Dress your home in a full (or partial) metal jacket to protect it from the elements and give it architectural flare

Cladding is a non-load-bearing layer attached to the outside of a home that can protect the building from the effects of weather, and provide an element of aesthetic appeal.

Metal cladding comes in a range of options, such as zinc, aluminium, copper and steel, that each have their own individual look and character, while various cladding systems include horizontal or vertical boards and overlapping panels and tiles.

Metal cladding is typically durable and a sustainable alternative to some alternative materials.

Here are five metal cladding materials that will add hard wearing cladding to your home.

1. Aluminium

Aluminium is a lightweight yet strong material for cladding a house. As a soft metal, it has high formability, but thickness is important for greater durability and a longer lifespan.

Aluminium is among the most waterproof of cladding materials and protects against moisture problems, which makes it a good choice for coastal homes.

Aluminium cladding requires minimal maintenance and can be repainted easily if required.

Aluminium is an abundant resource, however, it is non-renewable. On the sustainability upside though, it is reusable and recyclable and requires little energy to manufacture.

2. Zinc

Zinc is highly versatile and an increasingly common sight in contemporary architecture. It is a soft and malleable material, which allows for flexible construction.

Zinc is extremely durable and low maintenance, and its resistance to oxidisation – by forming a naturally protective layer, known as a patina – helps it achieve an average lifespan of approximately 60 to 80 years.

Zinc is also a sustainable choice, being a non-toxic, recycled and recyclable material. It also takes less energy to produce zinc than other principal metals.

3. Copper

Copper is a timeless material that develops a beautiful patina and character with age, making is suitable for both traditional and contemporary homes.

Copper’s warm bronze tones turn an iridescent brown through natural weathering, before developing a green patina.

Copper is lightweight and durable, which can be important on large buildings. It also has a very long lifecycle and needs no treatment or maintenance with wear and tear.

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