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How modern cladding transforms dated brick homes

Are you feeling trapped in a dated brick home? It’s easy to feel stuck in these houses, from the poky red brick villas of the 1950s and ‘60s, to the brown brick builds common in the 1970s, and 1980s blonde brick constructions. They lack the open-plan living, large windows and airy, spacious feel of the modern homes we now love.

The incredible transformations seen on the brick homes of Charming Street as seen on The Block 2023 show that while brick is a thing of the past, your brick home doesn’t have to be. Leaning into the design possibilities of cladding from the Hardie™ Architectural Collection, clever contestants are delivering stunning modern homes.

Architect Julian Brenchley says that using Hardie™ Architectural Collection cladding products to update brick homes was “a dream project”.

“You can do anything with Hardie™ fibre cement cladding. The look is only limited by the imagination of the designer. You can leave the brick and do a modern extension, or you can clad the existing house to give a homogenous design approach – that’s readily achievable and you can come up with an absolutely amazing outcome,” Julian says.

In this article, we’ll explore:

  1. Cladding over the face of brick homes

  2. Pairing brick façades with modern extensions

  3. Knocking down and rebuilding with cladding

Cladding over brick façades

When it comes to transforming your brick home, one of the simplest options is to simply install cladding over the existing façade.

The different textures and profiles in the Hardie™ Architectural Collection can be installed directly on top of brick, instantly giving your home a fresh modern look. Julian points to House 4 as seen on The Block 2023, which has been reclad entirely in Linea™ Weatherboard, Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding, and Hardie™ Axent™ Trim.

“We basically dressed the whole house in Hardie™ Architectural Collection products,” he says.

“We took it from an old bungalow that had a bit of an odd twist to a really smart-looking Modern Hamptons style. We put battens on the existing brick and the cladding went across that.”

The result is a brand new-looking home with a cohesive architectural story.

“Cladding the whole home gives you the look of a brand new home for a fraction of the cost. You’ve got the opportunity to create a uniform appearance,” says Julian.

“You can mix the products to have various surfaces across the house – you might want to have Linea™ Weatherboard at the top, with the texture of Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding on the bottom of the façade. You can change the whole look of the place. Have fun with the products; we have on The Block.”

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For vertical cladding over brick, Hardie™ Oblique Cladding unlocks the opportunity to create a bespoke effect with boards of varying widths, while Axon™ Cladding brings the detail of vertical joint timber without the time-consuming and expensive board construction.

Brick meets cladding: modern extensions

If you’re looking to expand your living space while updating the exterior of your home, a modern extension built with Hardie™ exterior cladding solutions is an excellent option. Add an extension with cladding that complements your older home, or use cladding on an alfresco space to give modern design appeal and functionality. An advantage of this approach is the ability to stay in your home while the extension is being built, saving the expenses of relocation and rent.

Consider this house in Sydney’s Drummoyne by Evolving Constructions, in which an Axon™ Cladding 400mm extension delivers the space modern families require in the form of a floating second-level wing that cantilevers over the pool and outdoor living area.

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As seen on The Block, Julian points to the use of Hardie™ Oblique™ Cladding to bring modern flair to garage, studio and alfresco extensions.

“On House 2, Hardie™ Oblique™ Cladding solved the idea of having a vertical board in the background. James Hardie has really nailed the way to get a vertical board in a clean, modern sense,” Julian says.

For House 3, contestants used Hardie™ Oblique™ Cladding in varying widths to create a bespoke modern finish that complemented the rest of the façade.

House 4, which was totally reclad in Hardie™ Architectural Collection products, demonstrates how a cladding extension, combined with a reclad of the existing brick home, provides a striking and homogenous new look.

“It doesn’t make the additions look piecemeal. You’ve got the opportunity to create a uniform appearance and properly remodel,” Julian says.

Knock down and rebuild with cladding from the ground up

Do you love your neighbourhood but hate your house? A knock-down rebuild presents an exciting opportunity to opt for an entire home clad in modern materials – a home that truly reflects your style and needs.

Home builders Futureflip recently delivered this statement knock-down rebuild that demonstrates just how flexible building with exterior cladding can be. The home epitomises contemporary minimalism – and that’s not just because of the Box Modern design.

The design team recommended Hardie™ Brushed Concrete Cladding for the new build, paired with complementary Axon™ Cladding as a feature on the front garage door and to accentuate details on the façade. Using Hardie™ Architectural Collection products from the ground up provided savings in both budget and time.

“Hardie™ cladding is a lot less expensive than masonry structure and finish or render. The quick and easy installation overall requires fewer trades on site than if you were to create a masonry, rendered look from scratch,” explains builder Neil Hipwell.

The suite of exterior cladding products in Hardie™ Architectural Collection can transform your home. Ready to get started? Read our article on Planning your brick update to take the next step in your journey.

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