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Let's Talk Cladding!

Updated: Jan 19

Which is the best cladding to use on your new home?

Choosing your exterior cladding is a key decision that you will need to make early on in your build. Style, colour and texture are just the beginning; you’ll also need to consider factors such as cost, insulation performance, sustainability and durability.


Brick is a timeless, safe and sought after cladding solution. Tried and tested over centuries, it’s still one of the most reliable materials out there due to its durability, insulating properties, fire resistance and low rate of moisture absorption. Add to that it is one of the most cost effective and low maintenance cladding options, bricks are often a popular choice. These days there are a wide range of colours and finishes available.


These days there are a wide range of plaster-finished panels are available, from smooth to highly textured or patterned, and these often mix well with other types of cladding. Once considered among the most mundane of materials, concrete is now the cladding of choice for many architects. It is an excellent insulator and extremely versatile – it can be smooth, textured, treated with acid, washed, polished and sandblasted.


If you are after a modern, sleek, industrial look, Metal is a great choice and can result in some interesting effects over time. Aluminium and steel are the most commonly used materials for metal cladding. Steel is generally more expensive but more durable; aluminium is cheaper but can be damaged more easily.

Metal cladding is exceptionally durable and can last between six to eight decades even in harsh environmental conditions. Aluminium is a great choice where weight is an issue – it’s a very light metal, weighing about a third as much as steel or copper. It is also extremely low maintenance and only needs a good wash each year. However, compared to other cladding types, metal is not considered to provide good insulation.


Vertical Shiplap weatherboard, Cedar, Abodo, Shadowclad all come under this umbrella. Lightweight, beautiful and always popular, timber is the cladding of choice for many Kiwi homes.

The downside to Timber is it will require regular maintenance. Timber can also warp and move, so working closely with your builder in the early stages of planning your build will result in fewer headaches down the track. Colour choice is also limited as dark colours can cause the timber to warp and bend.


Linea, Axon Panel and Innowood are all examples of composite or manufactured cladding products. These options are similar in cost to traditional timber weatherboards but require a significantly lower or almost no maintenance. Some of these products come pre finished saving on installation time and some of them can be painted a much darker colour than timber without affecting the warranty or creating issues with movement.


Most commonly seen in Queenstown, Schist, granite and slate are just a few of the popular stone types used as cladding options. Stones or stone panels are often used to create a focal point for house exteriors and can enhance other cladding types. It is also able to be used on the interior which can add another dimension to your home. This material looks particularly beautiful in rural or natural settings where the stone blends harmoniously with the landscape and creates a timeless look.

So there are a number of factors to consider when weighing up types of cladding. And you are of course not limited to just one of these cladding types on your home. In fact, there are many reasons for combining your cladding types including offering a more interesting appearance and helping to cut back on the cost. Use the feature cladding sparingly to create focal points, and choose a more cost effective option for parts of the home that are not as visible. Also do keep in maintenance in mind. If you are building a 3 storey home, how easily are you going to be able to access the top storey to maintain the cladding.

If you would like to talk to us about building your very own ‘Byrne Home’, with one of the leading building companies in Auckland, please get in touch today. Give us a call – we are a friendly bunch! Call 022 320 1954 or flick us an email at

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