Beautify your home with stone cladding

Stone wall cladding will give your home a an elegant and quaint look which does not cost much to maintain. File photo

What you need to know:

Are you looking to redesign your house? If you are, one of the best ways to enhance the appearance of your house is to consider wall cladding, Denis Bossa writes.

Wall cladding can change the overall look of a house without too much hassle especially if you are working on a shoe-string budget. So, if you are looking to make small but noticeable changes to create that dramatic effect in your home, a simple case of wall cladding might just be what you need. You can easily change the inside and outside look of your home by putting stone wall cladding and complementing it with a few plants.

“The concept we are looking at when we do cladding is that you are adding a material on top of a wall. Anything you put on the building that is intended to provide insulation or weather resistance against whatever harsh conditions there might be or simply to beautify your house. Anything you do like that is cladding,” says Ms Isabella Chandi Orando, a senior quantity Surveyor at Quantum Built and Environment Consultants (pty) Ltd.

There are many types of cladding. These include tiles, bitumen aluminium, glass, plastic and tile and stone cladding.
While aluminium is said to be best for business buildings such as offices, stone is best for homes.

Stone wall cladding
Mr James Damulira, the chief executive officer at Passions Services, says stone wall cladding materials are easily accessible in a variety of styles. He says stone cladding can be done for exterior and interior walls.

“Stone cladding is usually done with natural stone pieces in panels for covering walls. This is considered one of the best ways to have the appearance of solid stone walls without the extra cost of solid stone,” Mr Damulira adds.

There are many varieties available when it comes to stone cladding. The finish provided by stone cladding cannot be matched by other wall cladding materials. It not only makes the walls look good but can also offer other benefits such as protection against the weather and better insulation.
Other stones used for cladding include natural stones, pink slates, mason stone and sand stone.

“You can use the natural stones got from quarries. They can be custom-made on order. If this is the case, they are chiselled to a shape of choice. This type is sold per pallet or per square metre of what you want. They chiselling makes them a bit costly,”

Stone wall cladding can exert extra weight on the building. It is important to construct the foundation with this in mind. File photo

Why use stone?
One of the biggest advantages of using stone exteriors is that they are available in many styles, allowing you to achieve whatever look you might desire.

The benefits gained from using stone over other wall cladding options far out-weigh the costs. This is shown through the stone’s durability and excellent protection against weather conditions.

Stone exteriors also help in keeping moisture away. When combined with your home’s current insulation system, stone will provide further insulation to help regulate the temperature in your home.

They are also a good choice if you are looking to add a touch of elegance and refinement to your home. “They will give your house that very nice, quaint ancient classy look,” adds Ms Chandi

One of the biggest advantages of stone wall cladding is that maintenance cost is ridiculously low.
You will only need to give the stones a yearly wash to ensure that they look as good as they did when they were new. Proper installation is vital to ensure no gaps are left between the stone, this will prevent the growth of mildew or mould in that area.

“Maintaining stone cladding is not expensive because stone is more durable compared to other types of cladding such as aluminium and glass. Unless there is direct scraping, there’s nothing to worry about.” Ms Chandi says.

She adds that if one chooses to add a layer of gloss for a shiny effect, then maintenance costs may go up as the gloss fades and must be renewed.
Manufactured stones are comparatively cheaper, therefore, if you have to make that decision between natural and artificial on the basis of cost, it is recommended to choose artificial stone for wall cladding.

Mr Peter Muwonge, the officer in charge of landscaping at Passions services, says prices of natural stones vary.
“Marble stone is sold at Shs300, 000 per square metre. These are usually got from Tororo Rock. There is a cheaper option that costs Shs150, 000 per square metre. These have less marble so the texture is a bit different.”

If you want stone to have the exact same shade of colour, then artificial stone can give you that consistency. This is because artificial stone is made from a type of cement, therefore size and colour is easily replicated. On the other hand, if you prefer some natural variations in shades then natural stone is the way to go.

Weight is important to consider as it will be added to the walls. If there are problems with the walls or the foundation, it can be really damaging. Artificial stone is relatively light-weight and is installed using glue or mortar when fixed to the wall. On the other hand, natural stone cladding requires a special kind of fixture to support its weight.

“Stone cladding can exert weight on the building. So if you haven’t constructed your foundations properly, eventually it may cause sinking. I don’t agree with people who wait for when the foundation is done, the walls are up then decide that they want to use natural stones for cladding. It is dead weight and can be risky,”

When it comes to maintenance, natural stone is a better option. Natural stone is more durable and is unlikely to break or chip away.

Even if natural stone chips away, it is not going to reveal the ugly surface below as the next layer will also be made up of stone. It will just look like a well-worn surface.
Alternatively, when artificial stone chips or breaks, it is more likely to reveal the underlying surface.

It also means that you will be required to repair it to keep the original look. Over the years, you will have to spend more time on maintaining artificial stone cladding than natural stone cladding.

Whether you choose artificial stone or natural stone, stone wall cladding has a lot of advantages over other materials. One of the biggest advantages is that it enhances the appearance of your home at a low cost.

It not only makes the structure look durable and well-aged but it also makes it stand out among other buildings. Stone cladding also protects the walls. It is a very strong product that does not require any paint. It can also add an extra layer of insulation to your home. However, stone cladding is not without its drawbacks. “While other types of cladding such as aluminium is faster to apply and quite light, stone cladding takes a longer time to apply.

Stone Natural stone is much more durable than artificial stone. Since natural stone has been formed over centuries, it is denser and can withstand harsher weather conditions far longer than artificial stone.

These stones can be bought from quarries or vendors. They are easy to maintain because unless there is direct scrapping, it is hard to damage them. You can add polish to them if you want a shiny look. However, the polish fades with time and must be renewed.

If you want stone to have the exact same shade of colour, then artificial stone can give you that consistency. This is because artificial stone is made from a type of cement, therefore size and colour is easily replicated. On the other hand, if you prefer some natural variations in shades then natural stone is the way to go.

The landscape specialist, Bosco Ddamulira, can also be got on +256782451967.