How much does cladding cost? | The cost of house cladding in Australia in 2023
In the world of architectural design and building renovation, cladding stands out as an essential component for both aesthetic and functional purposes. In Australia, with its unique climatic conditions, cladding serves the dual purpose of enhancing the appearance of structures while also offering protection against environmental elements. Given the range of materials and installation techniques on offer, determining the exact costs of cladding can be a complex task.
This article aims to provide clarity on the subject, breaking down the various expenses associated with cladding in Australia. Whether you are a homeowner, a professional in the construction industry, or someone conducting market research, this comprehensive guide will offer insights into the financial aspects of cladding.
Factors impacting on the cost of cladding
There are a wide range of factors that impact on the cost of your cladding project. Some of these are easy to understand and some may require additional research in order to understand the specific costs involved:
- Material type: the choice of material is often the most significant cost factor. Common cladding materials include weatherboard, aluminium, steel, timber and stone veneer. Less common options include things like vinyl cladding. Each material has its own price range, maintenance requirements, and lifespan, which can impact overall costs. We'll cover some of the options in the next section.
- Labour costs: installation prices can vary based on the complexity of the project, the experience of the installers, and regional differences in labour rates.
- Size and scale of the project: a larger building or a house with more surface area will generally cost more to clad.
- Complexity of design: unique or intricate designs, including features like curves, multiple levels, or special installations, can increase costs.
- Finish and quality: higher-end finishes or premium quality materials generally come at a higher cost.
- Preparation work: if the existing exterior of the building needs significant prep work such as repairs, removal of old cladding, or other treatments, this can add to the cost.
- Insulation and additional features: if the cladding system includes added insulation or features like weather barriers, the price may increase.
- Location: transporting materials to remote or hard-to-access locations can elevate costs. Additionally, certain regions may have higher costs due to local economic conditions or supply constraints.
- Regulations and standards: complying with local building codes or standards can sometimes necessitate more expensive materials or methods.
- Maintenance costs: while not directly related to installation, considering the long-term maintenance cost is crucial. Some materials might have a lower initial cost but might need more regular maintenance, affecting the total cost of ownership.
- Lifespan: materials with a longer lifespan might have a higher initial cost but could be more cost-effective in the long run.
- Warranty: cladding products that come with extended warranties might be priced higher, reflecting the manufacturer's confidence in the product's durability.
Price estimates for different types of cladding
Before you can calculate the cost of different cladding types, it's important to understand that some materials are sold by the square metre and some are sold by the linear metre. A square metre is an area that is 1 metre long and 1 metre wide. Calculating a linear metre can be a bit more challenging, but we have a helpful blog post right here.
Let's run through some of the different types of cladding and the costs associated with each:
How much does weatherboard cladding cost?
The cost of weatherboard cladding varies depending on several factors, such as the type of timber, the finish, and the region where it's being sourced and installed. On average, the price of timber weatherboard cladding ranges from $20 to $60 per square metre, excluding installation costs. Factors influencing these costs include the choice between hardwood or softwood, with hardwood generally being more expensive. Premium species or finishes may drive the price toward the higher end of the range for timber cladding costs.
How much does aluminium cladding cost?
Aluminium is appreciated for its lightweight and rust-resistant properties. It's often chosen for modern architectural designs. Costs for aluminium cladding generally range from $35 to $55 per square metre, though premium or specialised finishes can increase the price.
How much does steel cladding cost?
Steel, especially Colorbond steel, is popular in Australia for its durability and vast range of colour options. The price can vary widely based on quality, brand, and finish, but typically it ranges from $20 to $40 per square metre. However, high-quality, pre-finished steel products can be more expensive.
How much does composite cladding cost?
Composite materials, often made from a mixture of wood and plastic or other binders, are prized for their durability and maintenance-free nature. Composite cladding costs are usually in the range of $30 to $65 per square metre, with the price often dependent on the brand, quality, and finish.
How much does stone veneer cladding cost?
Stone veneer offers the aesthetic of natural stone but at a fraction of the weight and cost. It's often used for feature walls or to add a touch of elegance to a design. The cost for stone veneer cladding can vary widely based on the type of stone and the quality of the veneer, but prices generally range from $50 to $150 per square metre or even more for premium products.
How much would it cost to clad a house in Australia?
