• Ben and Lisa Meader

First Impressions Count

The exterior of your home is the first thing people see - which gives the perfect opportunity to make their first impression count.

The days are gone when a Builder would give you the choice of either brick or weatherboard. Today, building styles often feature a mix of surfaces for their exteriors to create multi-layered exteriors that connect seamlessly with the environment. Composite cladding, timber, stone or metal are all materials that fall into the cladding category.

Cladding is a non-load-bearing skin or layer attached to the outside of a home. It is designed to protect the building from the weather and provide an element of street appeal. Choose right, and cladding offers much more than good looks; it can also provide thermal and sound insulation and fire resistance, saving you money, boosting your privacy and providing protection.


Modern fibre-cement cladding comes in various styles, including vertical or horizontal boards or large panels. Light-weight and easy to install, this material is durable and can be cut, carved or even curved to different shapes. It doesn't require much in the way of upkeep and resists damage from water and fire.


Often chosen for first-floor additions or rear extensions, weatherboards do need regular maintenance and painting, which can be expensive over time. Timber cladding has recently evolved to become more site-ready and easy to install.


Metal panels are increasingly considered cladding material, often combined with either brick or weatherboard at ground level. A popular choice for modern, box-like extensions, metal cladding, is often used as a dramatic showstopper to delineate between old and new.


The most common exterior surface in Australia, brick continues to be in favour as a cladding for new builds. However, it's increasingly combined with fibre cement or weatherboard for first-floor additions. Brickwork requires little maintenance, making it cost-effective; however, you wouldn't call it energy efficient.


If you're looking for more depth than paint or want to conceal a less-than-pristine facade ib a budget, consider render. It provides a tough, long-lasting, water-resistant finish and can be applied to anything from brick and plasterboard to concrete.


Often used in Hamptons-style homes, stone has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. Cultured stone is increasingly used as a feature on exteriors, most commonly for porches, outdoor fireplaces or feature walls.

Changing or adding to the existing cladding of a building is a big job. Before deciding to go ahead, you should talk to a few builders and obtain quotes, but first, you should take the time to investigate what cladding will look like in situ.

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