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How do I Choose the Best Cladding Installation?

By Rebecca Mecomber
Updated May 17, 2024
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House cladding, also known as house siding, is the material used to cover the exterior walls of the building. Besides providing protection from the outdoor elements and a small measure of insulation for the home, exterior cladding serves as an architectural feature, adding beauty and value to the home. When selecting new house cladding, consider the style of the product, its durability, its reputation, the warranty of the materials and construction services and the affordability of the product. Chosen wisely and installed properly, a new cladding installation can add long-lasting beauty and value to your home.

First, consider the style of the wall cladding best suited for your home. Choose from the various cladding systems available: clapboard panels, shingles or sheets. Clapboard panels, amenable to all house styles and architecture services and designs, are available in vinyl, aluminum, wood and fibrous cement boards. Shingles are constructed of wood, usually cedar shakes, and are common in older-style homes near bodies of water. Plywood sheets, also known as board and batten cladding, are suited for a very rustic and informal style of home.

Engineered cladding products are generally the most durable and long lasting. Vinyl siding is a popular choice, because it is inexpensive, readily available and easily installed. Aluminum cladding was popular in the 1970s but has fallen out of favor with the rise of vinyl cladding. Aluminum is a durable choice and still available through various construction services by special order. Fibrous cement wall cladding is comprised of wood fiber, cement and sand, and it comes in long siding strips or large panels.

Vinyl, fibrous cement, wood and aluminum cladding systems are installed over a base of plywood sheathing on the exterior walls of the building. Fibrous cement panels and exterior plywood board and batten panels require no plywood sheathing but are installed directly over the studs facing the exterior side of the building. Shingles also require plywood sheathing. Consider the cost of adding sheathing to your cladding installation budget if your home does not have existing sheathing.

Although some ambitious homeowners might attempt the cladding installation themselves, most homeowners hire home cladding services to install the siding. Most cladding systems require precise measurements and special tools for proper installation. Additionally, cladding installation by a construction service offers the benefit of warranty on materials and labor. Consider whether the money saved on a do-it-yourself project is worth your time and energy when compared to the faster cladding installation and quality guarantee of professional cladding services.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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