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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > Aug 2017 > 7 LIGHTWEIGHT CLADDING options


Whether you’re building from scratch or updating an existing property, these finishes could bring practicality and good looks to your project
Vastern Timber’s Canadian cedar is a slowgrown, durable cladding option, priced from around £51 per m2.


External render is a cost-effective choice for both new homes and for giving existing houses a facelift. It can be used across all elevations or in combination with other finishes, such as masonry or timber cladding, to add architectural interest. It can be smooth or textured, and some modern products are self- or through-coloured (so the hue runs all the way through the finish).

Standard sand-and-cement render is usually applied in two coats. Plastic mesh reinforcement is sometimes used to aid flexibility and minimise the risk of cracking. The outer layer must be of a weaker mix than the first coat, and movement joints may be necessary on large areas. It will then need to be coated with a suitable masonry paint. You can expect to pay around £20-£30 per m2 (including labour) for this kind of finish.

Pre-bagged monocouche renders are also available, which are applied in a single coat. These products use white Portland cement as a binder, allowing for pigment to be added to the mix. This creates a through-coloured render. So whilst the materials costs are higher, there’s less labour requirement and no need for painting.

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About Build It

The August edition of Build It magazine brings you all the inspiration & practical advice you need to complete your home building project on time and on budget, including: • A stunning self-build on a countryside plot (page 20) • 10 way to maximise light and space (page 62) • 7 lightweight cladding options (page 67) • Find out whether triple glazing makes sense (page 79) • How to rewire a period property (page 119) • Discover how to find land with real potential (page 123) … and more!