In Australia, house cladding cost depends on a few primary factors. One of these is the size of the house; the average new Australian home spans about 230 square metres. However, when considering cladding, we focus on the external wall surface, which, for a single-story house of average height, is roughly 552 square metres after accounting for the height of the walls but before subtracting areas like windows and doors. Another pivotal factor is the choice of cladding material. Timber can range from $20 to $60 per square metre, aluminium from $35 to $55, steel from $20 to $40, composite from $30 to $65, and stone veneer, which can be as expansive as $50 to $150. This means the average cost of materials for an average-sized house would range from $11,040 for basic steel or timber, up to $82,800 for high-end stone veneer.
However, these estimates merely scratch the surface. The intricacies of installation can notably inflate these costs. In many scenarios, especially for more specialised materials, installation can potentially double the raw material costs. Other factors to bear in mind include the expenses for underlays, fixings, finishes, and occasionally, scaffolding. Furthermore, geographical location plays a significant role in the final tally. Urban and coastal areas in Australia might command higher prices than more rural regions, mainly due to heightened demand and transportation considerations. As such, cladding an average-sized Australian house can oscillate between $20,000 to a hefty sum surpassing $100,000, depending on the specific material and project intricacies. Engaging with local professionals for detailed quotes is always the recommended route to navigate these cost waters.
How much does cladding installation labour cost?
In Australia, the labour costs associated with cladding installation can greatly vary depending on the type of material and the project's intricacies. For instance, the intricacies of timber cladding often place installation expenses between $50 to $80 per square metre. Aluminium, with its distinct characteristics, sees installation costs that range between $65 to $100 per square metre, reflecting its unique handling requirements. Meanwhile, the installation of steel cladding, a favourite among many homeowners due to brands like Colorbond, typically hovers around $50 to $75 per square metre. The modern allure of composite cladding comes with its own price tag, with installation costs varying from $70 to $120 per square metre. Lastly, stone veneer cladding, owing to its weight and the finesse required, tends to be on the pricier side, with costs ranging from $100 to $200 per square metre.
Several nuances can influence these rates. For instance, the complexity of a home's design, with numerous corners or architectural quirks, might result in additional costs. Homes spanning multiple stories might necessitate scaffolding, which can add a premium to the labour expenses. Additionally, regional fluctuations play a role: metropolitan areas, with their higher demand and living costs, can sometimes command steeper installation prices compared to their rural counterparts. It's always prudent for homeowners to engage with several local contractors, obtaining a range of quotes to gain a comprehensive view of the expected labour costs for their specific cladding project.
What's the best way to reduce cladding installation costs?
The quest to reduce the cost of house cladding begins with meticulous planning and research. One effective approach is to source multiple quotes from various contractors, allowing homeowners to compare and potentially negotiate better rates. It's essential to ensure these quotes are itemised, giving a clear view of where costs are allocated, making it easier to identify areas for potential savings. Additionally, opting for local contractors can sometimes lead to savings, as travel and transportation costs are minimised. Being flexible with project timelines can also be advantageous; contractors might offer discounts during their off-peak seasons or when they have gaps in their schedules.
Material choices, too, can play a pivotal role in cost management. While homeowners shouldn't compromise on quality, they can explore alternative materials that offer a similar aesthetic appeal or performance at a lower price. Simplifying the design can also lead to savings; intricate patterns or features can escalate labour hours and hence costs. Finally, educating oneself about potential rebates, grants, or incentives, either from government bodies or manufacturers, can lead to unexpected savings. Being proactive and well-informed can significantly streamline the process, ensuring quality cladding installation without undue financial strain.
When it comes to exterior cladding, homeowners and renovators are presented with a myriad of cladding options to enhance the curb appeal and efficiency of their properties. From the rustic charm of tight knot pine to the sleek modernity of popular aluminium cladding products, there's a style to suit every aesthetic and functional preference. While regions like Western Australia might have specific preferences influenced by their unique climates, the versatility of materials like Australian beech, Colorbond Ultra, and corrugated cladding remains a testament to the vast range of cladding materials available.
As exterior walls undergo transformations with these materials, house cladding prices can vary, with factors like the type of cladding material and the chosen finish playing significant roles. However, with diligent research, consultation with cladding experts, and a keen eye on the market, homeowners can navigate their exterior cladding journeys efficiently, balancing aesthetic desires with a realistic budget.
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