When building a house or having it redone, there are a number of possibilities you must keep in mind, apart from the usual thoughts of requirement, costs, feasibility, etc. What is it that will add that extra bit to your comfort? Roof over your head and walls around are fine but is that roof enough? Do the walls need more?
Checking out the ‘extra requirement’ during discussions with your architect and builder is going to go a long way in ensuring you don’t leave something out. Once the scaffoldings are pulled down, it will be a long, long time before you can have them put up again.
So, while discussing the interiors don’t forget to ask about the exterior. What are the landscaping options? What material are you using on the walls outside? What options are available? What about fire proofing and shelter from weather conditions? How about an additional layer for noise reduction?
More and more homeowners are realizing some planning needs to go into the exteriors, too. The wall needs to look pretty and strong, too. So talk to your builder. Tell him you want that ‘extra bit’.
Well, what exactly is wall cladding?
To put it simply, it is that extra layer of clothing for your walls which has dual purpose –protection from external elements and adding beauty and aesthetic value to your home.
But it is important you choose wisely the cladding for your walls. Evaluate the options and trends available. Experts will tell you wall claddings can have a great many combinations that include wood, metals, fiber cement, vinyl or natural stone.
Let us discuss some of these:
- Wood: Durability rating is moderate to high and it is generally low maintenance. However, the negative is that wood tends to rot and decay easily. It shrinks and expands with changes in external temperatures. Plus, it is costlier than other material.
- Metal: Metals like aluminum or steel are trendy and cost effective. These claddings are easy to install and environment friendly. Metal complements both modern and traditional architecture. But, aluminum dents easily and has a tendency to fade after a few years. Steel is susceptible to rusting.
- Natural Stone: This has been a popular wall cladding material from 20th century onwards because of its durability and appearance. Granite, limestone, bluestone, slate and sandstone are most common among them. But, the drawback with some of these is they are hard and brittle making sawing and cutting difficult. Carving on these is tough. Not appropriate for a small budget.
- Serpentine: It is also a natural stone but when compared with traditional claddings, serpentine is more stylish and offers greater protection from external elements. It is extra resistant to heat, rain, acidity and surface scratches. This earthy and non-porous stone provides an elegant and sophisticated finish. Fading risks none and no additional polishing needed. Its strength makes it twice as durable as marble and sandstone, in rough or semi-polished finishes. Excellent as a wall cladding, especially the one with a 3D effect!
You can also mix and match the material! Use two or more material in different color hues and make the walls visually appealing.
Remember, good quality cladding will protect not only your exterior but also the interior of the house. So choose smartly!