Architects and designers have a wide range of choices when it comes to exterior wall cladding materials. Some offer a traditional style and others give a building a modern appearance.
The right cladding options can make a significant difference in the look of your home or office. In some cases, construction codes may require a specific type of cladding material for compliance.
Read on and learn about the cladding options available for commercial and residential buildings.
What is Cladding?
You probably know what cladding is, but you may not have heard that term before. Simply put, cladding is the process of installing material over the structure of a building. Think of it as human skin over the frame of human bones.
Cladding can provide structural support, protection from the elements, or visual interest. Some cladding materials are selected for their style or color. Others are chosen to comply with building and construction codes.
For example, residential buildings are required to use cladding that aligns with EWS1 compliance. External wall systems that are assessed for safety in line with government regulations meet the EWS1 guidelines.
Lenders, buyers, and sellers look for this stamp of approval. Compliance can make a difference when they consider residential construction projects.
What Exterior Wall Cladding Options are Available?
Brick is one of the most common and classic cladding materials. Designers create beautiful patterns and styles, and there are many color options available. Maintenance is minimal over time, and brick seldom needs to be replaced.
Wood cladding gives a home a warm and inviting look and is environmentally sustainable. You will need to maintain wood cladding to preserve its appearance and integrity.
Metal, ceramic, concrete, and stone are popular options for commercial and residential construction. They provide strength and durability with many options for colors, styles, and textures.
Some recent architects have begun using plastics. Plastic cladding panels can provide a nice contrasting supplement to other materials. Moreover, they are inexpensive and easy to install for color and visual variety.
Which Cladding Option is the Right Choice?
It’s important to discuss the building materials with your contractor or architect. Some materials may provide the visual style you like, but without the waterproofing or protection from the elements you may need. As with most building materials, there isn’t a one size fits all solution.
With all the available substrates and materials, there is no shortage of options. Higher quality cladding may cost more upfront. But these materials require less maintenance over time.
This reduces the total cost over the life of the building.
The Finishing Touch
Exterior wall cladding is the finishing touch to a commercial or residential building. It provides protection, style, and color. Choosing the right materials for your construction project is essential. In some cases, you may need to use a specific material to comply with construction codes.
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