Innovative Exterior Cladding Ideas
Looking to clad your house, renovation or extension with something a little different? Natasha Brinsmead reveals the newest and most innovative products around
A pick of the latest and most interesting cladding products for your self build, extension or remodel project
Trespa’s Meteon panels (shown on opening page) offer a highly contemporary, low maintenance, durable option for those looking for a cladding material with a difference. They are made from high pressure laminate (HPL) which consists of 70% wood fibre and 30% resins. According to Trespa, they have two key benefits over timber cladding. The first is that they require no routine maintenance for the life of the product (BBA certified for 50+ years). Secondly, they won’t fade. They have a global guarantee for 10 years, but in the UK climate, they can often last many years more with minimal change in colour. Additionally, they are highly impact and scratch resistant. Although wood-effect panels are popular, the product isn’t restricted to wood lookalikes — there is a large choice of other colours and finishes, including an eye-catching metallics range. The installed price for the Meteon panels vary depending on the framing system used. Prices range from £150/m2 to £250/m2. (The Meteon element of this is approximately a third, with the framing system being the largest element.) The cost variation largely depends on whether you want the fixings to be visible or not.
Trespa’s pura sysTeM
For those after cladding boards, Trespa’s Pura planking system (right) is well worth a look, too. The system has the same benefits as the Meteon, but comes as preformed planks. It is available in both flush and overlapping finishes and can be installed either vertically (a popular choice at present) or horizontally. It is fast to install and Trespa supplies the whole system, including colour-coordinated trims. A typical installed price for the complete Pura system would be approximately £130/m2, including materials and labour. (trespa.com)
The popularity of timber cladding means products which enhance its beauty and protect it from the elements are constantly being developed.
SiOO:X is an environmentally friendly, waterbased wood protection system. The treatment promises significant protection against uneven, patchy weathering and discolouration, as well as against algae, fungus, spore and surface rot, not to mention splintering and curling. It is also largely maintenance free — it can be left for 10-15 years before re-application should be needed. Boards can either be given a factory finish before being delivered, or can be treated on site.
Applied in two stages, a wood protector is first applied to penetrate the fibres of the cell walls of the wood, where it forms a network of silica crystals to create a barrier which is bonded to the surface. The surface protector is then applied, binding with the wood protector to prevent water penetration. SiOO:X then cures by reacting with atmospheric carbon dioxide and moisture to form an insoluble and flexible silica network within the surface.
The mineral silicate starts to turn timber an even silver/grey in 10-16 weeks. SiOO:X mid grey and light grey are specifically for use with sawn surfaces and only available as factory-applied coatings (top right and left). Available from Russwood from £6 for 250ml. (russwood.co.uk)
porcelanosa eXTerior Bonding
Tiles have long been used as an exterior cladding material in many parts of the world — think the beautifully tiled façades seen all over Portugal, for example. However, this is a relatively new system in the UK.
In addition to internal tiles, Porcelanosa is now producing external cladding systems (above), in conjunction with its high-tech division, Butech.
The substrate (for instance, the blockwork) is first prepared before being clad with porcelain tiles, using mechanical fastenings as an extra form of reinforcement along with suitable adhesives, before being grouted, with a minimum 5mm joint.
Homeowners can choose between a bonded façade or a ventilated façade — the latter is the more expensive of the two. Prices depend on the chosen tiles. (Porcelanosa.com)
yukari shou sugi Ban TiMBer
Shou Sugi Ban (charred timber cladding) is enjoying huge popularity among self-builders and renovators alike, offering a rich and dramatic appearance, full of character. This ancient Japanese technique of charring timber cladding means no two boards will be the same.
Other benefits include natural protection from UV rays and an extremely tough and durable end result. Charred timber is also more resistant to fire and pests.
Yukari is a new type of Shou Sugi Ban — it’s 100% FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified and with new textures to those previously seen. With a smooth, sanded surface, Yukari has a striking contemporary appearance that works with both period properties (as above) as well as being suitable for contemporary new builds.
It is available in standard lengths of up to 4.9m through James Latham, and manufactured by Shou Sugi Ban. The range, depending on finish, quantity and profile, costs approximately £125/m2. (lathamtimber.co.uk)
corian® eXTerior panels
While most of us are familiar with the composite material Corian® – made from a blend of minerals and acrylic polymer – as a worktop material, as an exterior cladding it is a relative newcomer.
It comes supplied as large panels that can be built up seamlessly to achieve any shape or form required. The panels are fixed to provide a ventilated façade that allows for thicker levels of insulation to be installed behind, and can also be used on renovations in order to improve on existing insulation levels.
The material is durable, long lasting and resistant to humidity, fungi and bacteria, plus the UV-stable colour runs through the entire thickness of the panels, which means the edges are the same colour as the face of the panels.
The panels use a mechanical fixing system based on an aluminium grid. They can be installed by cladding contractors or professional cladding installers. However, in some cases assistance may be required by an approved Corian® fabricator in working the Corian® before it is installed (for example, if thermoforming is required).
On this extension to a 19th-century house in North London (above), designed by Alison Brooks Architects, two tapered volumes have been added to project into the garden. The ends of each block are entirely glazed, while the sides are clad in Blackberry Ice Corian® panels. “Each trapezoidal plane of the scheme is either fully glazed or fully solid — there are no punched windows,” explains Alison Brooks. “Both roof and wall planes are one material. This approach creates an architecture without mass and weight. It is more like the folded surfaces of origami.”
Rainwater downpipes are concealed behind the ventilated Corian® façade.
Corian® Solid Surface is distributed in the UK & Ireland exclusively by CD (UK) Ltd. The installed cost is approximately £600/m2. (cdukltd.co.uk)