Cladding is a general term used to indicate an exterior layer adhered to a material with a protective purpose. In construction, this means the exterior layer of a building – i.e., the façade – which is used to protect the structure from weather, pest, and wear damage over the years. Cladding also provides aesthetic appeal, cosmetic opportunity and thermal protection.
There are a variety of different cladding materials, designs and styles. The most popular choices are steel, timber, plastic, aluminium, fiber cement, and vinyl. For a general outline of the different choices, see here.
Choosing the perfect material for your home can be difficult as there are so many options readily available. One of the best indicators of which cladding styles are appropriate for a home is the local climate. Whether you need your cladding to be resistant to high water levels, strong wind damage, heat and temperature fluctuations, or corrosive circumstances will influence which cladding material is likely to last the longest on your home.
While the choice of material is the most important for cladding determination, there are a few other factors worth considering. Namely; budget and aesthetic. These secondary considerations are important to ensure your enduring happiness with your home’s exterior. Try to find within the type of material you need a style that suits the décor and appearance of your home. Cross reference this with your budget and you should be able to eliminate all of the unnecessary options to reveal the perfect exterior cladding for your home.
What is vinyl cladding? / Can you paint vinyl cladding?
Vinyl cladding is a type of affordable cladding that is made from (often recycled) PVC plastic. It is most commonly used for houses and apartment buildings as it is highly customizable and can be made to look however the homeowner desires. You can also paint vinyl cladding if you change your mind about the colour down the line, or want to refresh the look.
Vinyl cladding is extremely durable and can resist strong wind levels as well as temperature leakage and moisture, as it is one of the only truly waterproof cladding materials. Vinyl is also very low maintenance, has an easy installation process, and is environmentally friendly by repurposing plastic which would otherwise be in landfill.
Vinyl cladding is readily available in Australia, with multiple vinyl cladding suppliers operating out of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Tasmania. It is also well supplied in major stores and you will be able to find standard vinyl siding / vinyl cladding boards from well known suppliers such as bunnings, duratuff and mitten. Vinyl is accessible and production was not impacted as much by the pandemic as other materials such as timber, though delays in shipment of vinyl may still be common.
The abundant availability of vinyl cladding is another reason that it is such a popular weatherboard to DIY. Vinyl insulation is not complicated to install and is often designed specifically to cooperate with the DIY-er. It can be a quick and affordable way to drastically change the exterior aesthetic of your home. To help narrow down the best applications of vinyl cladding, here is an outline of popular colours and prices that are sure to transform your home.
Vinyl cladding in review: the best vinyl house cladding ideas for your exterior walls
4. Dark blue
Dark blue vinyl cladding is a perfect mix between classic and modern. Dark colours in general exude style and modernity, while blue itself is a classic colour that has been used in many traditional colour schemes and has Hamptons / cottage connotations. Thus, the mixing of the two – combining a dark and bold colour scheme with the classicism of blue – creates a very visually interesting home that is sure to catch the eye.
Dark blue is a fairly standard colour, though perhaps a little more expensive than some of the plainer options on offer. You can purchase James Hardie Sycon Stria Cladding here in a similar dark blue to the image above for only $89.25/sheet.
Using a traditional colour like brown is an ingenious way to reap the aesthetic benefits of timber while still benefiting from the extreme durability of vinyl. Dark brown vinyl weatherboards can often have a timber-like appearance when installed in close proximity, only with the added contemporary twist that they are actually manmade.
Vinyl is less expensive than timber (especially in the long term as it does not require treating and will outlive timber by a significant portion of time) and has greater benefits in durability and protection. Java Brown is particularly well known for producing rich and deep shades of brown that can often be mistaken for authentic timber. For a look like the one above, consider the Kaycan DaVinci Double 4 Dutch Lap Vinyl Siding in mahogany or a similar shade.
2. Light blue
Light blue is a cheerful and inviting colour which looks excellent in vinyl. A light blue vinyl house has a friendly and inviting coastal vibe, particularly when accented with a light white trim. There are various shades of light blue which work to produce this effect, from deep to thin and all ends of the colour spectrum (including vinyl which has an almost green or aqua appearance).
For those who want a happy and welcoming home exterior, light blue might be the way for you. You can purchase light blue vinyl cladding similar to the above image here from the Duratuff range.
White is one of the most popular choices of vinyl cladding currently available. This is because it has a crisp and neat appearance that is easy to maintain (dirt will wash off and vinyl is stain resistant, so keeping the crisp bright white look is much easier than with other types of cladding).
White vinyl exteriors also have a friendly appearance that should keep the home and its inhabitants feeling cheerful. Because it is a very popular style, it is also readily available and affordable. You can purchase James Hardie White Linea Weatherboards similar to the ones pictured above here from Bunnings for $39.80.