If your home’s exterior is looking tired and dated, one of the most dramatic and cost-effective ways to update its appearance is by installing new cladding. Composite cladding is an increasingly popular choice for home renovations thanks to its visually appealing wood-like finish and durability and low maintenance requirements.
Composite cladding consists of panels made from a blend of materials that typically includes wood fibers or particles bonded together with plastic resins. The wood content provides an attractive, natural-looking wood grain finish while the plastic resin makes it highly resistant to rotting, splitting, swelling, and other damage from moisture, ultraviolet light, pests, and more. Composite cladding is available in many finishes, textures, sizes, and colors to complement many home design styles.
Benefits over other cladding options
There are many options when choosing new exterior cladding but composite materials stand out for their unmatched durability and performance.
- Extremely low maintenance – Unlike wood siding, it never needs painting or staining and is easy to clean with just soap and water. No costly refinishing over time.
- Long lasting – Backed by warranties of up to 50 years. Far more fade, rot, and pest-resistant than wood or cement fiber cladding.
- Versatile installation – Panels easily fit over existing exterior surfaces so no tear-off is required. Suitable for both new construction and renovations.
- Sustainable – Often created from recycled materials. Eco-friendlier than the vinyl cladding.
- Fire resistant – Meets the same fire safety codes as cement and brick. Much less flammable than wood cladding.
Preparing for installation
Proper planning and preparation are crucial to ensure successful, long-lasting composite cladding installation:
- Select an experienced company with factory certification for the specific brand of composite cladding you choose. Proper training is vital.
- Evaluate the existing exterior surface to ensure it provides a sound base structure for mounting the cladding. Look for any repairs needed to address issues like dry rot, indications of moisture damage, etc.
- Finalize aesthetic design decisions like color, style, trims, and finishes that will achieve your desired transformed look.
- Order all necessary materials including the estimated quantity of cladding panels, matching trims and flashings, and corrosion-resistant fasteners. Include a contingency surplus.
With planning and prep work complete, composite cladding installation transform the look of your home in around 7-10 business days:
- The exterior surface is prepared by repairs, cleaning and potentially adding furring strips for a smooth, consistent base.
- A breathable water-resistive barrier is installed over the entire surface. It protects the structure from moisture damage while still allowing water vapor to escape.
- Flashing and trim pieces cover windows, corners, transitions, and other areas prone to water infiltration. It deflects moisture from behind the cladding.
- Starting at the base, the composite cladding panels are mounted in an overlapping shingle pattern working upward to ensure water sheds cleanly down the exterior facade. The overlapping design also hides the fasteners for a seamless look.
- Matching trims, facia caps, and other decorative elements are used to finish edges and transitions. The result is a beautifully transformed exterior that looks like natural wood but will stand up to rain, snow, and sun for decades.
install composite cladding is one of the most cost-effective ways to dramatically upgrade your home’s exterior look with natural wood-like beauty unmatched durability and performance. Consult an experienced professional to evaluate if it is the right choice to refresh the look of your home for many years to come. The investment will pay dividends in added curb appeal and easier maintenance saving you time and money over a wood exterior.