Architects in Pakistan have played a huge role in shaping trends in outdoor materials. Material choices are highly influenced by the style trend. For example, in the modern era, new materials were being introduced to complement the minimalist and sleek appearance, while during the classical era, vibrant materials exuding grandeur were explored. These days where architects and interior designers focus primarily on the client’s choice, a variety of materials are readily available in the market.

Therefore, while designing your house, choosing the type of elevation will be a very crucial decision. This can depend on the trend you are following or be derived from the concept of your project. In both cases, the design can only be implemented by choosing appropriate materials because certain designs can only be achieved with specific materials. Hence, it is imperative for you to have a deep understanding of materials to make an informed decision based on your aesthetic and functional preferences. The best idea is to hire a professional architecture firm to help you achieve this.

In order to have a deep understanding of a material, you need to look at its characteristics, cost analysis, durability, and maintenance. Read along to find out more about the top trending facade materials recommended by top architects in Pakistan.

Ceramic Tiles                

Tiles are one of the most versatile materials available in the market for facade design. They can be used for modern or classic styles, depending on the color, pattern, and size of a unit tile piece. Designers often use tiles in combination with another material (bricks or concrete) to create contrast in textures.

Other than the extensive variety of ceramic tiles available, they are also preferred by some architects because of the durability they offer. Tiles, once installed properly, are extremely long-lasting and are able to withstand harsh weather conditions. Since they are placed on the walls, they are also less likely to crack, extending their longevity. In cities like Lahore and Islamabad, where we get strong sunlight, tiles are also a good choice because of their thermal regulation. They increase the energy efficiency of your house by reducing heat gain. Furthermore, tile pieces also require less maintenance. The non-porous surface resists mold and other bacterial growths.

While tiles have a lot of advantages that make them a good material for use in Pakistan, their disadvantages cannot be ignored. The initial material cost of tiles is much higher than that of other facade materials. In larger spans, the cost can rise significantly. In addition to this, installation costs can also be expensive because of the need for skilled labor and specialized tools. If tiles are not installed properly, they can crack due to thermal expansion during temperature changes. Furthermore, some tiles may experience color fading over time due to intense sunlight. Similarly, grout maintenance between tiles can stain over time, affecting the visual appeal of the facade.

Using ceramic tiles for an outdoor facade can be an efficient choice for you because of the durability and range of variety it offers. Before finalizing, you should analyze its advantages and disadvantages according to your budget and use.


Bricks are ideal for facades where a blend between contemporary and classic styles needs to be achieved. This material has been in use for centuries, and variations have been made in design and size to cater to modern needs. More than 10,000 brick kilns operate in Pakistan, which produce decorative bricks for facades. Hence, bricks in large quantities are readily available in the market.

Furthermore, bricks are an ideal material to use in Lahore in terms of thermal mass. They provide excellent thermal insulation, decreasing indoor temperatures by up to five degrees. Similar to tiles, bricks are also extremely durable. They are resistant to wear and tear and require less maintenance. The gray cement grout also does not require extra cleaning. Bricks are also considered to be cost-efficient since a range of price options are available depending on quality and type.

Brick as a facade material has fewer shortcomings, but in order to make an informed decision, it is important to be aware. They offer less flexibility in terms of design in comparison to other modern materials because they are manufactured in similar sizes. The installation cost can be expensive because the process is time-consuming due to the size of a single unit. Lastly, bricks are susceptible to efflorescence, where they develop salt deposits when exposed to moisture, which requires maintenance treatments.

While bricks have a few disadvantages, their advantages take precedence. If you are not sure about the details of your elevation, bricks can prove to be an ideal choice because of their versatility. On an environmental level, bricks are made from natural materials and are often recyclable, making them eco-friendly.

Exposed Cement

Cement as a facade material is ideal to use if you are looking for a contemporary industrial architectural style. The exposed material uses raw elements of cement as a design tool and adds a dynamic character to the building. Architects in Islamabad recommend using cement partially with another material (ideally paired with wooden accents or dark paint) to create contrast in color palette and texture.

One of the reasons for cement’s popularity in modern architecture is due to the durability it offers. The natural gray hue does not need maintenance over time, while the material itself is strong enough to withstand weather changes without deterioration. Additionally, contrary to popular belief, cement is a very versatile material. It can be used for many architectural styles and can be customized with different textures and finishes. Design within the material can be incorporated as well, such as by adding grooves and ando-dots.

