How cladding application has evolved


With the introduction of cavity wall designs in the 20th century, house building techniques have rapidly evolved. The traditional approach was to use locally sourced materials to suit the surrounding environment and for ease of sourcing. When standard building approaches changed towards constructing an inner and outer wall with a cavity, this brought freedom to the aesthetic choices for rendering as there was no longer a dual requirement for it to also be load bearing.

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Although building regulation approval is required for adding insulation, approval is often not needed for cladding for aesthetic or weatherproofing purposes. Instead, changes often can be made using the route of permitted development rights.

Modern materials are now also an option for achieving high performing and visually pleasing surfaces, alongside the more traditional types of cladding.

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A historical favourite, timber has evolved from an integral structural material to becoming a popular choice for cladding over modern builds. Staining has traditionally been applied, brown or black, though in recent years unstained timber has become a firm favourite. This isn’t, however, a chore-less option as ongoing surface treatments are necessary on unstained timber. Oak, cedar and spruce being most common, though choices are expanding to give a more unique look.

Fibre cement

The second favourite after timber is fibre cement, which has taken its place as a modern low-cost alternative. The advantages include its low overall cost and ease of installation, given that it can be fixed using nails. As it is suitable for painting, it can be an adaptable choice despite its relatively heavy weight.

Brick cladding

A new development, whereby brick facades are fixed using adhesive to external wall surfaces, often over insulation materials. It gives an authentic brickwork effect and long-lasting weather protection. As a cost-effective alternative to the more traditional methods, brick cladding can be applied in a short space of time to both new constructions and refurbishment of existing buildings.

HPL weatherboards

Easily available from builders’ merchants, High Pressure Laminate (HPL) cladding has advantages over timber as there are no treatment requirements, it is lightweight, and protects homes against moisture. It is also easy to install with the fixtures hidden by the overlapping of the planks. That it doesn’t require painting over the years is a popular feature of HDL cladding.


Written by suNCh8

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