Whether it's a nice-to-have, or a needs-must, recladding can be a fairly serious undertaking.When it comes to costing out your recladding project, there are two main things to consider. The initial cost of materials is one thing – but what about the maintenance costs to keep it looking good in years to come?
Do you plan to stay living in your home during your recladding renovation? Then you’ll need to brace yourself (literally) for life in a house without walls. Our experts explain why it’s better to move out, along with other key tips to ensure your project runs smoothly.
Recladding can be fraught with traps for first-timers; so it pays to have an experienced team on your side. There’s a lot you need to get right – from choosing the right cladding material for your situation, to navigating the intricacies of your building consent.
You can’t afford to take risks when it comes to weathertightness, and ensuring your cladding is compliant.
Make sure you choose a building team that has proven expertise in this area, or ask to see detailed references of previous projects.
Secondly, it’s best to move out while your project is going on. Our renovation builders say even the hardiest of homeowners find it hard to live through a reclad.
“It’s very intrusive work. You’re basically living without walls…so it can be cold, draughty and noisy. And it’s not much fun staring at a white tarp for weeks on end.”
Even if you have to pay rent, say our renovation builders, you’ll recoup a lot of it through project savings.
“When we have to work around you, it’s going to take us longer. If we have to set up each morning and clean up at the end of the day, we can lose 1-2 hours a day. But if we have uninterrupted access, your job will be finished faster and more cost-effectively.”
Similarly, your job will run more efficient if you invest in a professional waterproofed construction system (otherwise known as ‘scaff, roll and wrap’). Tarpaulins are a poor substitute.
“Tarps are not efficient, and you could potentially lose a lot of time if weather conditions are bad. It’s also more time-consuming when we have to keep moving them around.”
The advantage of shrink-wrapping is that it provides a ‘drum-tight’ protective layer around your home. After it’s applied to the scaffolding structure, the plastic wrap is heat-shrunk with a hand-held hot air gun. The sheets are also welded together, so there are no gaps.
Scaffolding has an initial set up fee, plus a weekly rent for the length of the project (which can be up to $1,000 per week). There’s a fixed fee for the plastic wrap, usually somewhere between $5,000-$9,000.
A reclad for a standard home might take around 16 weeks, though it will take longer if you’re also doing other renovation work.
Lastly, if you have any asbestos in your walls, that will need to be disposed of by a specialist company at additional cost. Fibrolite eaves, gables and cladding were fairly common in pre-1980 houses.
You’ll face another big question when it comes to recladding – will you also replace your window joinery? Unless your existing joinery is of a very good standard, chances are you will.
If your home was built in the leaky home era – when insufficient flashings were a common problem – replacing the joinery will be a no-brainer.
“Council want to know that you’ve taken care of all water risks,” explain our renovation builders.
“Your window joinery will also be inspected to check that it’s up to Code.”
As our renovation builders point out, new windows will be a relatively small percentage of the overall recladding budget.
“Replacing your windows accounts for about 5% of the budget. So if you’re spending $400,000 on a reclad, that’s around $20,000 for new windows.”
In a number of recent projects, we have used Fletcher’s Smartfit® windows; a ready-to-fit window system that is considerably faster to install than standard aluminium windows.
According to BRANZ research, some of the mid-price recladding materials include fibre-cement 180mm planks, EIFS polystyrene, clay brick, and concrete brick. Although the clay and concrete brick are more expensive to buy, they have a longer lifespan of between 60-80 years and only need repainting every 5-10 years.
Despite the lingering stigma, modern plaster cladding systems are as weathertight as any other system available on the market. (The old problematic systems were ‘direct fixed’ to the wall, which left nowhere for moisture to drain. These days, they are required to have a wall cavity).
If you already have a plaster home, you may want to change to an alternative such as weatherboard. But for houses with a lot of curved walls or a Mediterranean-inspired design, a modern plaster system may still be the best option.
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. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.
All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.
If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.