Recent trends in the building industry and architectural fields stress the importance of using natural elements in homes. However, this does not mean that homeowners do not need to protect their facilities from exterior elements. While modern and beautiful windows and interior plants can provide a natural feel to any house, those same buildings need to have protection against factors such as rain, wind, humidity, and temperature change. Building cladding systems, also known as sidings in Canada, function as the protective skin of the facility. These construction materials protect the interiors and structural components from different exterior threats. Generally, building claddings are made up of several layers, including insulation, vapor barriers, the wall’s outer surface, etc. Metal claddings such as modern aluminum siding and brick claddings are two of the most used exterior wall materials.
Modern construction materials manufacturers and suppliers offer various building cladding systems, and each material has its unique characteristics and features. Choosing and Buying building claddings require some basic yet essential knowledge since they are considered investments and will serve the facility for many years. This article provides the required information and cost details about the cheapest and functional building cladding systems with pros and cons that homeowners should consider using in their projects.
Brick Building Cladding Systems
Bricks are traditional and the most common construction materials for building cladding systems. Besides their beautiful appearance, these construction materials are easy to find, and most contractors are experienced in using bricks for the walls.
Pros of Brick Building Cladding
Brick claddings are sourced from natural elements, such as clay soil that has been burned to form these materials. These building cladding systems do not require any painting, and they can last for decades. Bricks offer efficient thermal mass to capture heat for passive solar houses. The gap between the wall panels and the brick cladding provides extra insulation for the facility. Many construction material manufacturers and companies produce bricks from recycled materials such as fly ash, a byproduct of coal power plants that can reduce carbon emissions associated with the construction industry.
Cons of Brick Wall Systems
The primary environmental drawback of brick building cladding systems is the energy cost needed since the material is burned in kilns for production. The mortar utilized for binding bricks contains cement, and the carbon footprint accounts for 5% of world carbon dioxide emissions.
Brick Cladding Cost
Brick cladding materials cost around $1 to $2.5 per brick. Homeowners will require approximately 3 to 4 bricks to make up on square meter resulting in a material cost per square meter of 3$ to 10$.
Wood Sidings and Claddings
Wood siding made from both natural wood and a combination of aluminum and plastic is a versatile building cladding system widely used in the current construction industry. These products are available in various options, including board and batten, bevel, clapboards, tongue and groove, shake, and shingle. Wood sidings are also available in different types and species, such as cedar, pine, and redwood.
Pros of Wood Siding Building Cladding Systems
The primary advantage of wood sidings is that they are sourced from natural and renewable resources. Sidings that are FSC certified are obtained and lumbered from sustainably managed forests. Additionally, several practical methods exist to further green building cladding systems with wood siding options. Moreover, building materials manufacturers and suppliers apply a special coating to these claddings to offer better durability and resistance against rainwater and termites.
Cons of Wood Sidings
Wood sidings without FSC certification may be sourced from unsustainably managed forests, mainly illegally logged hardwood jungles. Most of these building cladding systems require extra protection with varnish and other chemical substances to withstand exterior elements.
Wood Siding Cost
Wood siding generally costs around $1 to $4.5 per square meter. The installation process of these cladding systems varies between cities and regions. The material cost typically depends on the wood’s species and the demanding style. The most used wood materials used in these sidings are Cedar, Pine, Redwood, Cypress, Hardwood, Accoya, and Douglas Fir. Most local wood siding manufacturers and suppliers in Canada provide board and batten, log, lap, shingle, tongue, and groove styles. Each type of wood siding offers unique characteristics, look and cost.
Building Cladding Systems with Aluminum Composite Panels (ACP)
Aluminum Composite Panels or ACM panels are lightweight and low-maintenance building cladding systems that are made from the composition of two layers of aluminum sheets and a fire-retardant core. These materials are generally less vulnerable to debris, water, snow, and wind loads.
