Exterior Cladding Options

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(Image credit: Simon Maxwell). Cladding your home is a fool-proof way to transform the exterior of your property. Not only will increase its kerb appeal and consequently raise its value, it can also protect your home from the elements. If you’re not satisfied with the exterior of your home there is a wide range of cladding and renders to get the look you desire. Do you love the clean look of contemporary houses? Then a simple rendering could be your answer.

Top tips for exterior cladding and render:

Cladding your home with brick slips

Alternatively, if you want a traditional look, brick slips or wood cladding could add authentic appeal. Take a look below at what options for cladding and rendering are on the market and find exactly what you need to fit your budget and create the look that you want.

Find out more about how to transform the exterior of your home in our practical guide.

How much do different exterior finishes cost?

Cladding is a skin of material added to a structure for protection and decoration. Both manmade and natural materials are used as cladding, the former being chosen for usually being low maintenance. However, there are now a growing number of timber claddings that require little to no aftercare, too.

Your home may already have cladding and replacing like for like is a way to maintain the character of your home.

Do you need planning permission to add exterior finishes?

This is especially important where the cladding matches the local vernacular. Otherwise, cladding or render can be used to improve a tired and dated home. Inappropriate materials might need replacing or you could use something that will not need to be treated every couple of years.

We talk about render at the same time as cladding as it is a way of cladding your home.

Which cladding material is best for your home?

However, while most cladding materials are dry and fixed to the home with screws or fittings, render is a wet coat applied much like plaster. Similar to render are roughcast and pebbledash. These are coatings where render is reinforced with pebbles, gravel or even shells, to create a hardwearing layer over the home.

This is often seen on coastal homes as it stands up to the elements.

Choosing wood cladding for your home's exterior

It was also popular on local authority properties built in the 70s and 80s as it was cheap to add and maintain – perhaps why it is looked on less favourably now. Changes to your home’s exterior appearance may be subject to planning rules set down by your local council – so always check with it first.

However, it is possible that cladding changes fall under permitted development.

What is cladding?

However, this does not apply on listed buildings and on any house on specially protected types of land, within a National Park or AONB – you will need to apply for planning permission in these cases.

Your budget, the look of other houses nearby, or what your local council approves will all influence the material you choose for your exterior.

More on transforming your home's exterior

Exterior Wood Options

Bear in mind that prices vary widely, depending on the intricacies of a particular job, and that many suppliers will only work directly with trade, meaning you may have to hire a building company or architect to achieve the finish you want.

You should also consider maintenance.

Rendering your home's exterior

Fixing PVCu cladding to your home's exterior

Low-maintenance options tend to have a larger outlay, but think of the money you save on treatments/upkeep over time. If you are a keen DIYer you can save money with a cladding choice that is easy to install and maintain yourself. Timber composite cladding – £105/m2.

Fibre cement weatherboarding – £65/m2.

Fitting metal cladding panels to your home's exterior

Softwood timber cladding (painted or treated) – £50/m2. Hardwood timber cladding – £90/m2. Heat-treated timber cladding - £80/m2. Tiles (concrete) – £40/m2. Tiles (slate)– £100/m2. Natural stone – 100/m2.

Artificial stone – £70/m2. PVCu cladding – £50/m2.

Exterior Color Options

Brick slips – £50-60/m2. Rendering – £60/m2. Masonry paint (three coats) – £15/m2. A competent DIYer should have no problems fitting timber cladding themselves. This tends to be fitted to battens, screwed to the exterior of the home.

PVCu systems can also be fitted on a DIY basis, with some being a click and clip design that is easy to work with.

Clad Color Options

Rendering can also be done by those willing to give it a go. As with plastering and other wet trades, practise makes perfect so you might want to leave it to the pros if you have no prior experience. Specialist cladding and renders are often only available as supply and fit. This may be because the techniques for installation are very specific, and DIY work can invalidate guarantees.

Exterior brick slips are lightweight, thin – usually 20-25mm – slices of brick, often fixed to a backing panel with adhesive.

Can you install cladding by yourself?

Mortar is then inserted into the gaps to create a realistic, pointed look.

Ranges include reclaimed and handmade finishes, and you can expect to pay from £50 per square metre including metal lath substructure and mortar joints.

Whether in the form of shingles, traditional-style weatherboarding for a classic New England look, timber cladding is a popular choice. There is a wide range, with hardwoods and softwoods, starting at around £10 per square metre for untreated pine, to £50 per square metre for something more durable (including treatment/paint).