After a number of years, the appearance of your home tends to degrade. Weatherboard cladding is one way of giving it a facelift in a reasonable budget. In many parts of the world, the trend of giving a traditional look to a home by cladding is catching on. There are different types of weatherboards available in the market and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. The three commonly available cladding options are weatherboards made from timber, vinyl or fiber cement.
Timber is the original weatherboard material and is available in a variety of profiles and sizes. Budget weatherboards are made from pine. A more expensive option is cedar. They are available in various grades. The performance and looks of a weatherboard depends on its grade.
With timber, you have to be careful about how you paint and finish the boards and this depends a lot on the type of wood. It is best to use light colored paints for pine. If a darker color is required, a special primer or coating has to be applied first before the final coat of dark paint is applied. If this is not done, there is a good probability of the sap leaking thorough the paint in summer and ruining its appearance.
Although paints can be used on cedar, it is usually oiled or stained to retain its natural looks. On a material like wood which tends to expand and contract with the weather, periodic maintenance will be required.
Timber weatherboards look nice, but have several disadvantages. Rot, resin bleed, joints which become loose and paint problems are common. Paint problems include issues like cracking, bubbling, peeling and flaking. Most of the paint issues are caused due to timber movement.
This type of board is often made from recycled plastic. Its biggest advantage is that if properly installed, it has a long life. It is not uncommon to find manufacturers offering a warranty of more than 20 years for these weatherboards.
Vinyl weatherboards are more expensive than timber, but they don’t require any painting as they come already colored. This however, limits the color choices that you have. Light colors are more common. Other than painting requirements, you will also save on installation costs as these weatherboards can be easily installed. Maintenance is also minimal as they can be washed with water. There is no question of rot or any other environmental damage.
Fiber cement weatherboards:
Probably the best choice for weatherboards, this material is made from cement, fine sand and cellulose fiber. It is very inert and will not rot or be damaged by fungus or insects. They are free from the problems associated with wood, but the best part is that they look very similar to timber weatherboards.
Fiber cement weatherboard claddings also give you the best choice of color options. They come in both plain and painted versions. So you can choose to paint them after installation. Installation is easy and can be a DIY project as no special skills or equipment are needed.
This type of weatherboard has the following advantages:
- Stable and weatherproof.
- Will not rot or be damaged by fungus or insects.
- Will not bend or crack.
- Are great looking and can be painted in light or dark colors according to your choice.
- Usually come with a warranty of 20 years or more.
- Homes using fiber cement cladding command better resale prices.
- Easy to install and needs very minimal maintenance.
Weatherboard cladding is an excellent idea to consider if the exterior of your home has started showing appearance of wear and tear. If your home already has cladding, you can consider changing it to give it a new-home appearance. If you decide to go ahead with cladding or recladding, weigh your options carefully before you make a decision about the type of weatherboard to use.
Here’s a video showing PVC cladding in case you are interested: