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Aluminum siding & ACM panels

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The acronym A.C.M. in the market of architectural finishes refers to Aluminum Composite Material. The term “composite” describes a product that is fabricated using different base materials. In this case, it is aluminum sheets sandwiching a layer of non-combustible mineral polymer. The product of combining these elements is a lightweight and durable panel with nearly infinite coating possibilities. Aluminum panels are usually finished with either Polyester or PVDF coatings and can be seen on large commercial buildings and residential buildings alike.

This type of panel has become the standard for use on mid and high-rises over the past decade thanks to its fire-resistant properties as well as its extremely long-lasting finishes.
The combination of aluminum and non-combustible polymer allows for painting processes similar to that used in the automotive and aviation industries. This provides exceptional protection against corrosion as well as prolonged inclement weather and UV ray exposure. These panels offer a truly unique appearance as they can be installed with no visible fasteners to create a seamless facade.


Aluminium composite panel: ACM panels or ALU panel

As we already wrote, the acronym ACM finishes refers to Aluminum Composite Material. The acronym ALU panel finishes refers the same material. There is practically no difference in this material. ACM is a more professional name among builders, with which it immediately becomes clear that it refers to exterior cladding.
There are quite a few ACM panel manufacturers on the market. However, the manufacturing processes and final products are very similar. No matter which brand of panel you choose, your installation will look fantastic and you will not have to worry about maintenance for years to come.
Each ACM panel manufacturer does offer their own unique colour palette, that being said, it is a good idea to take a look at a few different options in order to make sure you find exactly what you have in mind.


Painting aluminum siding

Aluminum Cladding is very popular among homeowners and business owners alike because of their low maintenance requirements.
The coating process used on ACM cladding panels is quite extensive to ensure the colour you chose will remain unblemished for as long as possible.
Unfortunately, every 10 to 15 years the panels may require some paint maintenance. In order to achieve the best end result, it is best to hire a professional paint contractor with experience in coating aluminum panels.
The first step would be to thoroughly clean the panels in order to remove any loose paint or organic material and sand the surface to ensure the new paint will adhere properly.

A very important factor in recoating siding, whether it be aluminum, wood or fibre cement is weather.
Given that the paint needs to be applied in multiple layers including a primer, it is crucial start this process with a few days of sun in the forecast. You should never apply paint on a wet surface or in rainy weather.

 Once the primer and first layer has been applied to the panels, the coating should be left to dry for at least 2 hours before applying a second coat. This second coat will fill in any imperfections left by the first layer of paint. Now that the paint process is completed, it is important to inspect every newly painted surface to make sure the colour and sheen is consistent. A third coat may be needed depending on the colour and condition of your panels.


Aluminum soffit installation

When installation aluminum soffits, it is important to select the correct type of fastener. The loads applied to the system are completely different when installed on a horizontal plane rather than vertically, covering a wall.
It is important to make sure that your soffit system is tight against the framing it is installed on to prevent insects and rodents from making their way into your roof cavity.
As always, we encourage hiring a skilled siding installer to perform the installation to ensure peace of mind and product warranties.


Corrugated aluminum siding

Very often our consumers call Corrugated steel siding as aluminum. This is quite typical, considering that aluminum is also a metal. Of course, there are aluminum corrugated sheets for cladding buildings, but in North America, aluminum panels with a reinforced stiffener (extruded) are most often used.
Extruded Aluminum siding stands out as one of the most versatile siding systems on the market and is seen on many projects from small residential builds, to commercial properties and even high-rise developments. This system is both a cost effective and aesthetically pleasing solution with a relatively low need for maintenance which creates a great alternative to Steel Siding systems. Given the plethora of different profiles and colours available, there is an option to fit any buyer’s budget.

Aluminum Plank Siding

One of the best plank style systems on the market today is manufactured by extruding a tongue and groove profile from solid aluminum material.
These planks are often coated using a PVDF finish and sometimes combined with a wood grain style coating.
Brands such as Longboard, Infinity or AL13 Plank are some of the leading manufacturers of aluminum siding in the industry. They each offer unique colour and finish and profiles, once again, allowing any property owner to find exactly what they are looking for to complete their cladding project.


Aluminum siding cost

The price associated to ACM panels and their installation is usually calculated based on the square footage needed to complete your project.
The price of ACM panels vary greatly; the panel thickness, colour and composition all play a part in raw material pricing. Also, the final panel size, quantity and scope of work are a huge factor that can greatly affect the final project cost.

The cost of ACM panels


Low (basic)

Middle (better)

 High (the best)

Prices for material

$0.90 - $1.44

$1.26 - $1.89

$1.80 - $2.52

Labor Prices for attachment of acm panels

$1.89 - $2.88

$2.70 - $3.87

$3.78 - $4.86

Labor Prices for attachment of aluminum siding




Total prices

$2.79 - $4.32

$3.96 - $5.76

$5.58 - $7.38

Average cost for a square foot





You can multiply the values in the table above by the wall area of your project to see an approximate price for ACM panels. You can also contact us directly to discuss the project and we can provide you with a quotation absolutely free of charge.

