Cladding – What’s it all about?

Not only can installing cladding on a property completely change the look of the it, but it also has a big impact on performance and how much maintenance you have to commit to.

Cladding serves multiple purposes. It protects the walls from the weather, adds a layer of insulation and, equally as important, is one of the key ways of shaping the overall aesthetics of a building.

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The choices you make when it comes to the cladding are as important as the layout, design, and construction methods – This decision ultimately determines what the property looks like, how well it performs and the kind of care it needs over the years.

What is cladding?

Cladding material on a property is a front-facing exterior mount directly fixed to the wall, such as stone cladding, for example, or fixed to a wooden batten, as in the case of wood cladding.

Traditionally, property in the UK has been built with solid walls making use of local materials, like stone. Through the course of the 20th century though, the practice of standard wall construction began combining cavity design that divides the wall into inner and outer walls, often referred to as the leaves or bark.

This means that the load-bearing tasks can now be done with the leaves inside, weatherproof handled by the outer leaves and heat retention is managed by including additional insulation between the two leaves.

The outside walls can now be positioned elsewhere than sitting directly on the ground and cannot be hung on the inner skin which means it can be made of many thin sections because it does not need to be independent. All you have to do is keep the weather out – and this is what cladding does so well. For Industrial Cladding information, visit a site like

Do I need planning permission?

Changes a property to include cladding typically does not require planning permission. This will not apply to listed buildings or to any property on land for specially protected species, in a National Park or AONB.

What cladding options are there?

The main reason most people choose certain coverings over others is likely to come down to appearance. Therefore, your choice may be determined by local planners, especially if you build it yourself. Often times you may be expected to choose a material suitable for your environment.

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Another factor to consider is how much maintenance you want to do, your budget and who will install the cladding.

Your options include:




Vertical tiling



porcelain tile

fibre cement


modern synthetic materials

Research your options. Contemporary manufacturing methods mean that the traditional building materials available are forever growing. Wood remains the traditional cover, many choose not to use it, due to ongoing maintenance requirements. Research some other materials, such as composites and bricks, which also offers a low maintenance choice.

Sample order. It’s important to be able to see exactly what you are buying. Many manufacturers provide samples.


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