Exterior cladding, what is it?

Exterior cladding, what is it?

  • Ellie Stirk

There are many reasons why you may want to fit cladding to the exterior of your home. External cladding can help protect the structure of your property from cracks and can also dramatically transform the overall look of your home. The choice of cladding materials seems endless, from timber to stone and uPVC to brick. Whilst the techniques you use to fit the external cladding may vary depending on the material you choose, the preparation and the installation process is generally the same. So, how do you exactly fit external cladding to your home? Here we have outlined a step by step guide so you can do it easily by yourself.

What You’ll Need:

  • Tape measure
  • Plywood sheathing
  • Galvanised screws or nails
  • Choice of external cladding
  • Drill
  • Skill saw
  • Foam insulation
  • Trims and corner pieces
  • House wrap

Step 1 – Measuring of Exterior Walls

Before fitting any cladding to your walls, you will need to measure the length and width of your exterior, then you can get the right amount of material for your walls. You will also need to take extra measurements of the space around the windows and doors, for any trims and corner pieces.

Step 2 – Fit All The Sheafing

Make sure all the plywood sheathing is fitted before you install any cladding to the outside of your home. Sheafing, if you don't know, is used for several purposes: It protects against the elements, provides a foundation for materials like roofing, siding, and flooring, and fortifies the structure against internal and external forces. There are several different types of sheathing: exterior wall, floor, and roof.

Step 3 – House wrap and Foam insulation

One stage that is often forgotten about, but is crucial for ultimate energy efficiency and weather protection, is installing house wrap and foam insulation. Wrap the outside of your home with your choice of house wrap and staple in place. Then, nail the foam insulation panels in place. This will make sure the energy cannot be released.

Step 4 – The First Row of Cladding

You can now begin fitting the first row of cladding. Starting from the bottom of the wall, it is important to take your time at this stage as it is a foundation for the rest of your cladding. Ensure that the first row is level in order to make sure the successive rows of cladding are straight.

Step 5 – Install The Next Rows

Now that you have installed the first row of cladding, you are able to fit the next rows. If you’re using cement boards, wood siding, vinyl siding or metal siding you must remember that each row must overlap the top of the bottom board. This is to prevent water from running down the back of the cladding. In most cases, the materials will have a declination line to help guide you.

Step 6 – Add The Trims and Corner Pieces

Once you have completed a wall, you can now add the trims, corner pieces and finishing touches. The majority of wall cladding have finishing pieces to add to the appearance and protection to your wall. Fit the trims, corner pieces and finishing touches now that the wall has been completed.

Step 7 – Repeat For All Walls

Repeat the process until all the exterior cladding has been fitted to the outside of the build.


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