While cement has a range of benefits, its shortcomings cannot be ignored. The greatest disadvantage is the high initial cost of the material. Other than the raw material, additional costs are required for high-quality finishing materials. If the finishing products are not properly coated or a flaw in installation is ignored, it can lead to cracking and the formation of molds due to moisture absorption. In the specific scenario of Lahore, cement is not suitable for large-scale use because of its thermal mass. Cement is likely to absorb much more heat than other materials, raising the temperature.

In modern times, many innovations are made regarding cement. Architects and designers have come up with composite materials, using sustainable materials and methods to make cement much more eco-friendly. The shortcomings of cement (as a facade material only) can be significantly reduced if modern techniques are used.


Some of the best architects in Pakistan recommend using stone as a feature element in your elevation. When stone is paired with tiles, paint, or concrete, it creates a focal point for movement across the facade. Stone provides a natural, timeless appearance with a variety of colors and textures that can be incorporated into almost all styles. However, stone is mostly favored by architects designing Neo-classical-style houses because of the grandeur it offers.

Stone is suitable as a facade material because of its durability, as it is extremely long-lasting and resistant to erosion. The texture, color, and overall appearance require low maintenance, making it appropriate for less accessible areas of the facade. For example, stone can be used on the side elevation of a corner house that features the height of the building mass. Since stone is a natural material, it can be easily sourced as well. This also allows stone to be used in different forms, such as in tiles or veneers.

While the natural element of stone makes it easy to source, the price is higher. The cost of a slab of stone depends on its type, size, and quality. For outdoor use, stones will also require additional coating, without which they can stain over time. Additionally, in the event of any damage to the stone, repairs can be challenging as colors and textures might not match later.

Although stone is an expensive material, if it is used strategically, the cost can be managed. The prestige associated with stone encourages architects and owners to use it. Its structural and aesthetic characteristics also make it a popular material that has been in use for centuries.

Wall Paint

One of the most common facade materials used in residential buildings of all sizes is wall paint. This is because of the versatility and ease of application it offers. Paints are available in a wide range of colors, finishes, and textures. It does not require skilled labor for application, which improves the overall cost efficiency. The cost of paint also varies across a range, depending on the quality, texture, and durability.

On a structural level, it offers a protective layer against moisture and UV rays for the load-bearing walls. The thickness and weight of the material are also negligible enough to have the least impact on the load and overall area of the surface.

While paint has its advantages, it is not being used as frequently as before, primarily because of its low durability. Paint is not resistant to harsh weather conditions, due to which it can stain or chip over time. This requires frequent maintenance. Although initial cost is less than other materials, it requires to be reapplied every few years. This can prove to be a hassle, for which some of the best architects in Lahore recommend using paint partially in combination with tiles or other durable materials.

To benefit from this material, it is ideal to use the best-rated paints in terms of quality to prolong its durability. Additionally, coatings are available that provide a resistant barrier while maintaining the color and texture to ensure lasting performance and appearance.


Glass is mostly restricted to windows only on the facade of the building, with other materials composed around it. In some cases, architects also add glass as a design ornament to a portion of the elevation to create depth and change in texture.

The transparency of glass allows natural light to enter the building, due to which large windows are preferred in almost every style. It provides unobstructed views, blurring the shift between indoor and outdoor spaces. To control heat gain, they can be modified with coatings and double-glazing. Glass is also available in a variety of types, such as tempered, tinted, or insulated, and can be prepared in all shapes and sizes to cater to all designs.

Residential buildings in cities like Lahore and Islamabad use less glass in their elevations because of the sharp sunlight. The reflective characteristics negatively impact other elements of exterior design because of the short span of the facade. To counter this, architects have started to use glass in different, smaller forms. This design practice allows them to use the surface quality of glass while also minimizing heat gain (in the case of south-facing projects).

Innovative designs, including thin glass louvers or perforated windows, are ideal to benefit from glass in a modern style. Through this, the drawbacks of glass are avoided while still utilizing its positive attributes. For classic facades, treated glass is ideal. However, it is essential to discuss with your architect how to manage costs efficiently.

In conclusion, it is essential to select the right material for your residential facade, as it shapes both the aesthetics and functional aspects of your home. There is a range of materials available on the market, from the timeless elegance of stone and brick to the modern appeal of glass and exposed cement. Each material has its own set of benefits and challenges.

Understanding the characteristics, cost, and maintenance requirements of these materials will allow you to make an informed decision that aligns with your design requirements and practical needs. By considering the insights from leading architects in Pakistan, you can ensure that your exterior design not only meets current trends but also stands the test of time.

Written By: Aimal Moazam