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House façade ideas: what material is the right one for you?

Naia Carlos Naia Carlos
Modern home by Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architekten ZT GmbH Modern
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First impressions are crucial and, in the case of houses, first impressions are formed the moment people set their eyes on the façade. It’s the first thing guests will see when they visit or even just pass by your house, so you have to make sure they’re seeing something remarkable. The exteriors should be in harmony with the interiors with similar architectural and artistic styles.

There are endless of classifications of façades from composition and style to ornaments and era. In this ideabook, we will be tackling the different materials for house façades. The variety can make it difficult to choose one, but this guide can help narrow down your choices.

Metal coatings

House in L'Ametlla del Vallès Mediterranean style house by MIRAG Arquitectura i Gestió Mediterranean
MIRAG Arquitectura i Gestió

House in L'Ametlla del Vallès

MIRAG Arquitectura i Gestió

If you’re looking for materials for modern façades, metal is one that is commonly used by architects to radiate modernity. Metal façades are often associated with industrial buildings or even prefabricated structures. However, it’s becoming increasingly common to see metal cladding in domestic residences – especially as the industrial-style aesthetic takes off. More importantly, the installation of metal is easy, fast and efficient.

This type of coating can be combined with wood, concrete, plaster or stone with no problem. As seen in the featured home above, an industrial look doesn’t necessarily equate to dark and dreary. Painted white and used with a lot of glass, the metal creates a very contemporary but bright look that can easily be a cool family home.

Corten steel

Corten steel – also known as weathering steel – is a material that’s widely used in contemporary architecture. The best thing about this steel alloy is its incredible durability as it has amazing resistance to additional corrosion. It’s strong and can last an impressively long time, so this material is a good investment.

While you can hire painters to cover the distinct hue of corten steel, paint can actually hamper the natural weathering process of the material. Besides, the rust-like appearance is actually another plus, since the eye-catching color stands out particularly well in natural environments. Here, we see how the contrast of the façade and the blue sky and the craggy rocks create a spectacular picture.

Natural stone claddings

Stone is a beautiful and timeless option for exterior façade cladding. The variety of colors and textures of stone has been used throughout history, its appearance adding elegance and distinction to the walls of the house. From traditional stone houses to contemporary villas, stone can suit any style with ease.

Aside from its aesthetic benefits, stone is great for function as well. It offers good thermal insulation, working well with all types of weather. Furthermore, it’s known to be one of the strongest materials for the home and capable of lasting generations with proper maintenance and care.

In this house, the architect chose to wrap the upper floor of the house with slate, a natural stone known for its dark hue and fantastic resistance.


Wood always creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere, so it’s quite popular when choosing exterior façade materials for the home. However, homeowners need to be careful and responsible in maintaining wood due to its susceptibility to moisture, solar radiation and changes in the temperature. It can also be vulnerable to deterioration from fungi or insects.

There are many benefits to wooden cladding, though. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s very strong, easy to repair and offers impressive electrical resistance. Wood also absorbs sound well, which is a plus for residents who want a quiet and tranquil home. Finally, while wood has been used for homes for many, many years, the featured home shows how imaginative architects can still create one-of-a-kind homes out of wood.


Masonry is the traditional system of building walls, using layers of individual pieces of bricks, stones or blocks. The old-fashioned charm of these materials are superb, and architects use them to create a rural and rustic look to many residences. It’s not the most common material for façades, but remains quite timeless due to its exceptional strength and durability.

Mortar plaster

Mortar plasters and renderings also represent a façade finish traditionally used in constructions. It’s affordable, and countless colors and finishes make it a perfect option for homes and buildings built with brick walls. 

In this house, green and white stripes create a unique rhythm. The design also manages to conceal the fissures and cracks that usually appear in this type of cladding over time.


Of all the materials for façades, concrete is the most widespread, liberally used in homes and buildings of contemporary architecture. The smooth and clean look of cement goes well with the minimalist style of many mdoern structures. Not only is it a versatile design element, but it’s very low-maintenance and extremely durable.

In this image is the ultra-modern exterior of Casa Maruma in Mexico.

Glass enclosures

One of our favorite materials for house façades is glass. Instead of closing off the inside of the residence from its surroundings, glass creates a seamless flow through the indoor and outdoor spaces. It’s particularly stunning in houses surrounded by nature or even a pretty garden as the residents can enjoy an unobstructed view from anywhere inside. The featured home shows how a well-constructed shade can protect the people from the direct glare of the sun.

Here are more ways to work more glass into your home: 11 sensational houses with plenty of glass.

Modern home by Casas inHAUS Modern

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