Aluminum Composite Panel Advantages
Aluminum Composite Panels are long-lasting, low-maintenance, lightweight, and cost-effective building cladding systems. Unlike other alternative cladding materials, ACM panels are resistant to moisture, humidity, insects, fire, and water. These materials also do not contract or expand in warm and cold seasons. Additionally, ACP companies produce aluminum composite panels that are perfect thermal and sound insulators and can reduce energy costs. Thus, most contractors recommend these building cladding systems as long-term investments.
Cons of ACM Panels
There aren’t any specific disadvantages to ACM panels. However, these building cladding systems are new to the market. ACP companies and manufacturers utilize production processes that dictate whether these products are recyclable. It is crucial to ask the supplier about the process and whether recycling ACP materials at the end of their lifespan is possible.
Aluminum Composite Panels (ACM) Cost
Aluminum Composite Panels cost varies depending on location, finishes, styles, and availability. These building cladding systems are available in various options and hoises such as lap, vertical, horizontal, clapboard, boards, etc. Homeowners should expect to pay around $2 to $10 per square meter for ACM panels. Depending on the climate and exterior elements exposure, ACP materials should be cleaned, and pressure washed every 1 to 3 years, and they will require a repainting process every 10 to 12 years. Thus, it is better to watch ACP companies and manufacturers that provide materials with better durability and longer-term shade-resistant characteristics.
Metal sidings or Metal Building Cladding Systems are durable and low-maintenance construction materials. Common metal cladding types include aluminum, copper, zinc, and galvanized steel. Like aluminum composite panels, metal cladding is available in various architectural styles and finishes.
Pros of Metal Sidings
The primary advantages of metal sidings include low maintenance and longevity. These building cladding systems will last for decades if installed correctly. They will not get damaged by rainwater or snow and do not provide a fungal growth or medium for mold, which can cause occupants health issues. Copper, steel, and aluminum sidings are insect-proof, meaning that homeowners will not have to spend time and energy spraying their siding. Additionally, aluminum sidings are fireproof and will help homeowners protect their homes in the unlikely circumstance of a fire.
Cons of Metal Sidings
Producing metal sidings requires mining, which is not always environmentally friendly. However, the good thing about these building cladding systems is that they are entirely recyclable, and several companies are offering to recycle metal roofing and siding panels. One of the primary cons of metal sidings is that they can dent easily. While steel cladding systems are more durable than aluminum sidings, they are more expensive.
Metal Sidings Cost
Metal sidings generally cost around $2 to $7.5 per square meter. The metal siding cost primarily depends on the type of the used metal, style, and finishes. It is essential to mention that aluminum siding is the most common and least expensive building cladding system among metal construction materials.
Vinyl Building Cladding Systems
Vinyl sidings used for building cladding systems are perfect for new and modern construction projects. These sidings are considered plastic building claddings that are made from PVC material. They are often mimic the look of natural wood grain, providing a similar look to painted wood sidings. Vinyl claddings are available in various sizes and shapes. Since plastic is cheaper than other materials, Vinyl has become popular due to its affordability, durability, and low maintenance characteristics.
Pros of Vinyl Building Cladding Systems
Vinyl building cladding systems are incredibly long-lasting and can serve their purpose for more than 50 years with little maintenance. These cladding materials are one of the least expensive building materials. Additionally, they are insulated vinyl sidings available that can boost the R-value of the home’s insulation capacity. Moreover, these sidings consume less than half the energy and fuel to be produced than traditional brick claddings.
Cons of Vinyl Sidings
The primary disadvantage of vinyl sidings is that they are not sourced from renewable resources. Additionally, PVC can cause serious health problems to workers who are exposed to dioxins during the manufacturing process. These building cladding systems are not fire-resistant, which is against safety codes and regulations.
Vinyl Siding Cost
As told, vinyl sidings are one of the lowest-cost cladding options from a material and installation perspective. These sidings can cost around $0.85 to $2.5 per square meter.