External cladding is a versatile method of waterproofing the walls of a building while providing a simple way to enhance its look. Cladding panels are made from a variety of materials including timber, aluminium and UPVC – giving you plenty to choose from.
Builders apply cladding where there is a need to create an external skin that serves as a decorative finish, too. Cladding will work whether the wall finish is traditional brickwork, block or timber framing.
With so much to choose from, it’s best to get an overview of everything first before getting swamped in the details – so this article will be exploring how much UPVC cladding costs, what affects the cost of UPVC cladding, how to save money on UPVC cladding on your home, how to know if UPVC is the best choice of cladding, what’s involved in cladding a house and how to find and hire a professional.
To give the exterior of your home a bit of a revamp, keep reading to find out the best way of doing it on a budget.
How Much Does UPVC Cladding Cost?
Depending on the type of cladding you settle for, and the size of your home, the price you can expect to pay for UPVC cladding can range from the low thousands to £5,500.
Here are some of the most common job types and their associated costs:
|HOUSE SIZE||ESTIMATED COST INCLUDING LABOUR||TIME REQUIRED|
|Bungalow||£2,000 to £2,500||1 to 2 days|
|2-bedroom terraced house||£1,200 to £1,800||1 to 2 days|
|3-bedroom semi-detached house||£3,000 to £4,500||2 to 3 days|
|4-bedroom detached house||£4,000 to £5,500||3 to 5 days|
For a bungalow, the estimated cost including labour will be between £2,000 to £2,500, taking between one to two days to complete.
A two-bedroom terraced home will come in at between £1,200 to £1,800, and will again take the one to two days’ time frame.
Moving up the scale, a three-bedroom semi-detached house will cost between £3,000 to £4,500, and take slightly longer at two to three days.
Finally, a four-bedroom detached home will be the most expensive option due to the size and you being responsible for all sides of the home (instead of just one or two with terraced or semi-detached homes), at £4,000 to £5,500. For a job of this scale, it’ll take between three to five days to complete.
It’s good to remember that with the bigger houses, scaffolding is more likely to be needed to reach areas as opposed to a bungalow, so this will be something extra to factor into your budget.
UPVC is one of the cheapest forms of cladding, although the high-end versions may approach the same price as timber cladding – so if you’re working to a tight budget, it’s best to consider the more affordable options to get the look you want for less.
It’s also important to note that UPVC cladding prices are difficult to provide a guideline for because your requirements may differ from any other homeowners. You can apply the decorative aspect of cladding just a section of your home, maybe just the front wall or to an extension – so bear this in mind when looking at speculative quotes as they may differ hugely from one person’s ideal cladding to the next.
What Affects the Cost of UPVC Cladding?
UPVC is an excellent low-cost alternative to wood and aluminium because it can be manufactured with different finishes to imitate timber finishes. But some factors can inflate the price if you’re not careful. Here’s what to watch out for:
Your Choice of Cladding
The largest factor impacting the cost of cladding is going to be the type of cladding you choose.
External cladding is also available in different profiles. These are:
- Square edge
- Feather edge
- Tongued and grooved
- Shiplap tongued and grooved
White shiplap can cost between £12 to £14 per five metres, while anthracite shiplap – which is a metal-effect cladding – can cost between £24 to £30 per five metres.
Black Ash shiplap, designed to look like ash wood, comes in at £22 to £30 per five metres, and rosewood shiplap is between £25 to £30 for the same size.
For comparison, timber cladding is between £20 to £50 per square metre; stone £20 to £75 per square metre; and aluminium £50 to £100 per square metre.
The Size of Your Home
As shown in the table above, the size of your home will dictate the price you’re likely to pay for the UPVC cladding. The more sides of your home you are responsible for, the higher the cost will be – so terraced homes are less expensive than detached, for example.
It is up to you how much cladding you have on your home – it can be purely decorative in some areas, or used all over, making it a personal decision and one that’s hard to provide a decisive value for.
Additional costs for installation may include the erecting of scaffolding for access to upper floors where required. Always ensure your quotes include not just the UPVC cladding prices, but all associated costs as well.
Following on from our last point, it’s good to make sure in advance that you know whether or not you’re likely to need a parking permit for your workers while they’re at your property.
If you don’t have a driveway for them to use or suitable roadside parking, you may need to get a permit in place to avoid hefty fines being served, which could otherwise have been avoided.
Prices are notoriously higher in London than they are in other areas of England, so it’s good to bear that in mind too if you’re looking to have something done in the city.
How Can I Save Money on UPVC Cladding for My Home?
There are a few ways of cutting down the costs when opting for UPVC cladding on your home’s exterior:
You don’t need to clad your entire house – so think about what might look best or be most effective for your home. Speaking to your trader will be able to give you an idea of what’s worked in the past and what might look good – together with what people on your street have clad on their homes, too.
This way you’re not paying for an entire home’s worth of cladding, just for smaller areas, bringing the price down.
