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Materials Matter

Posted on Mar 12, 2018

BR18-102

 

There’s more to cladding than just aesthetics, but often aesthetics is all that is considered. 

Admittedly aesthetics play a vital role; after all, the exterior of your home makes a huge statement. But before making any hasty decisions, make sure to assess all your options so you will feel confident with your choice for years to come.

 

Bricks

Advantages:

  • Low maintenance
  • Doesn’t bow or twist
  • Resilient to harsh conditions
  • Flame resistant; for houses that are built close to boundary lines and require a fire-rated wall, brick is a good option
  • Noise barrier for busy neighborhoods.

Disadvantages:

  • Brick can be a more expensive option due to its low maintenance advantage
  • Old bricks can become brittle, becoming more susceptible to damage
  • Bricks carry a lot of weight and require a rebate in your foundations to support them
  • Some areas don’t allow brick cladding due to its weight i.e. TC3 land or hill sites. If you are set on having bricks in these areas, engineering costs can sky-rocket.

 

Wood

Advantages:

  • Offers a natural appearance
  • Adaptability, easily stained or painted to your liking
  • Customisable
  • For DIYers, wooden cladding does not always require a professional to replace
  • Replacements can be made from similar materials if the exact product is not available.

Disadvantages:

  • High maintenance
  • Can be susceptible to termites such a bora
  • Installers need to allow for warping, shrinkage and expansion
  • Will fade over time and not necessarily evenly
  • If not treated correctly, wooden cladding is susceptible to rot and mold.

 

Stucco

Advantages:

  • Stucco basically forms a concrete shell around your home which means you will require less energy to cool your home in the summer and warm it up in the winter
  • A great sound barrier for busier neighborhoods
  • Resists rot, mildew and mold
  • Fire retardant.

Disadvantages:

  • Can crack easily in an earthquake as it is not designed to flex as well as other products
  • Labour costs to apply can stack up, making it a more expensive option
  • Not suitable for really wet climates
  • Can be subject to expanding and shrinking in warm and cold weather, especially if excess moisture is allowed to build up
  • Choose your colours wisely, though you can paint stucco easily, when it comes time to refinish it, you will have to sandblast any paint off to allow the new layer to bond.

Fibre cement products 

Advantages:

  • Low maintenance
  • Can be made to replicate other materials such as wood, brick and stone
  • Hard wearing to all elements
  • Easily customised to your liking
  • Fireproof
  • Won’t rot

Disadvantages:

  • Requires specialist installation
  • Can be more expensive upfront, especially for pre-primed and pre-painted options.

Conclusion 

There is a vast array of options under each banner, no two are the same and each will have their own advantages and disadvantages.

This content is a broad overview, whatever cladding you choose, be sure to do your research. Always refer to the manufacturer’s specifications and technical manual to get the best out of your chosen product.

 

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