If you are planning on giving your home’s exterior a new and more contemporary look, then installing composite cladding is definitely the way to go.
As with any process that requires some preparation and handi-work expertise, knowing which steps are important and how to approach your composite cladding installation is vital.
In our composite cladding installation guide, we will walk you through the prep, the actual installation as well as the aftercare for your new composite cladding project!
Preparation before installing Composite Cladding
As with any project, preparation is key. Having all your tools in the right order and knowing the properties of the materials you will be working with is essential before starting to mindlessly drill holes into your exterior walls.
Product Information & Handling
Ecoscape composite cladding is an extremely durable and eco-friendly alternative to wood or uPVC cladding, not least because of its low maintenance properties and the fact that it is so easy to install yourself.
Our composite cladding comes in various colours and finishes, so it’s best to head over to our product site and request some free samples to get an idea of the look and feel of the cladding from the comfort of your home.
Our composite is protected by a polymer layer, which makes it water- and weather-resistant. On top of that, you will not have to worry about the colours fading or the material warping or splintering.
Storing the materials will therefore be very easy and straightforward.
In order to make the installation of your cladding boards a success, make sure you have all the right tools handy. For a project such as this, you will need:
- Hammer Drill
- Hand Drill
- Tape Measure
- Jig Saw
- Circular or Mitre Saw
- Spirit Level
- Carpentry Square
On top of that, we recommend having these items as well:
- Safety Gloves
- Safety Glasses
- Ear Protection
- Dust Mask
- Safety Footwear or robust shoes
- Long Sleeves
Please note that the last items are not must-haves but will definitely make your cladding project a lot safer for you and ensure that there are no mishaps in the process.
Installing Composite Cladding
- Make sure you have decided on the size, orientation and exact shape of your cladding boards; if you are looking for design inspiration – head to our composite cladding inspiration page.
- Make sure you factor in items such as vertical gardens, doors, window sills and other openings or elements which will influence the shape and amount of boards you will require.
Subframe or Battens Installation
- As cladding boards are primarily there to protect your house’s facade against the weather and provide some insulation support, installing composite cladding correctly in order for those properties to come into full effect is key.
- One thing you definitely want to avoid is moisture getting trapped between the cladding boards and your house wall. This can be prevented by the installation of a subframe or battens.
- A subframe or battens, which is a flat material either made of aluminium, 100% solid plastic or timber that gets mounted onto the exterior wall of your home before the cladding boards, will ensure several mm of space (as a rule of thumb, we recommend about 25 mm) between the cladding boards and the wall itself. Thereby providing essential ventilation.
- Apart from appropriate ventilation, you will also provide your boards with sufficient space for expansion due to high temperatures, which will provide your cladding boards from warping.
- Plot the layout of your battens correctly to ensure sufficient support for your composite cladding boards. Ensure as well that there is about a 15mm gap at the top as well as the bottom of your systems in order to have sufficient ventilation in those areas, too.
Cladding Boards Installation
- Before you begin with the installation, make sure that you have all the materials you will require:
- Corner Trim
- Skirting Trim
- Starter Clips
- Cladding Screws
- Trim Screws
- Cladding boards
- If all those items are in order, consider the following:
- Your joist layout vs the laying pattern of your boards.
- Installing double joists for boards that meet at butt-ends.
- Double batten around window sills or guttering, as well as door openings.
- Pre-drill holes into your composite cladding boards to ensure a smooth installation without skew screws in your cladding board.
By now, you will have to have decided on the laying pattern as this will have an influence on the layout of your joists. You can lay your boards in a horizontal or vertical manner.
Whichever option you decide to go with, you will first have to start with fixing your starter clips to the row of joists before fixing your first board. Make sure you follow our composite cladding installation guide on how to appropriately mount the boards, depending on the style you are going with.
As you get to the last board, make sure that the concealed groove will be fixed to the top groove.
Installing an F-Trim to your composite cladding front is a great solution for adding some finishing touches to your wall facade and pulls the look together nicely.
You usually have two options, either an external corner or an end trimming which will cap off the edge of your cladding boards and cover any expansion gaps on the side of your cladding. It will also cover any space between windows and doors. We have many trims and finishing boards on offer to suit most projects.
Caring for your Composite Cladding
Once you are done with the composite cladding installation, gently wipe down your composite cladding boards with a wet cloth to remove any sow dust or dirt from the installation.
Even though our low-maintenance composite cladding does not need much attention after installation and will last you for decades, with our 25-year guaranteed warranty, a little bit of extra care every now and then will only ensure that your cladding boards will look their best.
Here’s how to best take care of your cladding after the composite cladding installation is finished:
- Routinely clean your composite cladding boards every half year to make sure there is no dirt that can collect and stay on your cladding board, thereby hindering the colour from shining through.
- It is best to use warm water with a little bit of mild soap for the surface of your composite cladding.
Is it better to install composite cladding vertically or horizontally?
The direction of your boards does not matter and is completely up to your personal preference and the look that you are after.
Just ensure that you install aluminium, wood or plastic battens and or a subframe for your composite cladding installation to guarantee each composite cladding board sits snug and safe against your wall and has enough space to move and breathe.
What is expansion?
Expansion happens when your composite cladding boards are exposed to extreme temperatures. It is also known as thermal expansion and means that your composite material expands, i.e. gets bigger around the edges, as temperatures rise.
This is why it is important to install a composite batten between the materials and the wall of your house and to leave an expansion gap between the boards in order for the material to have enough space to expand without warping.
This is also the case for composite decking, where an expansion gap is also left for any excess water to run off in case there has been some heavy rainfall on your deck.
How long does composite cladding last?
Our composite cladding will last a long time and is guaranteed for 25 years, but if you look after it well and make sure that it sits tightly and is cleaned every few months, you will be able to enjoy it for much longer than that.
Which colours are the best for composite cladding?
That is also very much dependent on your personal preference. Some people go for cladding boards that have a finish inspired by wood because they prefer a more traditional look, whereas others go for greys or blacks because they are seeking a more contemporary facade for their home.
If you are unsure about which colour to choose for your cladding installation, head to our Definitive Composite Cladding Colour Guide for some detailed information on our composite colour ranges, and be sure to order some free samples to figure out which colour options would match your home’s style the best!
Composite cladding has easily become one of the most popular cladding options in the UK, and because of its low maintenance and plenty of benefits, it is no surprise that more and more people are seeking out an installation guide, as composite cladding is also incredibly straightforward to install yourself.
Hopefully, you will deem these tips useful for your composite cladding project and are a bit more clued up on how to ensure the new surface of your home is a success.
Our high-quality composite decking and cladding options will not only facilitate the installation but will also provide you with a long-lasting and incredibly durable option for your home that will not only improve your home’s exterior but even increase your property’s resale value overall.
Head to our product website today and contact our customer support team in order to find the perfect surface for your home!