Is metal cladding worth the costs?

Let’s get real about where metal cladding sits compared to other external cladding options.

Are metal facades worth the money?


At Metal Cladding Systems we are questioned daily on the cost of roof and wall panel systems. While many find sheet metal profiles affordable, others struggle to justify why metal solutions can be more expensive compared to other popular cladding treatments. To explain facade costs on a more detailed level, let’s dig deeper than initial supply and install rates. Let’s consider what quotes realistically reflect. Let’s take into account what you get, what you will need, and long term what material selection means for you and your home.



“Metal cladding is expensive” – a common misconception.

It’s true, metal is not an entry level finish, nor is it an option for every budget. However to blanket it with an “expensive label” is also not correct. Within metal cladding’s scope there are different alloys available, which provide real cost diversity. Premium finishes such as treated copper and brass sit at the top of the price scale. Natural copper, then titanium zinc follows next.

What many homeowners may not realise is how abundant middle range material options are. Weathered steel (aka Corten) is a mid level priced metal offers dramatic texture and a rich sun set colour. Weathered steel reached a new level of popularity this year and as its surface ages it’s easy to see why.

Like Weathered Steel, pre-painted aluminium sits around the middle price range and currently our market is overflowing with options. Colour, pattern, and textured collections are abundant, with many aluminium finishes able to mimic the look of natural copper and zinc.

COLORBOND Steel® is our industry’s leading entry level roof and wall cladding material. Durable, aesthetically awesome, and Australian made; as far as affordable options go, COLORBOND® is an appealing, practical, and budget friendly choice.

Remember metal cladding doesn’t have to equal copper, zinc, and indulgent price tags.


Inclusions and exclusions

When you start to compare metal cladding quotes, do yourself a favour and ensure you’re comparing apples with apples. As the old saying goes, if something is too good to believe, it probably is. Ask the following to feel confident ‘comparable’ quotes are providing the same product and service:

  • Is the quote supply only or supply and install?
  • Do quotes price identical material or are there differences?
  • Does the quote include associated flashings?
  • Will panels be terminated?
  • Are clips and associated accessories included in the quote?
  • Is your quote backed by manufacturing and installation support and expertise?
  • Is your quote from an experienced and proven installer?

Consider the following if you’re comparing different products. For example, metal cladding panels vs fibre cement sheets:

  • Is the quote supply only or supply and install?
  • Are materials pre-finished or will they need further treatments once installed? (eg. paint, varnish) Does your quote include these components?
  • What is the expected lifespan of each material?
  • What warranty does each material come with?
  • Who installs this product? A specialist tradesman or your builder?


Raw materials vs finished

This was addressed above. There can be a dramatic price difference between raw materials and pre-finished products. Quite often rendered brick, fibre cement sheeting, and even timber, seem more affordable compared to sheet metal panels. However all these materials need further work (which will incur additional costs) once installed – painting, sealing etc. Copper, zinc, aluminium, and coated steel, require no further treatments once installed on your home’s facade.



Vacuuming, dusting, mowing, pruning trees, cleaning gutters, sweeping the front door step – and the list goes on! Houses take effort to maintain. If you can minimise time spent fixing, cleaning, and maintaining, you do. When looking at initial external cladding costs, don’t forget to assess long term maintenance realities. While metal cladding isn’t the cheapest, it requires no touch up painting, varnish, weather treatments or specialist cleaning methods.

Metal cladding facade panels are mostly maintenance free. Cobwebs can be cleared with soft bristle brooms and most dirt is washed away by rain. As needed, soft cloths or a mop with water can be used to wipe metal surfaces clean. When thinking long term, it’s difficult to find a external cladding finish as easy to maintain.

Metal cladding’s value becomes apparent when we take a closer look at cost. When quote inclusions and exclusions are assessed and long term maintenance reviewed, it becomes clear what at first can seem ‘expensive’ is in reality a long term investment.


What next?

If you would like to discuss metal panel systems further, request project specific information, or order profile and material samples, don’t be a stranger, contact our team on or 03 9587 4554.