Aluminium cladding sales rise
31st March 2007
Aluminium cladding sales rise as building market perceives weather tight solution to Leaky Homes.
Dave Hopkinson, Director of Design Aluminium, said his company has experienced a significant lift in demand for its extruded aluminium weatherboard cladding and that the irony is that the industry’s biggest problem – leaky homes – seems to be a significant factor in his company’s increased sales.
“Consumer perceptions have been deeply affected. The general consumer view now is that “plaster-type” claddings are prone to leaking and that traditional weatherboard claddings are tried and trusted.”
“The reality is, however, that any cladding, if poorly installed, may fail and cladding correctly installed should be weather tight and remain so”.
Mr Hopkinson said that while aluminium is still a very small holder of the multi-million dollar exterior cladding market for buildings, circumstances have certainly conspired to create new demand which he is gearing up to fulfil. Design Aluminium’s product range is sold under the ‘Nu-Wall’ brand name. Sales in the past three years have increased more than 30 percent each year in what is a highly competitive market.
“Given the work we have done in development of the product and the resources to support it, I believe we can now realistically aim to secure 10 percent of the exterior cladding market in the next three to five years.”
“Increasingly specifiers are opting for aluminium cladding to repair leaky homes and this has assisted in getting aluminium noticed overall,” he said.
The aluminium used by Design Aluminium is domestically produced at New Zealand Aluminium Smelters in the South Island and extruded into the weatherboard profiles at manufacturing plants in Taranaki and Hamilton. Powder coat finishes are applied to order.
“If a colour can be conceived, basically we can deliver it” said Mr Hopkinson. “This has created interest among architects and commercial specifiers on both sides of the Tasman”.
Mr Hopkinson said there has also been a lift in export sales to Australia with several reasons behind this increase: “However the leaky building issue is not one of them as Australia has not experienced the same problems as New Zealand to-date.”
Aluminium weatherboards are comparable in cost to fibre-cement and timber; however, over the life of the building, Mr Hopkinson said the product offers competitive economy due to a far lower maintenance requirement. The oven-baked finishes require only regular washing to retain their appearance. Weather tightness of the product does not depend upon the integrity of the finish. The company offers a 100 year guarantee on the aluminium weatherboards.