A Guide To Cladding

Cladding is a critical task that must be completed correctly. Cladding is essential not only for a building’s overall appearance but also for its performance. Our comprehensive guide explains all of your options. So let’s gets started.

What is cladding?

As the method of wall construction has changed over the last 100 years, the technique of installing cladding has even grown in popularity. There are numerous reasons and benefits for adding cladding to a structure, some of which we will discuss below.

The term ‘cladding’ refers to a structure’s external layer, which is typically made up of prefabricated panels attached to the building’s structure. Cladding serves three primary purposes: first, as a long-lasting external wall covering, second, as a layer of protection against the elements and additional thermal insulation (when used in conjunction with generic insulation products), and third, as an attractive, decorative feature on the exterior of a building.

What Is Cladding Used For?

Cladding remains a popular choice for both builders and homeowners. The following are just a few of the reasons why it is so widely used.

  • Create a regulated internal environment.

The addition of cladding to a building’s external walls improves the insulation inside the structure. This aids in temperature regulation throughout the year, making it easier to control energy bills, air conditioning and create an environment where employees and staff are happy to work.

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  • Keep the building safe from the elements.

Different materials, such as vinyl, stone, cement fibre, or brick, provide varying degrees of weather protection. The overarching goal of all of these is to keep moisture and wind from penetrating the structure beneath. This increases the building’s durability and reduces the need for frequent and costly repairs.

  • Ensure privacy and security.

Cladding is especially useful for government agencies or businesses that work with sensitive materials. The additional layer of protection placed around the inner building can improve security and privacy by blocking out any potential threats interested in gaining access to internal information through technology or other means.

  • Stop the transmission of sound.

Blocking out external sound may be necessary depending on where the building is located. Cladding can aid in sound insulation, resulting in a more stable internal environment by blocking out noisy distractions. This will be useful for buildings located in city centres and areas with high road and foot traffic levels.

  • Make an exterior façade.

Cladding is available in various materials, allowing architects to create a unique and appealing aesthetic for the building. This will enable them to reflect the architecture of the buildings around them while also forming something visually appealing that will speak about the company or type of business that will be operating inside. There are numerous materials to choose from, including stone, metal, vinyl, brick, and fibre cement.

  • Stop the spread of fire.

When selecting cladding for a building, extreme caution must be exercised, and one of the most important factors to consider is its fireproof properties. Not all cladding offers high levels of protection, which must be verified before the material is purchased and installed on any building. It should be noted that there are strict Building Regulations guidelines regarding cladding, and you should ensure that the material meets these before proceeding.

  • Including access, daylight, and ventilation openings

Cladding also includes built-in ventilation systems to remove moisture that is naturally produced within the building. This is why it effectively prevents mould, rot, and corrosion and increases the structure’s longevity. Cladding will also allow healthy levels of daylight to enter the building’s interior, ensuring that there is no loss of light. The materials can always be easily accessed at any time, either internally or externally.

brick wall cladding

Materials Used to Make Claddings

Metal cladding is made up of various materials, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Several project-specific factors will influence your material selection, including desired aesthetic, climatic conditions, structural system, nature of adjacent materials, and construction budget. The following are some of the most common metal cladding materials:

  • Aluminium

Because aluminium is naturally resistant to rusting and blistering, it is a popular cladding material for many projects. It has a high strength-to-weight ratio making it less bulky than steel panel attachment systems. However, the material is prone to denting and scratching, and it may rust in certain environmental conditions if not correctly cared for. 

  • Brick

This is the right choice for you if you want an attractive look for your house cladding. It also makes cladding workers’ jobs easier because the brickwork is simple to install and maintain.

  • Concrete

This is a newcomer to the world of cladding. It takes longer to install and comes in the form of cladding tiles. However, they are powerful and long-lasting, requiring very little maintenance.

  • Fibre Cement

This cladding system is designed for those who have a limited cladding budget. This cladding, which is made up of cement, compressed sand, and cellular fibre, is inexpensive to install. They’re also simple to maintain and install!

  • Titanium 

Architects prefer titanium because of its lightweight, high strength, and glossy, reflective appearance. Over time, a protective oxide film forms on the material’s surface, increasing its corrosion resistance. Maintenance is critical with titanium cladding to avoid brown staining after construction.

