Exterior cladding tips for a dream duplex build

The latest duplex looks showcase modern architectural style, with sleek lines, minimalist designs and a harmonious blend of exterior cladding textures and profiles, as well as glass, steel and timber.

These two-storey structures, joined by a common wall in the centre, embody contemporary elegance, where open-plan living and large windows allow oodles of light to flow, and functional layouts provide privacy and practicality.

Duplex designs often emphasise seamless integration between indoors and outdoors, making them the ideal choice for people seeking sophisticated urban living – or simply a more flexible, affordable approach to real estate in Australia.

We’ve previously explored What to consider when planning a duplex, and here we’ll look at the potential offered by the Hardie™ Architectural Collection to simplify the duplex build process and deliver unmissable street appeal.

What materials work best for a duplex build?

Material selection is key to the success in the building of contemporary duplexes. Hardie™ Architectural Collection offers curated cladding combinations that can deliver a modern duplex build without compromise.

Exterior cladding

Hardie Brushed Concrete Cladding: Heroing the newest addition to the Hardie™ Architectural Collection, the Raglan duplex by Futureflip is a beautiful example of monolithic Box Modern simplicity. The build draws upon the embedded texture finish of Hardie™ Brushed Concrete Cladding, which is complemented by a warm cedar trim on the front façade.

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Hardie™ Brushed Concrete Cladding: Ideal for both ground-floor and second-storey applications, this subtle, embedded texture cladding shines against a sharp second profile such as Linea™ Weatherboard, exemplified in this fine Orton Haus duplex in Wickham, NSW. This build highlights how to achieve a warm and inviting Modern Coastal look with an urban edge.

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Linea™ Weatherboard: Kiora House ably demonstrates how the Hardie™ Architectural Collection provides a beautiful, cost-effective ground-up solution. On the ground floor, Linea™ Weatherboard give character to the façade, complemented by textural Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding on the second storey, with the smooth, natural sand texture providing a crisp, neat finish.

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Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding: Used by interior designer Kate Lawrence for a recent duplex investment build, Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding delivered the relaxed villa vibe Kate was seeking. She chose the cladding for its beauty, ease of installation and ability to deliver a minimalist look without compromise.


Internal materials

Hardie™ Smart Fire and Acoustic Wall – ZeroLot™ Wall System: This specialised wall system provides enhanced sound insulation and privacy by combining components to minimise sound transmission between walls, meaning a quieter home – a huge advantage for duplex construction.

Dense fibre cement helps to block and absorb sound, and the system includes specialised acoustic batts, insulation and resilient channels to enhance sound reduction. In a practical sense, this means that next door’s conversations, footsteps and even mechanical sounds are significantly reduced.

Additionally, the product is fire resistant (up to BAL-FZ), making it a choice that offers peace of mind.

Make Modern with Hardie™ Architectural Collection

Discover the endless design possibilities of our new curated cladding collection. Everything you need to know, available in our NEW interactive magazine, from dream home inspiration to real-life case studies, top tips from industry experts and distinctive cladding combinations.

Final Cover | Make Modern with Hardie Architectural Collection Interactive Magazine

There are many reasons why builders prefer using Hardie™ fibre cement cladding:

  • Ease of installation: No specialist trades are required. All cladding products in Hardie™ Architectural Collection can be installed by a carpenter.

  • Design versatility: The profiles and textures in Hardie™ Architectural Collection allow for the expression of various architectural looks, from Box Modern and Mid Century Modern to Modern Coastal and even Scandi Barn. It's lightweight, easy to install and requires minimal maintenance.

  • Durability and resilience: Hardie™ fibre cement is resistant to rot, insects and fire, making it a reliable choice for long-lasting construction. It’s also designed to withstand tough Australian climatic conditions, UV rays and moisture damage.

For interior designer Kate Lawrence, who selected products from the Hardie™ Architectural Collection in her recent duplex build, the reduced complexity is key.

“I particularly wanted to use James Hardie product because I like the simplicity of installing it. When we were building, we were up against everything, and all this terrible weather. We chose to use Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding because we could have our carpenters install it and then we could paint it straightaway.”

Available in 1200mm wide sheets in common wall heights up to 3600mm, which is another plus from a builder’s perspective. Minimal joints and maximum coverage means lower labour costs, fast installation and savings on site – a win for homeowners, too.

Before you begin your build, read up on Must-have finishing touches for duplex designs.

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