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How to choose the right board for your cladding or siding job

How to choose the right board for your cladding or siding job

The variety of cladding materials on the market is enormous. In this article I'll explain the different options, and then focus in on the two main types of boards my customers are usually most interested in: fibre cement weatherboards and timber boards.

What are my cladding material options?

The most common options for cladding your property are:

  • Fibre cement: Fibre cement boards are made from a mix of cement, sand, and cellulose fibres. They are a popular choice for their durability, fire resistance, and low maintenance requirements.
  • Timber: Timber boards are a traditional choice for cladding and offer a natural and warm aesthetic. They can be painted or stained to achieve a variety of colours and finishes.
  • PVCu: PVCu boards are made from uPVC, a plastic material that is lightweight, easy to install, and resistant to rot and weathering. They are available in a range of colours and styles, including wood-effect finishes.
  • Metal: Metal boards, such as aluminium or steel, are durable and weather-resistant. They can be installed in a variety of profiles and finishes, including corrugated or flat panels.
  • Brick slips: Brick slips are thin slices of brick that can be attached to an existing wall or substrate to give the appearance of a solid brick wall. They offer a traditional and timeless look and can be installed in a range of patterns and colours.
  • Natural stone: Natural stone boards, such as granite or limestone, can add a luxurious and high-end look to your home. They offer durability and are available in a range of textures and finishes.

How do I choose the right one for me and my property?

Each material has its own unique characteristics and benefits, so it is important to consider factors such as cost, maintenance requirements, and aesthetic appeal when making a choice.

Right now, probably the most popular choices are fibre cement weatherboards or timber. Most of our Sitebuddyz tools are designed to support installers of DIYers working with these kinds of boards, so here's some more detail on these types of boards and some of the most popular brands available.

It is important to note that there are many other brands available and we're not endorsing any one brand over another. Depending on where you are in the world, different brands are available.

Fibre cement weatherboards: benefits

Fibre cement weatherboards are an increasingly popular building material due to their durability, low maintenance, and aesthetic appeal. Here are some benefits of fibre cement weatherboards:

  • Durability: Fibre cement weatherboards are highly durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions, including high winds, heavy rain, and extreme temperatures. They are also resistant to fire, rot, and insects, making them a long-lasting option for any building project.
  • Low Maintenance: Fibre cement weatherboards require very little maintenance and are resistant to fading, cracking, and warping. They do not require painting as often as other siding options, which can save time and money in the long run.
  • Versatility: Fibre cement weatherboards come in a variety of colors and textures, which can be customized to match the design and style of any building project. They can be made to look like wood, stone, or brick, allowing for versatility in design.
  • Eco-Friendly: Fibre cement weatherboards are an eco-friendly option because they are made from sustainable and recyclable materials. They do not contain harmful chemicals or toxins and are safe for the environment.
  • Cost-effective: Although fibre cement weatherboards may cost more upfront than some other siding options, they can be cost-effective in the long run due to their durability and low maintenance requirements.

Overall, fibre cement weatherboards offer a variety of benefits and can be a great option for anyone looking for a durable, low-maintenance, and versatile building material.

Fibre cement weatherboards: 6 popular brands

  1. James Hardie: James Hardie is a global leader in fibre cement siding products, offering a wide range of options for both residential and commercial buildings.
  2. Cedral: Cedral is a brand of fibre cement cladding that offers a range of colors and finishes, including wood-effect and smooth finishes.
  3. Equitone: Equitone is a range of fibre cement cladding panels that offer a range of textures and finishes, including a variety of colors and pre-weathered options.
  4. Marley Eternit: Marley Eternit is a UK-based brand that offers a range of fibre cement cladding options, including smooth and wood-effect finishes.
  5. Allura: Allura is a popular brand of fibre cement siding that offers a variety of textures and finishes, including wood-grain and smooth.
  6. Nichiha: Nichiha is a Japanese company that specializes in fibre cement siding products, offering a range of styles and finishes to suit different architectural designs.
Timber board cladding: benefits

    There are several benefits of using timber cladding, including:

    • Aesthetic appeal: Timber cladding provides a natural and warm appearance that can enhance the overall look and feel of a building.
    • Durability: Timber cladding is naturally durable and can withstand extreme weather conditions, making it a popular choice for exterior cladding.
    • Insulation: Timber cladding can act as a natural insulator, helping to keep a building warm in winter and cool in summer, which can potentially reduce energy costs.
    • Sustainability: Timber is a renewable resource, and using it for cladding can help reduce a building's carbon footprint.
    • Easy to install: Timber cladding is relatively easy to install and can be done quickly, which can save time and money during construction.
    • Low maintenance: Timber cladding requires minimal maintenance, with occasional cleaning and resealing being the main upkeep required.

    Overall, timber cladding is a versatile and attractive option for building exteriors, offering a range of benefits that make it a popular choice for architects and builders.

    Timber Board Cladding: 6 popular brands

    There is a huge variety of different styles and types of timber cladding. 

    They range from regular, fully treated boards in a variety of woods, to Waney Edge boards which are used to create a traditional and rustic appearance by layering boards that have been sliced straight from the tree. 

    You can view my post on how to get a perfect Waney Edge finish here.

    Here are some of the most well-known and popular brands supplying timber boards: 

    • Cedar Sales: Cedar Sales is an Australian company that specializes in Western Red Cedar timber products, including timber cladding, decking, and screening.
    • Accoya: Accoya is a modified wood product that is sustainably sourced and offers enhanced durability and stability. It can be used for both internal and external cladding applications.
    • Abodo: Abodo is a New Zealand-based company that offers a range of timber cladding products made from sustainably sourced wood, including thermally modified and eco-friendly options.
    • Parklex: Parklex is a brand that offers timber cladding products made from natural wood veneers that are treated with a protective finish. Their products are available in a range of colors and textures.
    • Kebony: Kebony is a modified wood product that is sustainable, durable, and offers a unique aesthetic appeal. It can be used for both indoor and outdoor cladding applications.
    • Silva Timber: Silva Timber is a UK-based company that offers a range of timber cladding products, including Western Red Cedar, Siberian Larch, and Thermowood.

    So there you go. Hoepfully this gives you a good overview of the many options.

    We would always recommend you research and compare different brands to find the best option for your specific needs and budget. If you're working with a pro cladding installer, they will be able to give you personalised, expert advice as well.

    And, of course, when it comes to fitting, make sure you use the best specialist cladding tools on the market: choose Sitebuddyz!


    Cladding: Better. Faster. Cheaper. Job done!

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