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​Exterior house cladding: 7 things you need to know

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Not too fond of your house’s exterior surfaces? Tired of having to worry about its longevity and durability (especially in our hectic South African climate)? Fortunately, painting is not your only option for adding style, class and practicality to the outsides of your house.

External wall cladding is not only the latest trend, it’s also been used by architects and home builders for quite some time. Protecting the exterior surfaces of structures and adding both comfort and convenience, cladding also ensures a distinctive value that sets your house apart from the rest.

Let’s delve a bit deeper into the wonderful world of cladding.

1. Trust a pro for cladding

For the proper installation of cladding, we recommend using a professional contractor with experience in cladding. However, there are small DIY installations that can be done yourself (if this is not your first DIY project). 

However, before you start applying any cladding, ensure that the wall surfaces and rear of the cladding material (whether that be tile, wood or another option) are clear of loose material. Then apply tile adhesive or mortar (1:3 cement and plaster sand mix). Place the tile in the pattern of your choice and use the mortar to grout the cladding.

2. How cladding adds comfort and convenience

It insulates noise. Designed with layers of materials with varying densities, cladding absorbs sound waves and noise. 

It provides effective heat insulation. Thermal insulation is key for those who want to do their bit for the environment, plus reduce their heating- and cooling bills. That’s where external wall cladding comes in, which effectively traps heat to provide a warmer environment during the colder months.

It’s durable against wear and tear. Rain, wind, heat or shine – exterior cladding (if installed properly) provides an all-weather solution to the exterior of a building. 

It adds visual aesthetic appeal. There is something satisfying about choosing the type of finish for your home’s façade – not only in terms of material, but also for colours and textures. Be sure to select one which complements your house’s design style!

3. The types of cladding to add style: Brick

As a tried-and-tested material for centuries, brick is still one of the most reliable options for exterior cladding. That’s because brick, in addition to being sturdy, is also known for its durability, insulating properties, fire resistance and low rate of moisture absorption. 

And are you aware of just how beautifully brick ages? Or in how many earthy colours it’s available? 

homify hint: Don’t have the time or money to clad an entire home in brick? Opt for brick veneers to get the same look.

4. The types of cladding to add style: Plaster and concrete

Plaster and concrete cladding were pioneered by the ancient Romans and Greeks. These days, however, they are mostly associated with houses from the 1930s and 1940s. 

Modern times have seen finishes which perfectly mimic those visual aesthetics of plaster and concrete, but with improved performance. And thankfully, a wide range of plaster-finished panels can be chosen (from super smooth to highly textured or patterned) to give your house the precise look you desire.

5. The types of cladding to add style: Metal

modern Houses by Briand Renault Architectes
Briand Renault Architectes

Extension en zinc avec terrasse

Briand Renault Architectes

When it comes to metal cladding, aluminium and steel are the most popular choices. And while steel is more costly, yet more durable, aluminium does save you a pretty penny – however, it can easily be damaged in bad weather. 

While metal cladding does provide a unique look, it may lack good insulation performance. Be sure to research all your options and talk to the pros to ensure your choice protects your home from severe temperature alterations.

6. The types of cladding to add style: Timber

Regardless of where you live in South Africa, you are bound to find at least a few houses sporting timber cladding. That’s because no other options provide quite the same look and style as wood. The wide range of timber cladding styles (such as weatherboards or slat screens) and finishes offers an abundance of attractive options.

But keep in mind that timber degrades quickly and requires regular maintenance – much sooner than other cladding types. Eventually, those timber surfaces will need to be replaced altogether. And also remember that timber will warp and move over time; thus, be sure to factor this into your house’s façade design.

7. The types of cladding to add style: Stone

Granite and slate are just some of the well-known options used for exterior wall cladding in South Africa. As a stunning natural material, stones or stone panels are often used to create a focal point for house exteriors. And stone works great with other cladding types.

Stone cladding looks especially striking in rural settings, where those stone surfaces can blend in with the landscapes for a timeless look.

Regardless of which material you choose for your home’s cladding, be sure to focus on both practicality and visual beauty. And always make use of a professional for optimum results.

Speaking of beautiful houses, we have these 12 ways to add texture to your walls.

Which cladding material would you choose for your house?
modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

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