External wall cladding
UPVC cladding can be an attractive addition to your home, but it has so many other qualities too. Here, we answer some of the most common questions about cladding.
Don't forget, you can buy cladding with all its trims and fixings securely from our online UPVC shop.
What are the practical advantages of installing cladding on your home, particularly regarding insulation and protection from the elements?
Generally speaking, external claddings aren’t inherently insulating – except that when applied to traditional masonry construction, it will keep external walls dry. It is now well established that wet walls have significantly poorer thermal performance than dry ones: and a dry wall confers energy savings of up to 25%.
Beyond this, UPVC is a great material in all climatic conditions – especially in the face of wet weather. It does not warp, twist, shrink, swell or rot and so proves a significantly lower maintenance alternative to timber shiplap boards or even cedar shingles.
Please can you tell us a little bit more about the physical attributes of UPVC that make it an ideal cladding solution?
UPVC cladding is extruded from hugely stable raw materials that confer the longevity and consistent performance characteristics described above. Furthermore, enhancements in UPVC extrusion technology over the past 50 years mean that colour fastness is BBA accredited for at least 20 years, as is its structural integrity.
Beyond its low-maintenance longevity, it resembles timber in terms of installation: it can be sawn, drilled and screwed as would any old-fashioned materials. No special fixings are needed, and so proves easy to install and delivers the same high quality aesthetic of traditional cladding products.
The surface finish – which can be white or wood effect as desired – is highly durable, so not only avoids the colour and UV degradation that painted timber can be subject to, but also relieves the homeowner of the arduous and potentially risky chore of re-decorating at height.
Does PVC-U cladding need to be chemically treated with anything when it’s installed?
No not at all. PVC-U cladding is delivered factory fresh to site, and other than cutting to size to install requires no further treatment or decoration.
Is any on-going maintenance needed? If so, what?
Only cleaning. This can be done with a pressure washer, which won’t damage the decorate finish nor the material, as could be the case with timber goods.
What kind of service life can homeowners expect to get from UPVC cladding?
Eurocell UPVC shiplap cladding is BBA certified for a service life of at least 20 years, and the lifespan should be much longer than this. Better still, PVC-U is a highly sustainable product that is robust enough to be recycled up to 10 times without quality or performance deteriorating. At our recycling plant in Derbyshire, we process up to 12,000 old window frames a week – and are able to use almost 100% of our production waste. By contrast, painted timber – when it comes to the end of its useful life – is only good for landfill.
What kind of starting cost, per m2, would homeowners be looking at for UPVC cladding?
Roughly £35 per m2 including VAT, for supply only.