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House Cladding Cost: 2020 Installation Price Comparison

Many people use cladding to weatherproof the exterior walls of their home. It’s also used as a way to insulate against heat or cold and it looks good too. You can use many types of material, the commonest are wood, aluminium, and uPVC. But, the cheapest by far is uPVC. 

So, maybe your house looks tired and shabby. Don’t worry, with a uPVC cladding, or vinyl siding as it’s known across the pond, you can quite cheaply improve its look, and save money on your heating bills too.

The average cost of cladding a house in the UK is about £20 per m2 if you use uPVC or at least double that if you use hardwood cladding. For a typical 3 bedroom house, it’ll cost about £1000 to buy white uPVC cladding and £2000 to buy wood effect uPVC. For both types, it’ll cost about £1000 to install. 

So why would a homeowner decide to use cladding on their house? 

We’ve just said it improves the look. But, that not all. It’s also one of the easiest to install external coverings you can use on your property. You can leave the existing render or pebbledash on the house and just install cladding over it. You can tuck sheet insulation between the cladding and your existing wall to increase your thermal efficiency. And, it’s also one of the cheapest external coverings you can use, especially uPVC. 

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How Much Does House Cladding Cost?

Below is a table which outlines typical jobs for cladding outside the home.

House Cladding Prices:

Job  Estimated time  Estimated cost 
Installing white uPVC cladding on a 3bed semi-detached house.  2 to 4 days  £1500 
External render for standard 2bed bungalow  5 days  £2800 
Pebbledash render and painting 3bed semi-detached house  10 days  £5300 

Additionally, you’ll have to pay extra for hire of scaffolding and to remove any waste materials. Also, you’ll need to add on the cost of trims, fascias and fixing battens. Just make sure you get all these included in your quotation before you sign on the dotted line. 

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Types of Exterior Cladding For Houses

Wouldn’t it be boring if everyone’s cladding looked the same? Fortunately, there are different colours and finishes you can choose from, to give your home its own individuality. Of course, you’ll have to pay more for most of these. If we compare the cladding prices for a standard white uPVC board of £10 per 5m length, against a Black Ash effect for £20 per 5m or Rosewood for about £25 per 5m. You’ll see that the varying finishes can work out very expensive. But of course, there are many more types you can choose from. 

External uPVC Cladding Installation 

uPVC cladding is just one of the many different types of coverings you can use on the exterior walls of your property. And, it’s probably the most commonly used of all. There are many reasons for this: 

  • You don’t have the variation in colour or pattern like in real wood. You can, therefore, be sure of its consistent colour. 
  • It is cheaper to buy than every other type. 
  • Its simple to install. 
  • Virtually maintenancefree, requiring only a wash now and again. 
  • It doesn’t weather or split like wood. 
  • It’s impervious to woodboring insects. 
  • It will last for up to 20 years without replacing.

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Profiles 

You can also get different profiles to suit almost all types of architectural style. The cost per square metre of the different available profile styles are pretty much the same, so it doesn’t matter which one you choose. 

  • Feather edge
  • Shiplap
  • Tongue and groove
  • Square edge

Rosewood uPVC Cladding Finish 

Plastic cladding doesn’t have to be just boring white. There are many colours and finishes to choose from. Rosewood is only one of them. By choosing the correct colour cladding you’ll be able to match to just about any existing colour in windows or doors. The coloured ranges of cladding allow you to design a home to be proud of without having to worry about staining and varnishing the surface to keep it weatherproof and looking good. 

Timber cladding 

Of course, if you want the real thing, you can choose to install real timber cladding. You can buy it in the same profiles as uPVC cladding but you stain and varnish it yourself. If you keep it well maintained, timber cladding will look very up-market and give your home a boost. If however, you don’t keep up the maintenance it can make your home look very cheap and run-down. At the lower end of the market, you’ll find softwood featheredge cladding at a cost per m2 of about £50 including decorating. At the other end of the scale, we have red cedar or Siberian larch that doesn’t need further decoration but will cost about the same to buy and install.  

Whichever material you choose to buy will be up to you. Whether you like the idea of natural wood and are willing to put up with ongoing maintenance or use uPVC with no maintenance, you will end up having a really good looking finish on your house. 

But what happens if an accident happens and part of the cladding gets damaged? If you have wood cladding it’s no problem for a skilled carpenter to repair the damage. However, if you have uPVC cladding you cant repair small areas, you’ll have to replace the whole 5m length.

