linea-moderncoastal-glennhaven-TBRphoto-jameshardie 12 r3jqox

Love elegant exterior cladding? Here’s what your project could cost

When it comes to renovating, building and all things exterior, the question on everyone’s lips is, how much does it cost? The answer depends on a few factors, but what might surprise you is just how little it costs to achieve smart and sophisticated street appeal for your abode.

What does an exterior update cost?

With around $10,000 of James Hardie’s innovative exterior cladding, you could cover a single storey four-bedroom house exterior (that’s about 300sqm of internal floor space), completely transforming the appearance of your home.

Let’s explore just how much cladding costs. To keep things simple, the calculations used here exclude building wrap, corner accessories, framing, paint, labour, wastage and the holes for windows and doors.

Breaking down the costs

Product focus: Linea™ Weatherboards

This innovative and durable product brings that beachside or Hamptons aesthetic to any facade, whether it’s a new home or a renovation. The versatile fibre cement weatherboards look fantastic painted light or dark colours.

Stria Splayed-renovation-windsor-H12-3BirdsReno-jameshardie 3

Calculate how much you need

Before you begin, measure the amount of wall space each product piece covers. As an example, let’s take the visible weatherboard in this custard cottage (pictured).

1. Figure out the area: The front facade is about 25m of wall length and 2.7m in height (totalling 67.5sqm). Allowing for the gables, let’s approximate it at 75sqm.

2. Product specification: On the Linea™ Weatherboards page, scroll down to the product specification table and find ‘effective cover’. Weatherboards overlap, so this figure removes the overlapping amount to give you the exact area each installed weatherboard covers.

Linea™ Weatherboards are 4200mm long (4.2m)and create a nice deep shadow line. Take the 180mm-wide option (similar to the cottage pictured) as an example. They overlap each other by 30mm, meaning only 150mm of the 180mm board is ultimately visible (effective width). The effective cover per unit is 0.63sqm.

Now, divide 75sqm by 0.63sqm effective cover to figure out how many Linea™ Weatherboards are needed. The answer? 119.

3. Work out your price per board: To source a price per board, try your local hardware store or timber yard. A quick Google search yielded a price of $39.80 per board, but you’ll do better by asking your builder to source a trade quote.

4. Do the maths: Based on a price of $39.80 per board, the total cost is $4736, or $63.15/sqm, for enough Linea™ Weatherboard to clad the facade of this home.

What else can I get for that amount?

There are few home design ideas or renovation projects, beyond the cosmetic, that can be achieved for around $5,000. In the kitchen, for example, you could afford a couple of high-quality new appliances; a full kitchen renovation could cost you upwards of $35,000.

Using cladding for a new build or renovation is a high-impact approach that’s surprisingly inexpensive.


Product focus: Axon™ Cladding

The clean vertical lines of Axon™ Cladding are perfect for modern homes, bringing drama, detail and the beauty of painted vertical joint timber look (VJ timber). This makes it ideal for updating heritage homes during renovation, or for a striking new build.

Calculate how much you need:

1. Figure out the area: Let’s again use our 75sqm single-story home facade as an example.

2. Product specification: Axon™ Cladding is a little different to Linea™ Weatherboards. Despite giving the appearance of a series of vertical tongue and groove joint boards, it actually comes in 1200mm-wide sheets in various sizes for different wall heights. What’s more, there’s no overlap to factor in when calculating how much you need.

It’s the same process as above, except you choose a board height that’s slightly larger than your wall height. For these 2700mm walls, we selected a 2750mm-high sheet in the 133mm Smooth style of Axon™ Cladding.

Find the effective cover on the Axon™ Cladding product page. In this case, it’s 3.3m. Divide the area (75sqm) by the effective cover amount (3.3m); 75 divided by 3.3 = 23 sheets.

3. Work out your price per board. Call your local trade desk to source the best price. As a guide, we’ll use a Google-sourced figure of $151 per sheet.

4. Do the maths. The total cost is $3473, or $46.30/sqm.

What else could I get for that amount?

At just under $3500, this amount doesn’t go very far. In the bathroom, you could purchase a new vanity, but a full bathroom renovation could sit upwards of $25,000.

If you’re building a new home, the external cladding cost would make up a very small percentage of your total budget.


Product focus: Stria™ Cladding

Sleek and customisable, Stria™ Cladding features deep grooves from thick shiplap cladding boards. It looks fantastic for contemporary homes with a bold but pared-back look. Versatile in its ability to be installed vertically and horizontally, it’s an excellent choice for more creative applications.

Let’s calculate for a larger home this time – one with roughly twice the surface area of the previous example. Following the above process, the cost for 150sqm of 405mm Stria™ Cladding is around $8362 (cheaper if you negotiate on the trade desk).

What else could I get for $8–10K?

For anywhere but the exterior, this budget still plants you firmly in the DIY space. For example, for $8000, you could paint a few rooms in a home of this size yourself. It could cost up to $25,000 to hire a professional painter to paint the exterior of a double-storey home, depending on the footprint.

TIP: You can follow this process for most other James Hardie wall and floor products, including Hardie Fine Texture Cladding.

Other costs to factor

As well as the hard product costs, there are other costs to consider. A trade desk or hardware store requires a detailed Bill Of Quantities (BOQ), so unless you’re a professional, it’s great to work with a qualified builder.

The BOQ calculations deduct the space for windows and doors, and determine the optimal place for joins to reduce wastage. They also factor in Hardiealuminium corner accessories and fixings, such as nails for timber frames and screws for steel ones. And don’t forget delivery, which should include a crane truck for large orders.

Then, the boards will need to be measured, cut and installed as per the installation manual available on the James Hardie website product page. A job best left to the professionals!

Looking for more renovation ideas? For all your exterior building and renovating needs, check out James Hardie’s range of sophisticated exterior cladding, or download the Modern Look Book to find the exterior for you.

Order a Sample

Ready to specify Hardie™ fibre cement products in your next project? Order a sample to help visualise your design decision. Paint samples in any colour to suit the vision you have for your dream home.  

order a sample

Modern Look Book

Our Modern Look Book provides design inspiration and highlights hallmarks to help describe and define the clean, contemporary home of your dreams. Discover which modern look you love then use the images and language to brief your designer or builder.


Other articles in Get Inspired

Back to top