How Architectural Cladding Can Change the Design & Look of Your property Cladding has not only become a vital factor to protect your property from the elements, but it can make your property stand out from the rest. It has quickly gained popularity in Australia and is one of the biggest and most dramatic design features that can be added to a property. Cladding is the application of an outer layer to a property’s exterior walls that is designed to provide thermal insulation, protects property from weather conditions and improves and enhances the look and design of the building. Your choice of architectural cladding has been shown to dramatically add cost and value so it is important to understand each type and how it can affect your property’s aesthetic. When you decide on what type of cladding is right for you in terms of your desired look, there are a few factors that you have to keep in consideration. Cladding provides both thermal and sound insulation and can increase your property’s fire protection, which is essential for properties in the harsh Australian climate. Other factors that you can examine are the sustainability of the cladding materials, and both the monetary and environmental costs. Choosing the type of cladding for your property should be done in the same way that you would approach the interior design choices of your property. Aim to always have a balance between the textures, colours, and tones, complementing the style and design of your property. Also consider your surrounding environment, whether your property is surrounded by the Australian outback or the wonderful beach coastlines of the country. There are so many materials and colours to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Choose a material and colour that complies with the constraints of your local government’s building codes. Making the decision to change or add cladding to the existing exterior of your property is a job that requires skilled hands from professional builders that have extensive experience with cladding exteriors. A cladding expert will have the expertise to know the role of material specifications for your property and the weather conditions of the area. Here are a few architectural cladding options to consider to change the look and design of your property: Here are a few architectural cladding options to consider to change the look and design of your property: Architectural Cladding Materials Chosen by Architects Weatherboards – Timber or Plywood Although timber provides warmth and rustic quality, it’s important to note that they do require some maintenance, can leak (depending on how they are laid) and can easily become weathered. Timber weatherboards are not an ideal cladding choice for properties in bushfire affected regions so it is suggested that you know the type of wood that is being used and how it reacts to potential fire dangers in your area. The same can be said for plywood weatherboards. Even though Plywood can be a waterproofing material, in bushfire prone areas that are susceptible to spontaneous fires, plywood isn’t at all recommended for use. Aluminium and Zinc Aluminium or zinc cladding is versatile and can be used alone, or in conjunction with other materials and textures. This material can withstand corrosive environments such as those that brace salty coastal air. However, aluminium and zinc cladding does promote condensation and will need to be paired up with a special insulation to protect your property. Fibre Cement Apart from its obvious durability and low condensation quality, one of the drawbacks of fibre cement sheeting is that it’s a thin flat surface. The sheets can either absorb heat or pass on the cold from the outside. On the upside, it can protect a home from heavy rains and downpours which is why it’s seen a slight resurgence of use. However, to maintain fibre cement sheets they typically will require painting and offer some, but not much, insulation so you’ll definitely need to add extra insulation to your property to ensure that it’s protected from the elements. And sadly, for those concerned about the environmental footprint, fibre cement cannot be recycled and it’s a non-renewable energy source. Brick Brick cladding does not rot, it does not require to be painted and will never be eaten by termites. Regardless of its qualities, bricks may be something that a property must use in certain parts of a building (like the facade) especially if it is a heritage or protected historical building. Bricks don’t provide your property with the best waterproofing capabilities but can be used in fire-prone areas. Architects typically mix brick cladding with other choices to create a modern look and use the positive qualities of the other cladding options. Stone Stone cladding is one that has been able to withstand the test of time as it’s considered a material that’s timeless, elegant and never goes out of fashion for the exteriors of a property. Stone is resistant to fires, can be waterproof (but not always), and depending on the stone, it can be low in maintenance. However, because of its generally very high cost to buy and install (stonemasons are expensive), Architects and designers will use this material sparingly to create a sense of luxury and mix it with other materials like steel, to modernise their creations. Steel Cladding We consider this the best of the bunch. Steel cladding is used in an increasingly large number of contemporary Australian property designs as it recreates the architectural heritage of Australian corrugated iron. It is an attractive choice as steel cladding is available in a vast range of finishes, shapes, and sizes that can be made to suit most properties. Steel cladding is typically made from Colorbond steel and comes in a range of 22 standard colours, 6 metallic colours, matt finishes as well as the traditional silver finish of steel. Steel cladding is attractive for properties that require very little to no maintenance for the exterior of their properties. This material is extremely durable, remarkably waterproof and is an ideal choice for those Australian properties that are in fire-affected areas. This material can be recycled and is a great environmentally conscious choice, you will need to include added insulation to further add comfort and protection to your property. KC Roof Plumbing have over 15 years of industry experience and knowledge with Colorbond roofing, guttering, and cladding. If you would like to find out how you can fully or partially clad your property, contact the professional team at KC Roof Plumbing on 1300 KC ROOF (1300 527 663) to discuss your project or plans.