In this guide Louise Sanderson, MyCladding.com Marketing Manager, guides you through the four easy steps to incorporate PVC cladding in to your home improvement or new build project

The versatility of PVC cladding means it can be used on a huge variety of projects from a feature wall on part of an existing building, an exterior finish for a new extension or part of a loft conversion. Cladding is rapidly becoming one of the quickest and simplest ways to totally transform the look of your home.

Step one: Get ideas and inspiration

Looking at what others have achieved is a great way of researching options for your cladding project. While magazines are still one of the first places we look the web has given us new options to create our own mood boards and virtual scrapbooks. Pinterest is a fantastic source of research material with images ‘pinned’ by companies and individuals. Start pinning to create your own mood-board.

Top tip: It’s also worth checking out manufactures websites, they often feature a gallery of product images and in many cases are only too happy to receive photos of their products to share with others.

Step two: Research your material options

Modern manufacturing techniques mean that traditional building materials are constantly being refined and cladding is no exception. Exterior wood cladding has long been a traditional external covering for properties in the UK — particularly in coastal regions including Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex.

Timber creates an attractive and desirable finish, but many are put off by the ongoing maintenance required to ensure it remains weatherproof. PVC is the low maintenance option and for many years has become a standard material for windows replacing old and tired wood frames. The same trend has now become common for cladding with PVC being used to replace wood boarding.

Available in a variety of finishes from smooth white to embossed wood effect or a ‘foiled’ woodgrain finish, PVC can mirror traditional weatherboard and shiplap designs. For many years white was the only option but now manufactures have developed cladding ranges in a wide variety of colours from traditional browns and cream to more contemporary greys and blues.

Step three: Order a sample

Choosing home improvement products is not easy. Colours vary and styles differ so it’s essential to be able to see exactly what you are buying. The light and aspect of your property can affect the eventual look so it’s important to view anything new in the location where it will be fitted.

Luckily manufacturers understand that consumers need help. Probably revolutionised by Dulux in the paint industry over 20 years ago, tester pots have become a standard part of the process we go through when redecorating.

Top tip: Visit company websites to order samples, you’ll be surprised at what you can get for free. Taking the concept one step further some companies offer an online visual representation of their product installed on a typical house style, especially useful when choosing an exterior covering such as cladding.

Step four: Find a local installer

One of the most crucial parts of any home improvement project is finding the right trades person. With horror stories in the media about rogue traders we’ve all become very aware of how important it is to choose a company who are reputable, trustworthy and knowledgeable. Again the web has revolutionised this process with sites such as Trust a Trader and Rated People acting as an online directory for local tradespeople, alongside ratings helping you to make an informed decision.

Top tip: Look out for manufacturers own Registered Installer schemes, independent companies who are familiar with the product range and aware of the latest developments, are able of offer expert help and advice and are skilled at fitting.

For more expert cladding advice visit www.mycladding.com

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