Cladding choices for Bluefield Houseboats
What is Cladding?
In construction terms cladding is a material applied over the exterior of a building. It is primarily used to provide water resistance but it can also provide some thermal insulation and can be used to improve the appearance of the building.
Houseboats have additional criteria such as overall weight, weight distribution and the need to minimise maintenance due to the potential restricted access around the perimeter.
All our standard cladding options have been chosen not just for their durability but also for their suitability to fit in with the surrounding environment.
Cladding can be made from any of a wide range of materials. However, for our standard palette of materials we have chosen timber and aluminium for the R Series range. The timber and aluminium are both lightweight and hard-wearing. We use cedar cladding as it weathers well over time and needs minimum recurring maintenance over its 25-30 year life. Aluminium, which is naturally resistant to corrosion, is used to frame the timber, provide contrast and is an honest reflection of the primary structure underneath. These “flashings” which frame the timber cladding are available in a multitude of colours (any RAL), which allows us to match or contrast the timber.
We have recently delivered an R-Series houseboat using “charred timber” and chose to match the flashings with the timber to give a very slick and elegant appearance. The charred timber provides 25 years maintenance free, and we off-set the dark timber and flashings with a number of cedar panels along the elevation.
For this range the criteria is slightly different due to the proposed location. Lakes and countryside require a more subtle aesthetic, hence the choice of standing seam, pressed metal cladding. This type of cladding is hugely versatile and allows us to use the same material and detailing for the walls and the roof which gives a clean, elegant and modern appearance, while still being sensitive to the surrounding location. This cladding is shown in a blue/grey slate colour, but is available in wide variety of (RAL) colours.
Again, the cladding requirement for this range is slightly different and therefore as a consequence requires a slightly different approach. The M Series is designed for a marina environment which necessitates a more “boat-like” appearance. The principal material is therefore aluminium, which is hugely versatile, hard-wearing, corrosion resistant and available in a multitude of colours (any RAL). We can also offer a two-toned option, in any colour combination, for customisation.
All our designs are fully compliant with building regulations and all our houseboats always offer the same standard of living on land, on the water. Therefore we can clad any of our designs in the same materials which are available for any building on land, provided they meet the set criteria for each type of location. We are currently developing designs which incorporate standard shiplap timber boarding, composite planks and perforated aluminium panels. The perforated panels can be tailored to suit almost any design; even a photograph can be copied onto an elevation for a completely unique appearance.
So whichever Bluefield houseboat you choose, you can be assured that both our standard specification cladding and our bespoke cladding solutions are carefully chosen to meet the exact requirements of not only the design but also the surrounding environment.