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Dura Cladding Project Transforms Kerb Appeal and Warmth of 4 Bed House

By Stuart Burns March 30, 2015

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Front of house before transformation

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Front of house after transformation

Whether you are a self-builder or a large corporation, deciding on the look for your new build or renovation can be a seriously stressful experience; do you choose modern materials for a contemporary image or traditional materials such as wood for a period presentation?

Natural wood cladding is an extremely popular choice, but it does demand attention to maintain that desired look over time. That is because most timber cladding will fade significantly and be susceptible to rot unless it is treated with the appropriate paint or stain at regular intervals.

A recent alternative to using natural timber is composite timber cladding. This is produced by combining natural wood flour and high density polyethylene plus a specific list of additives and a suitable binding agent to create a composite material that looks like natural wood but that doesn’t require painting or staining. In fact it is ideal for battling UK weather over its 25 year life cycle due to its durable nature as well as its low maintenance requirements.

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Rear of house after transformation

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Rear of house before transformation

Dura Cladding has quickly become the leading product on the market where selected recycled wood and recycled high density polyethylene is used to create a cladding plank that offers the natural appearance of wood cladding but without the hassle or expense of periodic maintenance to preserve the wood. The product is also very eco-friendly in that it uses up to 87% recycled content and can be supplied as FSC © 100% certified.

This Essex house was purchased in 2008 by Professor and Mrs Szajkowski who have been gradually updating the internals before tackling the exterior in 2014.

Their objective was to increase the kerb appeal and harmonise the front and rear facades by reducing the variety of material types and colours. They also wanted to improve the warmth of their home by uprating the insulation where the original timber cladding was faced onto single skin walls.

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Start of installation

After using the on-line colour visualiser, they and their builder discussed with Dura Composites their ideas for using Dura Cladding in strategic places to provide a practical and stylish mix of rendered and cladded walls.

Dura Composites produced visuals illustrating the effect of various Dura Cladding colours and sizes would have on the property’s ‘kerb appeal’. Once the final scheme was selected, detailed plans were drawn up to provide a bill of quantities.

The selected scheme utilised Dura Cladding 150 Weatherboard in barn black colour to provide a stark contrast between the white render and the black cladding. It was also determined that a dark colour would be less likely to show any sap falling from nearby trees.

The original cladding and battens were removed and new battens were installed. 75mm insulation was introduced between the batten supports thus providing a hugely effective heat retention barrier across the front and back of the property.

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Hiding the concrete piled skirt with Dura Deck

The Dura Cladding was then fixed over the insulation and onto the battens incorporating the various accessories such as start/stop trims, window trims, internal/external trims and expansion trims, that contribute to achieving a high quality finish.

During the 4 week project it was also decided to hide the aesthetically challenging concrete piled skirt that surrounded the building with Dura Deck, a composite timber decking, chosen to blend with the wall cladding. This provided the perfect finishing touch to a radical improvement of the property’s marketability.

Professor Szajkowski commented “I am astonished that such a visual transformation could take place so quickly with such little effort”.

Mrs Szajkowski was delighted that “the Aga in the kitchen actually keeps the house warm, now that the heat doesn’t escape through the walls”.

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Front of house after transformation with Dura Cladding

As well as contributing so much to the overall design effect, Dura Cladding is easily installed, needs minimal maintenance and will not splinter, warp or rot throughout its 25 years design life expectancy whilst retaining the vast majority of its colour following an initial weathering period.

Another significant factor that led to its selection were the green credentials of 87% recycled content and the fact that the product can be supplied as FSC © 100%.

Aesthetics of a building are always subjective and can be a highly emotive subject especially for the façade of a building. An aspect that is not subjective though, is the life cycle cost.

Dura Cladding does not require painting or staining and has a 25 year design life. So despite initially costing more, composite cladding can actually work out significantly cheaper over its design life compared to timber cladding.