Leaky Duplex | Refresh Renovations New Zealand
Re-cladding Project

From Leaky home to reclad success in Ellerslie, NZ

If you want an example of how much difference a re-clad can make, there’s no easier way to illustrate the point than in there-clad of one half of a duplex.

  • Client: Amanda Wright
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Location: Auckland Central
  • Date: 30 January 2019

WORDS Joanna Jefferies

Project outline: The home was one half of a 1986 townhouse duplex, clad with monolithic fibre cement cladding and battens and owner Amanda says “it was pretty cold and damp”. Leaking joinery had created damage in several areas

Projected timeline: four months

Actual timeline: four months, 20 days.

Projected budget: of the initial re-clad project and garage roof upgrade was $180,000.

Actual budget: including all extras (interior re-paint, new fence, plasterboard in the garage, tiled roof paint, extending roof by one tile width) came to $184,700.

Owner accomodation: The homeowner moved out for the duration of the renovation


If you want an example of how much difference a re-clad can make, there’s no easier way to illustrate the point than in the re-clad of one half of a duplex. The exterior upgrade of one half of this Ellerslie, 1986 Auckland duplex is a case in point. The 160m2 home is joined to its neighbour by a firewall and was suffering from the usual leaks associated with monolithic fibre cement cladding.

“It was deteriorating and some areas were leaking,” says Refresh Auckland consultant Jim Gleeson. “So we stripped it all back, put on  new paper and new shiplap weatherboards.”

The lean-to garage was re-roofed and although a re-paint of the home’s tile roof wasn’t initially on the cards, homeowner Amanda Wright decided the look of the new cladding and new garage roof was so fresh, she wanted the roof to match.

It was restored in a dark grey that contrasts nicely with the mid-grey tone of the new weatherboards. As an added improvement to weatherproofing, Jim suggested taking off the fascia and extending the roof by one tile width to create a wider soffit. Amanda was happy to have this additional improvement to the weather-tightness of her home and says working with the Refresh consultant and project manager was really good - “[they were] easy to talk to, we discussed things thoroughly and they provided ideas.”

The exterior upgrade was incredibly straight forward, says Jim, because “we didn’t have to go through the leaky build scheme as it wasn’t registered as a leaky home.” As well, the contingency Jim suggested Amanda set aside for extra remedial work that might arise as a result of unseen damage under the original cladding wasn’t required, which allowed Amanda to upgrade much more of the house than originally planned.

The money she set aside allowed “$56,000 worth of change orders” – which included a complete interior re-paint, tiled roof re-paint, a wall Gibbed inside the garage, a pine deck replaced with Vitex decking and a new fence.  

As part of the initial plan the joinery (all windows and doors) was all completely replaced too, with Fairview Aluminium double-glazed joinery in Resene Ironsand.

All lead flashings on the garage roof were replaced with Coloursteel ones and all guttering on both home and garage was replaced too.

The result is a warm, dry home that looks good too. “It was pretty cold and damp and it was brought up to code and it’s 100% better,” says Amanda.

Jim says Amanda’s best decision was replacing the old monolithic cement cladding with the cavity system, which creates air flow and ventilation between the cladding and building wrap – keeping direct moisture away from the building.

While the building could have been shrink-wrapped to protect against the weather while the work was undertaken, the $20,000 quoted cost for scaffolding and shrink-wrapping was deemed too expensive. In the end the projected four-month timeline was only exceeded by 20 days due entirely to weather – which Jim feels justifies the $20,000 cost saving for his client..  

The grey home now stands as an excellent example next to its neighbour of exactly how effective a complete exterior upgrade can be, not only because the house “ looks amazing” but because the owner now enjoys a warm, dry home and is free from worrying about further damage from the weather.  


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*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.

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