Pros of aluminum siding and panels

As with any construction material, aluminum cladding has its own strength and weaknesses that need to be taken into consideration when choosing your products. In an effort to be fully transparent with our clients, we have taken the time to list the pros and cons of using metal cladding.

1) Affordable price.
Price is always a factor when it comes to construction and cladding is no different. Aluminum cladding can be a great solution for covering large amounts of wall space with a small budget. Aluminum panels or siding cost an average of $ 2 to $ 7 per square foot, depending on different specs, variations, country of origin, and of course the brand.
With the many different metal siding systems available on the market, the price of each one can vary from being one of the least expensive choices to the most expensive at the upper end of the cladding spectrum. This means that there is a metal siding option that can fit the budget of any project type or size.

 2) Relatively light weight of aluminum panels.
In contrast to other siding systems on the market, ACM panels, Aluminum Plank Siding and Corrugated aluminum are all relatively light-weight. This allows for cost savings on the installation process, total weight and load on the building as well as fastening requirements when comparing to other systems.

3) Recyclable Material
We are all concerned about responsible disposal of construction materials as well as use of our natural resources in order to ensure a quality of life for our children.
You’ll be happy to know that aluminum siding and panels can easily be recycled at the end of their service life. In our modern world of over production, this factor is huge in the eyes of architects and homeowners alike.

4) Minimal Maintenance Requirements
Aluminum cladding can easily be cleaned with a pressure washer or hose as needed making it very easy to keep your system looking as clean as the day it was installed.
More importantly, recoating your metal cladding should only be required after a minimum of 10 to 15 years.
However, it is important to inspect any siding system for caulking deterioration every year or so. Caulking provides a waterproof seal at critical areas of the exterior of your home or business.

5) Variety of shades
With so many different companies producing their own aluminum siding, there is an enormous selection of colours, woodgrains, patterns and textures to choose from.
Any buyer can achieve the style they are envisioning by looking into the correct manufacturer and we would be happy to guide you through this process. Please feel free to contact us, whether you know what you are looking for or are looking for inspiration.

6) Damage resistance
Although these panels and siding are light in weight, this circumstance has not made them brittle or prone to cracking. This is an undoubted advantage of any cladding.

7)  Protection from natural phenomena
Acm panels perfectly tolerate all kinds of extreme natural conditions. At the same time, they do not cause corrosion, stains and other defects that visually worsen the impression of the house.

Cons of aluminum siding

1) Some types are Prone to Denting
Some types of aluminum siding or panels, such as corrugated metal systems, are quite thin by design. This leads to some weaknesses when it comes to strong impacts over a small area; such as impact from a baseball or even cases of extreme hail. This being said, a system made from extruded aluminum planks are very strong and could withstand virtually any incidental impact. It is important to keep this in mind when choosing your cladding products. We advise you to always choose material with extrudition system.

2) Caulking Joint Maintenance
In order to achieve a truly waterproof system using concealed fasteners, caulking is often needed to seal otherwise exposed edges.
Over time, caulking does deteriorate and requires reapplication to maintain impermeability. However, all siding systems to require a certain amount of caulking and therefore are subject to maintenance.

Aluminum Siding Systems FAQ

Is Aluminum siding used on residential projects?

Despite the fact that the majority of aluminum siding and panels are used on commercial or multifamily developments, there are plenty of choices that look great on a single-family homes of any style. With Corrosion resistant materials and long-lasting coatings, you can be confident Aluminum systems will protect your home for years to come.

How much does aluminum siding cost?

Aluminum siding has a vast range or prices depending on the colours, profiles and material chosen. The pricing fluctuates constantly along with the price of raw materials. However, on average, the cost of panels per square foot ranges from $ 1 and 75 cents to $ 7.

Which is better siding aluminum or vinyl?

Vinyl siding is on the lower spectrum of pricing as well as quality on the siding market. It is quite inexpensive and its lifespan is reflective of its pricing. Aluminum, despite being slightly more expensive even with the most economical systems, has a multitude of qualities that vinyl siding does not offer. Vinyl siding fades in colour very quickly in direct sunlight and can become extremely brittle over time. Furthermore, vinyl offers absolutely no protection against fires. We definitely suggest investing in metal or fibre cement siding over vinyl to protect your home.

How long will aluminum siding last?

Aluminum siding or panels will last upwards of 30 years with minimal maintenance. An annual pressure washing to remove dust, grime and organic matter will protect your metal cladding for years to come. This combined with a new coating of paint roughly every 15 years will keep your home or business looking as good as the day it was installed.

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