External wall materials


Aside from holding up the roof and allowing you some privacy, your exterior walls should elegantly combine your personal taste with the appropriate response to the local climate. You might be the sort of person who wants to be surrounded by earth-loving mud brick, or maybe you have reclusive fantasies about a rustic log cabin. Perhaps you want to keep the neighbours out with your imposing stone fortress, or you’re just looking for the suburban dream in a conventional weatherboard. The choices you make about your external wall materials will define the entire look of your home.

Breeze blocks / besser blocks

Known by many names, these types of bricks are easy to build with and are very commonly used to make building walls in Australia.

Metal cladding

Metal cladding is strong and weather resistant, and offers a very wide range of decorative and design choices for a home's exterior.

Stone cladding

Stone cladding, in addition to the many attractive finishes it offers, is very resilient and durable, and only requires very basic maintenance.

Weatherboard / wood cladding

Weatherboard is very common in older Australian homes. It is easy to maintain, and relatively cost-efficient to buy and install.

Plastic cladding / vinyl cladding

Plastic or vinyl cladding is often made to imitate weatherboards, and is a relatively cheap and durable alternative.

A straw bale house

Straw bale houses

Straw bale houses aren't particularly common, but offer excellent insulation and a cost effective way to build a home.

Cob homes

Cob walls are typically quite roughly built, but do offer some advantages over many of the more sophisticated choices.


Rendering a brick or stone wall can add significantly to its durability and insulation, and vastly alter the look of your home.

Mud brick and adobe

Mud brick and adobe

Mud brick and adobe are two other types of wall materials that are making a resurgence as alternative building materials.

Stone walls

Stone walls

Stone walls have been around forever. When built properly and of the right stone, they are amazingly weatherproof and resilient.

Log homes

Log cabins and houses are a romantic choice, but typically need specialist installation and can be quite a complicated choice.


Bricks serve a different purpose as internal walls than they do as external walls, and have good insulative properties.


Mortar is the material used to hold bricks together. There are a number of variations in mortar that are worth knowing about.