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April 29, 2015

How To Install Exterior Wall Cladding

Installing exterior wall cladding on your home or business is usually a job for experts. Mistakes in measurements can quickly increase the costs of your project, so unless you are a handyman, putting cladding up could be overwhelming. Take a look at the beginners self building before you move on. With that in mind, here are some things to keep in mind when you’re learning how to install exterior wall cladding.


Choose Your Material

Wall cladding comes in many different forms. Some of the materials are finished upon installation, while others, such as stucco or plaster, are spread on after you complete the cladding job. To select the type of cladding, consider your budget, your skills level, and your property value. Some cladding materials add value to your home, while others, if they are not up to neighborhood standards, may decrease the value of your home.

You can choose from any of the following:

  • Brick
  • Wood
  • Stone
  • Aluminum
  • Vinyl
  • Cement boards
  • PVC
  • Stucco
  • Plaster


Taking measurements for your cladding can make the difference between having enough material and not having enough. Measure all four sides of each wall to get a round number, but don’t forget the eaves. Triangular eaves, particularly, can be a challenge to measure. Also, be sure to be clear whether or not you are going to replace soffits and trim.



Sheathing is important to the installation of any cladding. The sheathing is usually plywood or some other type of quality board to which your cladding will be attached. It should be sturdy so that screws and nails will not strip out, causing failure of your cladding.

House Wrap


House wrap creates a vapor barrier, for starters, and also serve to help keep out bugs. It is also an insulation that helps to make your home more energy efficient. Quite often, people doing their own cladding jobs will skip this step because of time and money. But, if you will take the time, the money will come back to you in just a few years with savings in energy bills. Usually, the house wrap goes on first, then the insulation is fastened on top.

Start the Cladding

When you are ready to start the cladding process, begin at the bottom. This is your “starter row”, and serves to keep your lines straight. Go the entire length of the wall with your starter row, being very careful to keep it level.

Overlap Rows

Most strip cladding will need to be overlapped. In some cases, the upper row of  shiplap cladding will hook into the lower row, others simply lie over the top 1/3rd of the lower row. If you don’t do this, water will seep in behind the cladding and rot it from behind, causing structural damage to your house, as well.

Finish the Walls

It can be very tempting to skip the finishing touches. However, without the finishes of corner pieces and J channels, the cladding is subject to moisture and bug infestation. Finish out the walls, then install trim.

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