Putting Cladding on the House

Its mid February, must be 12 or 14 degrees outside and feels like the best part of spring. The daffodils are starting to appear, Snowdrops were two weeks ago, trees are budding and I expect to see the 1st catkins anyday – even the Bluebells are starting to appear, not the flowers but the shoots that mean the flowers are about 1 month away. Bluebells in March!!! Bluebells should appear in May, after April’s Daffodils.

Anyway, the above seems to make my current activity seem rather futile. I’m working around parts of the house installing feather board cladding with 2 inches of ecotherm insulation underneath. The cladding should serve two purposes. on the one hand it will mean I don’t have to render over the brick exterior – I’m useless at rendering, on the other it will insulate the house externally thus keeping the mass inside and hopefully retaining heat. This weatherboarding is going on the parts of the house that get the least sun, thus avoiding insulating against the sun’s warmth – a sort of negative passive solar!

Wall claddingWhen complete it will mean I have both cavity wall insulation and an extra 2 inches of ecotherm and a layer of wood. All acting to reduce draughts and increase the insulative vol

ume of the wall. Don’t ask about the technology or science behind all this, I prefer to work along the lines of common sense.

In terms of cost, I would estimate about £10 a square metre excluding labour – its a fairly straightforward DIY task, but needs to be done with care as it is on the outside and needs to look good. Also it needs to be painted, I wanted this to last a long time so used ‘technology’ the paints did have a high VOC but felt that painting perhaps once every 5 to 10 years was better than using ‘eco paints that might last less long and risk earlier decay. I would certainly like to be proven wrong here!

I’m seeing a lot of cladding on new houses. Sadly the cladding is flush with any visible brickwork, clearly not concealing additional insulation!

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