Cladding, a second skin for the home



Cladding is a bit like giving a new piece of clothing to your house. It remains to find the right solution. Zoom…

Cladding is a system of facing elements that are placed on a wooden or metal frame attached to the masonry. Cladding is used to rejuvenate a facade and improve the insulation of a building (see Exterior Insulation, page 25). The cladding corrects the irregularities and flatness of the wall, without major work. If it is of quality, it offers a high resistance to shocks and bad weather. Coast pose, it does not involve any constraint on the original building and can be fixed on any type of construction: wood frame, of course, but also building in stones, concrete, bricks ... In all the cases, the pose must be in the rules of art, because a cladding does not support water retention. It must therefore be ventilated, in other words, the air must be able to circulate behind the cladding. To this end, a vacuum is provided that allows the evacuation of moisture from seepage or condensation. Indeed, this "second skin" does not have the primary function of being waterproof. To protect the façade from moisture, a rain screen must be placed between the air gap and the wall. A quick tour ...

Solid wood blades

Their advantage is primarily aesthetic: nothing matches the appearance of wood. Depending on the species selected, they are naturally resistant to the weather: larch, Douglas fir, red cedar ... or after a suitable heat treatment such as the Rétification, a recent technique that consists of gradually heating the wood to a very high temperature. The result is spectacular: Refinished wood is harder and more stable. And the treatment is applied on local wood (beech, ash, poplar, spruce, maritime pine), which reduces the pollution related to the long-distance transport of exotic woods. Solid wood cladding can also be customized on site (using a stain or paint) or directly in the factory (pre-painted wood). But there are also colored cladding made in the factory. Cost: from € 60 to € 90 per square meter including VAT (supply and installation) for wood cladding (depending on species) and from € 80 to € 120 per m² including VAT for colored cladding (supply and installation).

Glue-laminated boards

These are glued wood blades. They have the same appearance as solid wood models and equivalent durability, but allow longer lengths and widths. They require a surface treatment. Cost: from € 80 to € 180 per m² including VAT (supply and installation).

Composite wood boards

They look like solid wood (touch, aesthetic ...). Their manufacture based on recycled wood fibers and particles and polymer resins gives them resistance and stability. The blades are rot-proof, do not crack, are resistant to ultraviolet and temperature differences (very little dimensional variation). Nothing but advantages, but a higher price: from 140 to 200 € per m² TTC (supply and installation).

Plywood panels

A trend among architects with a contemporary style, the use of plywood outdoors requires the use of panels with precise features. The raw material must be of CTB-X quality, this standard defines plywood panels suitable for outdoor use. The panels are made from wooden sheets unrolled and glued together. This type of siding requires a work of calepinage to limit falls too important. Cost: from € 80 to € 150 per m² including VAT (supply and installation).

Fiber and cement boards

As their name suggests, they are composed of cellulose fibers bonded with cement. Available in many colors or ready to paint, they have vein effects giving them the appearance of wood. Well laid, they withstand the harshest weather conditions, resist moisture and insects and fire. Proposed most often in the form of blades, this cladding also exists in panels. Cost: from € 100 to € 150 per square meter including VAT (supply and installation).

Thin stones

Thin (between 15 and 30 mm), they are fixed using a stainless steel fastening system or clipped onto suitable horizontal profiles. These facilitate replacement in case of breakage. Such cladding gives different stone aspects to the facade. Attention: this type of coating is limited to buildings of one and two levels, no more. Cost: from € 100 per sq.m inclusive (supply and installation).


Today, slates are natural or fiber cement. Those made of fiber-cement can receive a highly pigmented mineral seedling ensuring the durability of the coloring. They are laid straight or diagonally. Cost: from € 100 per sq.m inclusive (supply and installation).

Terracotta siding

Terracotta cladding comes in the form of tiles, panels and bricks. It is also available in a wide range of aspects and colors. The advantages of tiled siding: a good recovery of solar gains by masonry. But be careful, these materials are sensitive to shocks. Cost: from € 90 per m² including VAT (supply and installation).

What interview?

It all depends on the material. If you choose a natural-looking wood siding, you have to accept that the hue changes over time. As soon as a piece of solid wood is exposed to sunlight or moonlight, its surface reacts to ultraviolet light and loses its color. It is said that he takes on a gray appearance. It is impossible to totally prevent graying, but it can be slowed down. The condition: regular maintenance of the cladding, at least during the first years. The wood used is treated to resist attacks by fungi, insects or termites for at least 10 years. But some woods such as the northern fir tree have lifetimes of 30 years. Pre-painted cladding at the factory does not require special care. Some manufacturers guarantee them 10 years. They can also be sanded and repainted, even of another color. The fiber and cement or composite wood blades better combat the attacks of time. They do not require any specific treatment. A simple annual maintenance with soap and water is enough to preserve their finish. Finally, terracotta or stone claddings are cleaned every 5 years with a cleaning product, detergent, defoamers or antilichens.

Prices given as an indication