Cladding is a job you can attempt to do yourself. It’s by no means a quick fix, but it is something an accomplished DIY hand could complete with the right amount of know-how and tenacity.
This way, you’re just paying for the material cost instead of labour too – but it does all fall on you if something goes wrong, or you lose motivation to complete the job.
A big fee in your bill will be from waste removal. If you’re up to the challenge (and don’t mind the debris), opting to remove the waste yourself can be a way to cut down some extra costs.
Local Traders vs National
Local traders are always going to be more affordable than national companies, so it’s worth researching a little bit longer to find that company instead of going for a bigger national one that will charge more for the same service, and potentially be booked up for longer than the local, too.
Is UPVC the Best Choice for Cladding?
Cladding looks great on surfaces of all types, including porches or garages. The products themselves are easy to use and require little specialised tools.
So, if you’re an accomplished DIYer, then wall cladding is very much achievable.
UPVC cladding excels at creating just the look you want because it comes in a variety of colours and styles.
Some of the advantages of UPVC cladding are:
- Available in a broad range of colours and finishes, giving you the world of options to create your desired look
- Durable and weatherproof material, so your house will look stunning for longer with little to no maintenance
- Enhances your home’s thermal insulation that helps to retain heat and prevent excessive heating costs
- Water-resistant, and unlike timber, is not susceptible to rot so your investment will last you a long time
- It’s lightweight and easy to work with, so you can install it yourself if you have the right tools and equipment
What’s Involved in Cladding a House?
For a basic white shiplap UPVC cladding job, you’ll need to be visited by a few people to get the job started to measure up for what’s needed and to talk through the design you’d like.
Any old external cladding will be removed, and scaffolding will be erected if necessary to reach spots at height. The new cladding will then be fitted by your traders and finished with any overlays to suit the colour or style you want.
Then the scaffolding will be dismantled, and any waste material will be removed from the site.
Exterior wall cladding for an entire house or a multiple storey building is a different story. You will require access equipment such as scaffolding and will need more than a single pair of hands.
Remember, if you’re going to go for cladding the entire house with a different material that characteristically impacts its appearance, it might be advisable to speak with building control. In most cases you will get the go-ahead without the need for permission – it is just on those rare occasions you would want to err on the side of caution.
How Do I Find and Hire a Professional Installer?
Finding a builder with the right experience and proven track record can be hard, but there are some ways to make it easier.
First of all, asking friends, family or neighbours for recommendations of traders they’ve used recently can be a great place to start. Not only will this cut down your search time, but it’ll also likely ensure that the traders you work with are reputable and can be vouched for by your friends – else why would they recommend them to you?!
If this isn’t possible, there are ways to cut down the arduous slog through databases to find ‘the one’. Using HouseholdQuotes, you can look to save up to 40% on your project’s fee, while consolidating your search to just one website instead of having to flick between tabs from different websites while you try to compare their stats.
What’s more, all the traders are pre-vetted, saving you the headache of trying to work out if someone is decent or not based on their website alone.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
In all instances of home renovations, the first thing you need to get hold of before starting work on your home is a written quote. This way, if there is any trouble further down the line with what was or wasn’t agreed between you and your trader, you have something binding to look back on and see what’s right and what’s wrong – and save you a headache and some money, too.
If ever a trader refuses to give you this, or simply keeps ‘forgetting’ and saying a verbal agreement is enough, politely decline to go any further with them, as this is a screaming red flag.
If your trader hasn’t come from a word of mouth recommendation, or you haven’t seen their work in your neighbour’s, friend’s or family’s home, then seeking out their experience and any relevant references – along with photographs or videos – of their previous work is an essential step.
This way you can match someone’s skillsets to your desired outcomes, to make sure you get exactly what you want. This is especially true if you’re wanting a bespoke design, or are working with expensive material and want to ensure a good job.
Finally, making sure the trader has insurance in place will save you from any negligence during their work – and if they refuse to show you proof of it, or wave you away to change the subject, again treat that as a red flag and perhaps exercise caution if you do want to proceed with them.
If you’ve decided exterior UPVC cladding is what you want for your home, then here’s our final checklist to make sure everything is taken care of before your project begins:
- Look around your street: how do the houses look? Do you want something similar to a neighbour? Ask them if they’d recommend their trader as this can be a good referral route for you
- If you’re planning an outlandish design that’s incongruous with the rest of your street, seek out permission first – you don’t want to spend money on a design for it to be torn down within a few weeks
- Decide what material is right for you, and the finish you want – do you want a wood-effect look, or would you prefer a metal style instead?
- Seek out a trader through word of mouth referrals or using HouseholdQuotes to secure up to 40% off your project’s fee
- Make sure to check if you need a parking permit before your trader gets started to avoid any extra costs along the way.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Need Planning Permission to Clad a House?
Generally speaking, no – but if you’re planning a design that’s totally different to the rest of your street, it’s best to talk to someone first to save you from making an expensive mistake.
How Long Does UPVC Cladding Last?
When properly applied and maintained, it can last between 20 to 25 years.