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New solid-plaster cladding and the addition of a second level provided a striking update to this 1950s bungalow

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If you're thinking about giving your home a more contemporary look, one way to dramatically alter its appearance is to update the cladding.

The home shown here was once a solidly built, yet unremarkable, 1950s State house clad in timber weatherboards with a brick base and tiled roof.

Architect Bruce Craig from NewImproved was commissioned to design the extensive renovations. These included adding another storey and decks to the home's western side, restructuring and extending the basement area, recladding the entire structure and replacing the joinery.

The house is now finished in 20cm-thick, solid plaster over fibre cement sheets. After weighing up the options, Craig says the weatherboards were removed before the new cladding was added.

"There are possible benefits in plastering over exising weatherboards. It creates thicker walls that allow you to set the windows back, creating a nice, deep reveal," he says.

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However, in this instance, with a new storey being added, lining up the existing structure with the additional level would have been difficult.

"Matching up the wall systems is tricky. The timber framing used today is a different size from the old framing, so it had to be packed to match."

Another vital aspect in recladding projects is the detailing, says Craig.

"While plastering is a popular choice because it is cost-effective to apply, it is important to ensure you have a stable substrate or cracking may occur, leading to water damage. Expansion joints should be positioned so that they are not too obvious."

Good window detailing is also essential to prevent leaks. This home was fitted with a high-end joinery system that combines powdercoated aluminium on the exterior and polyeurethaned timber inside. The result is both low maintenance and visually appealing.

First published date: 22 January 2004

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Credit List

Architect (renovations) Bruce Craig, NZIA, NewImproved
Builder Mark Dawson
Cladding Solid plaster
Roof Colorsteel
Window/door joinery Alti
Window/door hardware Halliday & Baillie
Paint Alto Country Colours
Soffits, garage door and shutters Cedar with Sikkens sealant