Cladding That Complements Your Exterior

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers

Finishing your home’s exterior gives you plenty to think about, and one of the first things you’ll decide is what to use on your walls. Have you considered cladding? Although often used synonymously with siding, cladding is actually thicker, more durable, and installs without overlapping. It also creates a rainscreen system because it isn’t nailed down against the waterproof wall sheathing; furring strips or rails keep the cladding securely in place while maintaining a gap between the exterior wall surface and the boards to allow drainage and evaporation. This nifty arrangement blocks the wall from the vast majority of moisture from the get-go, but it’s also prepared to release any that infiltrates the gap before it can cause damage. Rainscreen cladding is preferred in very wet climates, but it can provide peace of mind elsewhere, too.

If the practical benefits aren’t enough, cladding also makes a great choice if you want to add natural beauty to your façade. Wood cladding offers an organic touch that complements traditional and contemporary schemes alike, depending on how you use it! Here’s how you can make your home stand out beautifully with natural wood cladding!

Kebony Cladding

Flanked on both sides by traditional red brick homes, this modern house in Washington, DC, sets itself apart with white brick on the lower half and Kebony Cladding up top. Using mixed materials like this not only paints a balanced picture for the house, but it also helps add some style to the neighborhood.

Whole-Home or Accent Cladding

Nothing says you have to go all-in with cladding if you don’t want to. Just as you might mix and match different types of siding to create curb appeal, you can incorporate cladding as part of your façade. This is what many homeowners do in neighborhoods, because outfitting the whole house with natural wood doesn’t often fit in with the rest of the street. Make sure to discuss your ideas with your builder so you can come up with a design scheme that works aesthetically and practically—remember, each material has its own unique installation requirements, and that may affect what you put where.

Kebony Character Cladding

Kebony Character Cladding features a strong, rustic grain pattern with plenty of knots, so it made the perfect choice to complete this lakefront cabin in Minnesota. Don’t worry about the inherent weakness of knotty wood—Kebony products undergo an eco-friendly modification process that greatly increases the durability of each board, and it’s backed up by a 30-year warranty.

The Right Woodgrain

Whether you’re looking at flooring, cabinets, shiplap, or cladding, wood isn’t just wood. Each species offers a different look and you’ll notice it whether you stain the raw material or not. Even different cuts of the same log can come out with distinct grain patterns. So, consider your design goals—would you like something smooth and fine or rough and rustic? Conventional wisdom says to go with fine woodgrain for contemporary homes and to leave knots to rustic cabins and the like, but there are no rules. Especially if you plan to use cladding as an accent, you might like the extra interest of knots on any otherwise chic and clean scheme.

Kebony Cladding

Nothing says you have to stick to simple! This modern getaway in New Mexico features vertical cladding across the majority of the walls and a horizontal orientation around the windows and doors. The whole exterior is wrapped in natural wood except for the foundation, yet it still pops whether viewed up close or from afar.

Installing to Add Interest

Do you like a horizontal layout similar to lap siding? Perhaps vertical lines suit your vision better? Cladding is flexible, so you can go either way or even utilize different orientations to draw attention. It’s similar to using mixed siding or materials to dress up a façade, but because it’s all the same product with the same installation needs, you can get more impact in less time and with less effort. So, if you’re afraid of your home looking flat, get creative!

Kebony Clear Cladding

This striking home in Massachusetts shows how Kebony Clear Cladding develops natural patina over time. The rich brown color fades to grey over the years; the rate of weathering varies based on the climate it’s exposed to, but in any case, the cladding will maintain its strength and continue to require no maintenance beyond normal cleaning.

Consider Aging

While it may seem strange—by today’s standards—to choose an exterior finish that won’t look the same in five years as it did when installed, natural weathering imparts plenty of character to a home. It’s a feature, not a flaw! Of course, not all cladding weathers the same—fine woodgrains develop patina relatively evenly, but knots tend to fade at a different rate and stand out more as they age, so keep that in mind when you make your initial selection. Take a look at some different projects to see what you can expect over time. You might find that your preference shifts after years of exposure are factored in!

If you’re in the market for cladding for your home, take a look at Kebony®! This eco-conscious brand offers clear and character cladding so you can dress up your façade how you see fit. And whichever you choose, you can rest easy knowing your cladding is made of sustainably harvested and modified pine—a win-win for the environment and your own investment. Get a quote today and see how you can add some natural beauty to your exterior!

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