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From brick to cladding: Where to begin

Updating an older brick home is easier than you think. Using exterior cladding, you can transform your existing brick home into a residence that accommodates modern lifestyles and delivers striking contemporary street appeal.

If you’re imagining the possibilities, you’re not alone. As seen on The Block 2023, the future-facing renovation show that captures the Australian zeitgeist around trending looks and materials, we’re seeing the teams turn to statement-making Board and Batten façades, brought to life with Hardie™ Oblique™ Cladding, Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding, Linea™ Weatherboard and Hardie™ Axent™ Trim.

The most inspiring part? The original homes were drab little post-war brick houses crying out for an update – and Hardie™ Architectural Collection was one of the favoured options for the show’s architect, Julian Benchley.

“The builders as seen on The Block 2023 like the Hardie™ Architectural Collection because it's a tried-and-true system. They don’t have to invent or use a substrate, which is foreign to them,” explains Julian, an advocate of the collection for its versatility and design possibilities.

“The biggest take-out for me is the durability of the product. With James Hardie, you know the products are tested over time. It’s durable, sustainable and easy to install.”

In this article, we’ll explore:

  1. Updating exteriors by adding cladding over drab brick homes

  2. Modern extensions that add architectural detail and lifestyle benefits

  3. Complete knock-down rebuilds

  4. Why James Hardie products are a builder’s material of choice

Unlock the possibilities of your brick home

If you’ve been inspired to reshape your brick home’s exterior with Hardie™ Architectural Collection, here’s how to get started.

Cladding over brick

Are you living in a compact brick home with a façade past its prime? Sturdy little post-war homes have had their moment, but the good news is that it’s possible to give these exteriors a fresh new look by cladding over brick with the Hardie™ Architectural Collection. Factor in an update to your windows and doors – perhaps a fresh coat of paint – and your exterior can shine again!

House 4 as seen on The Block 2023 demonstrates how different cladding products can be combined to give a homogenous, contemporary look to existing brick builds. View the Hardie™ Architectural Collection interactive magazine for more ideas on the look and products that most appeal to you.

Product recommendations:

Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding: Used on House 4, the natural, render-like texture delivers a modern, minimalist finish.

Linea™ Weatherboard: A deep shadow weatherboard offers clean horizontal lines for contemporary architecture and adds feature detail to the House 4 façade.

Adding a modern extension

It isn’t always an option to clad directly over the top of brick – particularly in areas impacted by heritage restrictions. Adding an extension could mean adding a second level, a new alfresco area or a new wing that compliments a modern lifestyle. The Hardie™ Architectural Collection offers a curated collection of cladding textures and profiles designed to mix and match, simplifying the decision-making process.

Hardie™ Oblique Cladding was the preferred choice for a number of contestants on The Block, who used the new-to-market cladding installed vertically to create studios, garages and alfresco areas.

“For House 2 we wanted the vertical look and we wanted a durable finish to the outside of the building on the ground floor,” says Julian. “So Hardie™ Oblique™ Cladding really was the perfect choice.”

Product recommendations:

NEW Hardie™ Brushed Concrete Cladding: Fresh, flowing lines are ideal for creating minimalist façades with interest.

Hardie™ Oblique™ Cladding: Evoke a bold, contemporary aesthetic with wide grooves and bespoke design flexibility, as seen on The Block 2023.

Knock-down rebuild

Some homes just aren’t salvageable, no matter how much they are loved.

The solution is a knockdown rebuild, allowing homeowners to create a contemporary façade from the ground up.

As Julian notes, “a knockdown rebuild allows you to stay in your own neighbourhood. I think that’s wonderful because your kids stay at the same school and you end up with a brand new house where you live”.

Production recommendations:

Axon™ Cladding: Bring beauty, drama and fine detail to your walls with clean vertical lines.

Stria™ Cladding: Strong horizontal lines with deep grooves suit bold but pared-back aesthetics.

How to bring your cladding vision to life

Taking the next step in transforming your brick home might seem daunting, which is why we’ve compiled some resources to help you bring your dream of a fresh new façade to life.

Need more practical advice, information and expert tips, our Transform your brick home Guide distils all the information and practical advice you need to consider which solution is best for your home transformation.

Why James Hardie is the only choice

1. Curated collection

All the products in the Hardie™ Architectural Collection were created to complement each other, so the range works together seamlessly. This curated cladding collection offers endless design possibilities.

2. Long-lasting

Made from Hardie™ fibre cement, Hardie™ Architectural Collection products are durable, resistant to damage from moisture and termites, and deemed non-combustible.

3. A low-maintenance solution

Engineered fibre cement cladding enables homeowners to deliver an easy-to-maintain exterior in their trending look of choice. It can also be painted in almost any colour, so it can be easily updated down the line.

The best materials for your project

It’s not just the looks and longevity of Hardie™ products that make them outclass the competition: builders love them too, thanks to their simple installation.

The smarter building material, Hardie™ exterior cladding can be installed without the need for specialist trades. This means less time spent managing sub-contractors and having fewer trades on site. It also makes quotes more competitive.

If your builder is installing cladding for the first time, there’s plenty of support available. For access to technical documentation, tools, BIM files, estimators and bespoke project support, builders can sign up to the myHardies portal.

The Hardie™ Architectural Collection can transform your tired brick home. Now it’s time to Get Building!

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