ARTICLE Libby Schultz IMAGE Abodo/Stuart MacKenzie
How much does high-end recladding cost?
When it comes to cladding, you’ll enter the high-end budget bracket for one of two reasons. Choosing premium cladding materials will obviously ramp up your costs; particularly if you have a very large or multi-level home. The other reason is rather less appealing. If you discover a lot of framing damage, you may need to spend a hefty sum on remedial work.
What styles can I choose from?
If your budget doesn’t stretch to a full custom-cladding solution, you can still incorporate smaller elements to great effect.
“There’s a trend towards people being more creative with materials – or being more playful with the composition,” says one of our renovations builders.
“For instance, they might use a combination of weatherboard, metal and stone.”
Ben Campbell from Abodo says he’s noticed a trend for homeowners incorporating natural wood elements into their design.
“We’re seeing people use smaller elements of natural wood as part of their brick or painted weatherboard design. It’s a clever way to add texture and interest, without the expense of using natural wood throughout.”
Another trend is to mix up the timber profiles – either using a mix of horizontal and vertical, or combining random widths.
What is weatherboard?
Kiwi homeowners have a long love affair with weatherboard, and it’s still one of our most popular cladding materials today. It now comes in a variety of materials – from the traditional timber, to fibre-cement board, or composite products like aluminium or PVC.
Not surprisingly, Ben Campbell from Abodo is a big fan of timber.
“Of all the weatherboard options, timber is cost-effective, sustainably-grown, made in New Zealand and easy to work with. It’s also pretty good from a durability perspective, with most treated timber products being warranted for 25 years.”
Design-wise, weatherboard offers a number of options. When run horizontally, you can either go rusticated (a flat profile), or bevel-back (the traditional bungalow look). The most modern-looking profile is the vertical shiplap.
Ben Campbell says the profile trends are very different for stain versus paint finished.
“In the natural wood space, probably 70% of people are going vertical. In the paint finish, there’s been a real movement back to the traditional bevel-back look.”
And if you fancy a moody black for your timber weatherboards, there are new options that make it possible. Abodo’s Vulcan primed chemical-free cladding is thermally-modified, making it stable for use with dark colours.
Resene also offers a CoolColourTM paint, which reflects more heat due to its special pigment technology, and doesn’t get as hot as a standard paint.
How do I maintain my cladding?
If you plan to live in your house for the next 10 years or so, it’s important to factor in the ongoing maintenance costs.
BRANZ notes that most cladding materials – including timber, painted steel, fibre-cement or plaster – will need repainting about every 10 years. Clay and concrete bricks will last for longer, at 35-40 years; while some products don’t need painting at all (such as PVC weatherboard, or unpainted red cedar).
And there can be more to maintenance than just re-painting. Some cladding systems incorporate functional components – such as drained and vented cavity drainage outlets – that need to be checked and maintained.
Fortunately, your builder or cladding contractor is obliged to help out. Under new consumer protection measures (applying to all cladding work completed since 1 January 2015), your contractor must provide information on the maintenance requirements for your new cladding.
As BRANZ explains: “The responsibility for house maintenance lies with the homeowner, but the designer and builder must ensure that the owner is aware of their responsibilities and of the consequences if maintenance is not carried out.”
Will there be extra costs when I reclad?
Not every large recladding budget will be spent on designer materials, unfortunately. Sometimes it’s needed for serious remedial work.
If you discover your home has moisture-damaged timber, this can sometimes have flow-on effects that will cause your budget to escalate.
“If the timber is tagged or the gib is mould-affected, both sides of the wall have to come out,” explains a construction manager from Refresh Renovations.
“If that wall backs on to a high-dollar area, such as a tiled bathroom or kitchen, then you’ll also have the cost of re-tiling. Similarly, if moisture has breached the membrane on the floor, that will need to come up. It’s this kind of knock-on effect that can cause costs to spiral upwards.”
Another trap for first-timers, says Ben, is miscalculating the ground clearances needed. To meet Code, there are very specific rules around the space needed between your cladding and the ground level, paving or deck surface.
“Designers can occasionally miscalculate these heights. If that happens, your builder will have to create a concrete nib to raise the ground to framing threshold.”
It’s another reason why using an experienced design-and-build team like Refresh Renovations is a wise idea when recladding.
“It’s all those little things that can add considerable cost. We know what to look out for.”
Depending on your budget, you might be interested in recladding your home on mid-range or basic budget.
If you would like to discuss options and ideas for your next renovation project, please use the enquiry form alongside to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist.