Is building three homes one after another a problem or an opportunity? Turns out, with a positive attitude, it’s a bit of both. Sure there are reasons why building all three simultaneously is better. However, look on the bright side. There’s the opportunity to make improvements as we go. The cladding evolution is a classic example of this process at work.
We built the first home with a cladding design based on what we thought worked best. After completion, there’s time to critically review our choices before starting the next one. Is the selected material as low maintenance as possible? Could another material do a better job? Does the finished cladding look as good as we imagined?
Follow the cladding evolution as we went from the first home to the second and finally, to the third.
Board and batten cladding changed slightly.
The reclaimed timber board and batten cladding is an entrance feature on all three homes.
For the first home, David used the best available timber which gives it a uniform appearance. However, the occasional defect in the wood’s surface adds character.
By the third home, everyone was feeling more adventurous. Incorporating a red gum stump into the front door was a sign that things would be different.
A dwindling timber supply from the old house encouraged David to be inventive with what was left and fully embrace imperfections. Notches cut into the battens are reminders of the original purpose. Hey, isn’t that a house stump on the wall?
Is that part of the wood too damaged to be used? Not a problem. Cut and fit to suit.
Shadowclad replaced with steel in cladding evolution.
The front wall of the first home curves away from the street. We chose Shadowclad plywood for this wall as it easily bends around the curvature. David’s reclaimed timber strips add a splash of colour to the Monument-coloured cladding.
Living with the Shadowclad highlighted a couple of possible improvements.
Firstly, cleaning the rough textured surface with a brush and water needs care. Scrubbing hard to remove stubborn dirt wears the paint thin, leaving a patchy surface. To eliminate this concern on the second home, David replaced the Shadowclad with Klip-Lok steel. Turns out steel roofing sheets will clad a curved wall. Who knew? Maintenance is less of a worry since water and a soft brush can’t affect the coated steel.
Timber strips relocated.
Another modification was relocating the timber strip highlights. On the first home, David attached strips directly onto the ShadowClad. This combination looks great but makes repainting the cladding and oiling the timber a bit fiddly. Maintenance is not as easy as running a roller over the surface.
So, timber looks good against the Monument colour but the combination isn’t as low maintenance as we wanted. What to do? In a stroke of genius, David used timber strips to create stand-out frames for window and doors.
The difference is obvious when comparing kitchen windows. In the first house, the standard Aspect Windows frame sits snugly in the Shadowclad wall.
For the second home, the chunky timber strips emphasise the Aspect window against the surrounding steel cladding.
We used the same arrangement for the third home. The only difference is we swapped to Miglas windows so the external window frame is clad in aluminium. Without the wooden surround, the dark window frame could easily fade into the cladding.
Cladding evolution on the third home’s northern wall.
The cladding evolution continued with the northern walls on the homes.
We started with ShadowClad and decorative reclaimed timber strips on the first home.
Then we changed to Klip-Lok cladding and thicker window/door frames on the second.
Should we try something else for the third? Corten steel was mentioned as it develops a distinctive rusty appearance that complements the timber edging on the windows. David was pondering the possibilities one day when he noticed the stack of steel roofing taken from the old carport. Mmm, slightly rusty and already on the site? Why not go for “home-grown Corten”?
A tall, thin window in the main bedroom showcases the final version of cladding for the northern wall.
Various rust colours contrast with the honey colour of the oiled timber.
Some visitors worry about the cladding corroding all the way through. Yes, there is rust from the steel sitting on the carport roof for decades.
Looking at the roofing steel cross-section shows the thickness of this material. The surface rust has a long way to go before it penetrates completely. Now that the sheets are vertical, there’s little risk of water pooling and continuing to corrode.
Just for interest, a piece of Klip-Lok steel indicates how much thinner modern steel cladding sheets are than the old roof sheets.
Steel cladding protects eastern and western walls.
Klip-Lok steel is the low maintenance cladding of choice on the eastern and western walls of the first and second homes. Coated steel takes punishment from the Sun with minimal wear and tear.
No sign of a cladding evolution on the western wall of the third home.
For the eastern wall, though, David used steel sheets taken from the roof of the original house. Once again, he took advantage of what was already here.
Garden shed matches the house.
Back in early 2018, David built our garden shed (aka site office) and clad it with reclaimed materials. The shed sat in lonely splendour for a while before construction started on our first home.
Now, with the third home in place, the common themes in the house and shed cladding are apparent. Isn’t that reclaimed timber board and batten on the shed?
Looking around the side of the shed reveals carport steel roofing. Coincidence? I think not.
Not finished with cladding evolution yet.
Not all the cladding is finished. One item on the to-do list is the curved wall at the entrance. Eastern Brickworks will clad this with Timbercrete blocks.
David is also mulling over alternatives for the curved window in the dining room. Are we using wood? Is it going to be metal? What would look the best on a curve connecting two sections of reclaimed steel sheets?
I’ll let you know the outcome when those jobs are finished.