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Information on Exteriors

Contributor:
Mark Tregoweth
Mark Tregoweth

When it comes to appearances the exterior of a home has the potential to be powerful or passé depending on how it’s finished.

Exterior design should incorporate the size, shape and style of a house.

Whether it is sequestered in an established cul-de-sac or part of a new housing development, it is important to consider how a structure will fit in a neighbourhood as well as its position on your property.

Clad in solid plaster, brick, weatherboard, stone or any of a number of other finishes, a well planned exterior completes the transformation of a house to a home.

Consideration should be given to homes size and height in relation to its neighbours, the type of materials used on its exterior, the shape of the home in relation to the site it will be built on, and the colours used to complete its appearance

Designing a home or renovation that's sympathetic to its surroundings will help to increase its value, ensure good relationships with neighbours and compliment the landscape.

Common types of exterior cladding in New Zealand:
 
Weatherboards

Weatherboards and other timber forms of cladding provide a solid and durable exterior to a home but they will require regular maintenance. The degree of maintenance will depend on their age and condition.

Weatherboards are not restricted to timber they are also made from PVC, fibre cement and aluminium.

Linea™ Weatherboards

Designed to capture the lines of traditional weatherboards, Linea™ Weatherboards are timber free and feature a ceramic surface which ensures a long life.

Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS)

EIFS cladding consist of sheets made up of polystyrene boards with a plaster and paint finish.

Stucco/solid plaster

One of the older forms of monolithic cladding, stucco has been used in New Zealand  homes since the ‘20s. Stucco is cement-based plaster which is applied over a variety of backings (including fibre-cement and plywood sheeting) and then painted.

Brick / solid masonry

A common form of brick exterior is actually brick veneer. Constructed with a cavity between the timber framing and the brickwork, brick veneer is built with drainage cavities at the base of the wall. It is imperative that for ongoing maintenance that the drainage cavities are kept clear, other wise maintenance for this form of cladding is minimal.

Many solid concrete block homes are constructed from reinforced masonry. The concrete blocks have reinforcing inserted into them and then are filled with concrete. Because concrete blocks form the full thickness of awall and are often exposed on the inside the reinforced masonry relies on externally applied waterproof coating to ensure weather tightness. This layer of weatherproofing must be maintained to keep water out.

Fibre cement

Fibres cement board is made from cellulose fibre and cement. While it can be hard to tell the difference between fibre cement cladding and asbestos cement on older homes if you have concerns don’t hesitate get professional advice and don’t attempt to repair or replace asbestos yourself. For ongoing maintenance fibre cement cladding requires painting to make it water proof.

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