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The build begins: How to choose the right cladding for your brick home

Discerning homeowners dreaming of a fresh, modern façade know that Hardie™ exterior cladding is transformative for dated brick exteriors. With the decision made, it’s time to brief your team and make this change a reality, without compromising on your vision.

Perhaps you’re updating a brick home by simply cladding over brick. Or, you may be extending out, or building up. You may even be embarking upon a complete knock-down and rebuild. Whichever path you’ve chosen, Hardie™ Architectural Collection works from the ground up to deliver all your favourite modern looks, because it’s designed to pair ground and first floor finishes in a way that delivers on your vision.

No matter your style, these products can deliver the look that best suits your home, from Box Modern and Coastal to Board and Batten (a look that has been embraced by the teams as seen on The Block 2023).

For architect, Julian Brenchley, creating visual cohesion with cladding was the goal, particularly with striking House 4.

“It started life as a bit of a bitser – a bit of this, a bit of that – but by the time we finished, it was all uniform,” he says of the updated home. “It’s a really good success story: a great hero moment for James Hardie product transforming a home.”

In this article, we’ll cover:

  1. Sharing resources with your builder to make the process seamless

  2. Tips on building a modern home from the ground up

  3. Why quality materials are the key to success

Why builders love building with exterior cladding

It’s no secret that Australian builders are drawn to working with Hardie™ exterior cladding solutions – after all, what’s not to love? Lightweight, easy to handle and built to endure Australian conditions, the products can be installed without the need for specialist trades.

That translates to savings on the build site, with fewer contractors required to complete works. Take, for example, the installation of Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding, which has the look and feel of render, over actually rendering a brick wall. It’s a much simpler and efficient process, making quoting for a job much more competitive.

Julian confirms that the builders as seen on The Block are big fans.

“They can cut cladding on site, it’s easy to install. And James Hardie has a really good technical department that’s approachable for any tricky detailing. Builders just love it,” he says.

Finding a builder who can achieve the look you want is critical. Use our Find a Builder tool to search your postcode and find a builder local to you.

Sharing information with your builder

According to Rebeka Morgan from BuildHer Collective, it’s best to agree with your builder on the details of your chosen products early on, right down to your specific cladding choice.

Come armed with visual references and examples of projects that showcase the finishes you’re keen to replicate and keep your eye on the prize – your dream home. If the builder pushes back on your material selection, stand firm.

Below, find some examples of helpful resources.

Inspiration at your fingertips

Sharing visual inspiration is key to ensure your builder grasps your vision.

Explore these inspirational examples of brick homes updated with cladding, or take a look at the home profiles on Hardie™ Home Guide, and bookmark the ones you love. You’ll soon be able to identify similarities between the projects and it will help your builder see your style point of view. While you’re there, explore some of our other useful tips around working with your builder and beating renovation stress.

Another fantastic resource is our Hardie™ Architectural Collection interactive magazine. Inside, you’ll find not just stand-out case studies, but curated cladding combinations that work with every look, plus all the information you’re seeking about our products.

Order a sample

Explore the Hardie™ exterior cladding range, then order a sample that appeals to you. Use it to build your flatlay and, again, show your builder so they know exactly what you’re thinking.

Guides and resources

If your builder is installing cladding for the first time, there’s lots of support available. For access to technical documentation, tools, BIM files, estimators and bespoke project support, builders can sign up to the myHardies portal. We’ve also shared some helpful links below.

Click the links for downloads, including Specification Guide, Technical Library, Working Safely Guide and BIM Downloads.

Builders tip: How to clad from the ground up

Created to complement each other, the products in the Hardie™ Architectural Collection offer myriad design possibilities for whole-house cladding builds or renovations.

Project 1: House 4 as seen on The Block 2023 - Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding, Hardie™ Axent™ Trim and Linea™ Weatherboard

A stunning example of a brick home plus extension that was totally clad over, giving a homogenous, contemporary Board and Batten look.

“It’s an entire house clad in James Hardie cladding – you’re essentially adding an additional skin to the building, which makes the building work exceptionally well from an environmental point of view,” says Julian. “I love that.

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“Mixing Linea™ Weatherboard and Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding, you’re getting a varied surface and changing the look – it’s limited only by the imagination of the designer.”

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Project 2: Orton Haus - Hardie™ Brushed Concrete Cladding & Linea™ Weatherboard

Justine from Orton Haus chose new-to-market Hardie™ Brushed Concrete Cladding for the ground floor of this stunning duplex project.

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“Installing it was super easy; it was so cost effective,” says Justine. “The Hardie™ Brushed Concrete Cladding creates a slightly more industrial and modern feel compared to that fully rendered Mediterranean look.”

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She chose classic Linea™ Weatherboard to complement it. “The Hardie™ Brushed Concrete Cladding works really well with the Linea™ Weatherboard, because you’ve got the contrast of lines and direction,” Justine explains.

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Why choose James Hardie

The Hardie™ Architectural Collection product suite is completely complementary, which makes choosing which product to use much simpler. Even better, the engineered fibre-cement cladding delivers an easy-to-maintain exterior that can be painted in any colour of your choice, so it can be easily updated down the line.

The products are durable, resistant to damage from moisture and termites, and deemed non-combustible, which makes them suitable for a range of tough Australian conditions, climates and weather.

Hardie™ Architectural Collection is the solution for tired brick homes. Learn How modern cladding transforms dated brick homes, and start planning your home transformation with our article From brick to cladding: Where to begin.

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