choice is it comes in a range of colors and styles.
But fiber cement is not a good insulation choice and must have a finish applied to be waterproof. This finish can mean that it cannot be recycled, which is not good if you want a green and sustainable home.
- Aluminium cladding
Aluminium is lightweight but highly durable. It doesn’t need much maintenance but is waterproof and fire resistance. However, like fiber cement, it’s no good for insulation.
Although aluminium is a common resource, there’s only so much of it, meaning it isn’t truly sustainable. It also takes a lot of energy to make aluminium cladding. However, it can be recycled. Also read here to know about benefits of aluminium wall cladding.
- Vinyl cladding
Vinyl is a popular cladding choice because there are lots of styles and colors to pick from, which is good if you’re only concerned about kerb appeal. It also doesn’t need much maintenance.
However, while it can be made to be fire resistance, it can release harmful toxins and gas when burnt. Further, more toxins are released when making vinyl and a lot of energy is used to make vinyl.
There are also other claddings you can consider like stainless steel.
Benefits of adding cladding to your home
Depending on the cladding you choose, you will get different benefits. There may be some benefits that appeal to you more than others. In general, you should aim for a cladding that does some or all of the things below for you.
- Improves your property’s appearance
- Provides sound insulation
- Provides heating and cooling insulation
- Provides protection from weather and elements
- Increases (or does not decrease) the value of your property
- Improves fire resistance
- Improves pest resistance
- Improves water resistance
Think about what you changes you would to see in your home and compare them to the benefits offered by cladding in the list above. Is there a cladding that meets your needs more than another?
The right cladding will not only improve your home’s kerb appeal but will do so much more. Whether it’s improving your home’s insulation capabilities, so you spend less on heating or cooling, or helping improve its fire resistance in time for bush-fire season, it’s important to do your research to find the right cladding for you and your home. Ideally, you should also choose a cladding that is sustainable and does not harm the environment.