At MDS we’re often asked just how much impact we have in the design and functionality of a metal cladding project. The answer is A LOT!

Most of the jobs we deliver are custom jobs, and involve many complex angles and shapes. We work on the principal that if your job is managed properly from Day 1, then it’s going to be quicker and better in the long run.

You’ve got plenty to consider, such as the type of metal you choose (dictated to a certain extent by it’s location) and the effect you’re looking for (see our earlier post on choosing the right seam).

So what’s the process you’ll need to go through if you want to put a metal skin on your house or commercial building?

1. Initial brief

We don’t expect clients to know which profile is best for them, and architects are looking at the holistic picture. So we usually start by discussing the relative merits of the profiles and the finishes in the context of each project with the architect – the location, the style, the colour palette, the profile of the building, and the desired effects.

2. Concepts

Once we have an idea of the project, we’ll come up with some basic design concepts, and ball-park prices. The architect will likely incorporate our recommendations into their design, and discuss this with the client.

3. Specifics

Once the project has past consent stage and a builder chosen, we would expect to see the final plans. These may or may not bear any resemblance to our initial concepts. We’d also get an idea of the build schedule – when we would be permitted on-site, and how long we would have to complete our work. At this point we can calculate exact measurements, and provide a firm quote.

4. Installation

Before we go on site, we fully prepare all the materials. If these are sourced locally we’d starting a couple of weeks beforehand, but if they’re imported it might be 6 weeks to 2 months earlier that we begin work.

Much of the fabrication is done in our factory in Takanini. We pride ourselves on the quantity and quality of the specialist folding and shaping equipment we employ, which allow us to act fast and with precision on any job. As a result there’s no surprises and our time on site is minimized. Additionally, in the rare case where a panel needs to be replaced or reshaped, we can have a factory replacement ready inside a day.

Another key asset is our staff. Apart from the unquestionable skills of Richard Caminada, who is the only Swiss-certified master-craftsman in NZ,  much of our core staff have been with us for a decade or more. With a steady influx of roofers coming from elsewhere in the industry, we’re careful to pair them up with senior craftsmen, in a quasi-apprenticeship role. And to make sure we’re on par with the best world practices, we regularly bring in European specialists to work with us and train our staff.

Once we’re on site we’re focused on sticking to the schedule, and adapting to changes. This is not as easy as it sounds, because there’s many components which must be in place for us to finish our work – most notably doors and windows. Usually we’re planning a few days ahead of ourselves, so while we’re working on one facet, we’re ordering and preparing for another.

5. The walk through.

Once we’ve completed our work, we’ll take the Architect, Builder, and or the Client for a walk through the project, to make sure we’ve covered everything to their utmost satisfaction. In the event a panel needs to be replaced (eg. due to damage or paint spillage) then we will photograph the component, and send that back to the office. Usually the replacement part will be ready by the time a vehicle can be dispatched to pick it up.

Metal cladding is an excellent solution for both new buildings and refurbishments. It can add years of life and a significant increase in the appearance and value of any project. And the initial costs are usually significantly outweighed by the savings in maintenance and repairs.

While there’s far more to the process than outlined here, this does give you an overview of how we work. If you’d like to talk to us about  your project, please leave a comment below, or visit, where you can leave us a personal message.

For well over 15 years Metal Design Solutions Ltd has pioneered advances in the architectural metal industry installing Zinc Roofing / Copper Roofing / Stainless and Aluminium Roofing and wall Cladding. Metal Design Solutions Ltd’s work is now found in and around structures across New Zealand. Check us out at