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Weatherboard cladding

Weatherboard is a generic term to cover all types of cladding, regardless of material. From wooden shingles to uPVC and timber boards, to fibre cement, aluminium and manufactured board. 

Benefits of Cladding Houses

There are many advantages to using cladding on your home, regardless of how it’s made.  

1. Low maintenance 

All types of cladding require less maintenance than just painting a masonry surface. In fact, most types of cladding only need a regular wash to keep looking good. Over time, of course, some materials might need decorating to continue looking good, while others will look good right to the end of its life. 

2. Protection 

The main purpose of cladding is to protect the surfaces underneath. It increases the strength of a structure and prevents continual expansion and contractions due to temperature changes. It protects the underlying surfaces from water penetration and protects against the effects of sunlight. Cladding also protects against fungal growths and moulds, rain and wind.  

3. Insulation 

Between the cladding and the structural wall, there is a cavity that can hold insulation sheets and a waterproof vapour barrier. The vapour barrier allows the building to naturally dry out, breathe and lose moisture while still being protected from external damp. 

4. Appearance 

Installing cladding to a structure absolutely transforms a boring and drab looking building into something special. It not only improves its appearance, but it also increases the market value of the property.  The range of materials you can use gives a wide range of colours and textures. You can use various types of material such as brick and stone cladding, various species of timber, man-made materials, metals, and fibre cement. The materials can be painted, varnished, stained, polished, or left natural, depending on your preference.

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Alternative Materials

We’ve already mentioned some alternatives in passing. Now let’s get a bit more detail. 

Brick and stone 

Brick and stone slips (veneers about 25mm thick) make good weatherboarding. They come in many different colours and textures and some can be polished. Also, they are naturally weatherproof so don’t need decorating. You usually buy about 3 or 4 courses mounted onto a small backing panel. The boards then fit a metal lath framework fitted to the structural wall.  

Fibre cement 

This is a sheet made from ordinary cement, strengthened by cellulose fibres. The exposed surface can be moulded to give a specific pattern and the addition of cement dyes gives a long-lasting colour.  

Rendering 

This traditional covering consists of a layer of sand and cement, or sometimes lime. This provides a waterproof shell over the underlying surfaces. It’s hard-wearing and can be dyed or painted just about any colour. Sometimes small pebbles can be added on top of the render or added to the render mix before trowelling it onto the wall. 

Render is a very hardwearing weatherproof shell that will protect the underlying surfaces as long as it is kept well maintained and painted.

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Extra Considerations

Rainscreen 

Some types of cladding have a double-wall so the outer wall keeps rain away from the inside while the inner wall adds thermal insulation, makes the covering draughtproof and gives the cladding strength against strong winds. 

Scaffolding 

On just about every type of property, with the possible exception of a bungalow, the installer will need scaffolding to provide a safe working platform. This will cost extra on top of the price to buy and install the cladding.  

Support battens 

Just about all the types of cladding and weatherboarding need to be fixed to the supporting wall. These can be wooden battens or a metal frame bolted to the masonry. This provides a gap or cavity between the outer and inner surfaces to help with insulation and weatherproofing. The gap also allows the cladding to bridge unevenness or breaks on the structural wall.

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House Cladding Cost FAQ 

Is it cheaper to clad or render a house? 

Render is usually cheaper to apply than cladding, but cladding provides a breathable and weatherproof barrier allowing water to drain away. Some kinds of cladding materials do not need any maintenance whereas render needs painting and ongoing maintenance. 

What is the cheapest external cladding? 

Some kinds of top-quality uPVC cladding will cost about the same as timber cladding. However standard white uPVC is probably the cheapest of all types of cladding. 

Do you need permission to clad your house? 

Usually, adding cladding to the exterior of your property does not need Planning Permission. However, if you live in a listed building or conservation area, you might have constraints on the type and amount of cladding you can use. 

How expensive is zinc cladding? 

Sometimes, you can clad roofs with sheet metal such as copper and zinc. The cost depends on the project but generally, a zinc-clad roof costs about £35 per m2 and can last for up to 50 years. 

Find local roofers for the job

Installing some kind of weatherboard cladding to your home is an investment worth considering. However, make sure you use a qualified and experienced tradesman to do the work. To find out the cost of house cladding in your local area, simply fill out the form at the top of this page and you’ll receive 3-4 quotes from professionals nearby.

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