Last Updated Aug 27, 2010 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald
Are you looking for an effective way to cover the outside of your building so that it looks attractive and is well protected but doesn’t require too much in terms of maintenance? Facade cladding is the perfect solution for you. Here’s what you need to know.
Facade cladding can be defined as being non load bearing panels that are fixed to the supporting structure in some way. As they are non load bearing, the facade cladding panels should only have to support their own weight, not the weight of other panels or any other elements in the system. It is generally used for its aesthetic properties as it can hide a myriad of things from tired looking walls through to major imperfections in a building’s finish. However, facade cladding can also have important thermal and acoustic insulation properties, especially when they are combined with insulation installed behind it. Facade cladding can generally be installed upon steel, timber, or cement support structures.
There are many different types of facade cladding that you can choose from and just some of your options include:
One of the major considerations that you will need to take into account when choosing your facade cladding is your budget as some types are more economical than others. For example, nothing beats the beauty of stone or timber cladding but if you are on a tight budget, vinyl cladding can be a convincing imitation at a fraction of the cost of the real thing.
Also think about the maintenance that you are prepared to do on your facade cladding. Some will require regular cleaning and refinishing to keep them looking and working at their best (timber is the best example of this). Others simply need a hosing down every once in a while.
Another important consideration is the look that you are trying to achieve. Are you trying to create an elegant sophisticated look, a contemporary look, an ultra modern look, or a traditional look? This has a lot of bearing on the type of facade cladding that you choose. Timber, stone, and vinyl cladding can look great in traditional settings; stone is perfect for that timeless look; while metal or cement panels are ideal for creating modern, contemporary looks. Metal cladding is also perfect for curved surfaces, which other types of facade cladding systems may struggle with.