  • Vinyl

For those who don’t have time to maintain their sheets, vinyl sheets in cladding are the best option. Vinyl claddings are popular among cladding installers because they require little maintenance. The only requirement for this cladding system is to be cleaned regularly to prevent debris from piling up and causing unnecessary problems.

  • Foam Claddings for the Exterior Walls

External foam cladding is a preferred choice for industrial cladding because it is energy-efficient, weather-resistant, provides external insulation, and is simple to install. It is made of expanded polystyrene and then reinforced with fibreglass, which provides excellent insulation. It is installed in a traditional panel form, which provides a pleasing visual appearance.

  • Zinc 

Zinc is known for its weatherproof and corrosion-resistant properties. It is also resistant to the harmful effects of UV rays and has self-healing properties, which means that the material can heal itself over time if scratched.

  • Weatherboard

This is the type of traditional cladding that most people think of when they hear the word “cladding.” It is widely used because it is a popular commercial wall cladding system that is simple to install on various substrates. In most cases, maintenance must be performed once a year.

  • Stone

Stone cladding is an excellent traditional option for residential use. The natural feel and elegance of the stone structure make it all worthwhile to appreciate. However, one of the disadvantages of this cladding system is that it is costly, and if you have a limited budget, you are unlikely to be able to afford it.

  • Wood

These claddings are popular because of their traditional timber frames, but they also have a place in residential utility. They give the otherwise ordinary building structure a rich and vibrant appearance.

fibre cement cladding

Steps To Install Claddings

Different cladding materials utilise various construction systems; we have selected what we consider to be the shortest, simplest, and safest method of cladding installation. So follow on to install your favourite claddings.

  • Begin by determining the size of the cladding region you choose to cover (s)
  • You must decide whether to mount the cladding horizontally or vertically based on your length and width dimensions.
  • If the boards are to be placed horizontally, split the wall height by the board’s apparent diameter (120mm). This will tell you how many high-quality boards you’ll like.
  • Now split the length of the cladding board by the width of the wall multiplied by the number of boards wide (3.6m). This will tell you how many panels you’ll need in all.
  • If your wall width is less than our 3.6m board and you don’t want any butt joints, simply order the measured number of boards high.

Fixing battens/joists, fascia boards, corner nosing trim, and fixing screws can also be needed.

  • Battens / Joists – Each 5m2 of cladding needs 9m of battens/joists.
  • 2 per 5m2 of Cladding Fascia Boards and Corner Nosing Trim
  • Fixing screws – 5 per cladding board are needed.

Installation Procedures

  • Mark level lines on the battens for the first (lowest) board to be placed, making sure the board is at least 15mm above the field.
  • To prepare for material expansion, pre-drill the screw holes in the cladding board 2mm wider than the thread of the screws used. These holes should be aligned with the battens that protect them.
  • Place the cladding boards at the bottom of the wall (or first board for vertical cladding)
  • Fix the batten to the batten using the pre-drilled holes, taking caution not to overdrive the screws.
  • Place the next cladding board in place after it has been secured, then continue the procedure, testing the level until each board is fixed. Fix all boards before reaching the top (or side for vertical) edge of the wall; doors and windows can need shaping.

Finishing Steps

  • To top off and cover the last cladding board fixing groove, instal a Fascia Board. Fascia Board may be used to fill the cladding board extension gap if required.
  • Install Corner Nosing Trim to cover corners and edges; this may also be used to cover windows and corners if required.
  • All of these items may be cut to size and need to be pre-drilled and screwed to battens.
zinc cladding

Is It Essential To Get Approval From The City Planners For Cladding?

Cladding falls under Permitted Development in most cases, so you won’t need to apply for permission. This allows landowners to make changes to the structure without needing to get permission from outside agencies.

This law is not without variations. For cladding on one of the above, you’ll need to apply for building permission:

  • A structure that has been designated as historically significant
  • Area with Outstanding National Beauty
  • National Park and Conservation Area
  • The Broads 

How much does Cladding cost?

The price and expense per square feet for alternative cladding materials vary considerably. The more costly and challenging of all the options will be stone belt land. It is estimated that brick is by far the most used and is likely to be the cheapest, and reclaimed blockwork and tile are also reasonable.


Cladding is one of the most effective ways to improve the appearance and value of your home. There are several cladding types to choose from. However, you can choose one that meets the cladding requirements. If you’re having trouble deciding on the right cladding stock, it’s a good idea to request assistance from cladding designers and experts.

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