Light and linear with Oblique Weatherboard
A striking use of line and space with Oblique Weatherboard
This two-storey builder’s own home demanded an attractive weatherboard cladding that’s lightweight, stable and low maintenance.
When Jack and Zoe Williams briefed their friend Mitchell Coll of Fabric to design their next family home, they knew he could be trusted to come up with the goods. But they also knew he’d be up against a couple of major challenges.
Firstly, their building site was just 450m2. Secondly, the new home had to meet strict earthquake engineering standards – previously the site was occupied by a three-storey home that had to be demolished following the Christchurch earthquakes. Jack and Zoe also wanted a home that wouldn’t be noisy in the wind, because the site is in an exposed hillside location.
“Mitchell designed our previous house on the other side of the hill, but we had a growing family and needed a different layout. This time we built with living areas on the ground floor, so we can flow out onto the deck.
“Our previous house had the same look, but we used metal cladding and in the wind it used to make quite a bit of noise. Like an oil can or drum. This time we wanted an inflexible product, like a weatherboard,” says Jack.
For the Williams’ new house, Mitchell Coll chose to clad the upper storey in Oblique™ Weatherboard by James Hardie, a fibre cement product that offers superior wind protection and low maintenance. Oblique™ Weatherboard is also much lighter than other rigid claddings, making it ideal for use in an earthquake zone.
“Jack hadn’t worked with Oblique Weatherboard before, but he wasn’t happy with the iron cladding he had on his previous house. I’d used Linea™ Weatherboard for a few projects and always had good feedback, especially in terms of it being easy to install. Jack’s team reported the same,” says Mitchell.
Mitchell wanted the home to look tall, with a dark-painted upper storey that appears to float above the white lower storey. To achieve this, Oblique Weatherboard has been used vertically and painted to match the roofing in a colour called Resene Element.
“We get comments from the builders every time. They say how surprised they are about how easy it is to put up and line up. And Oblique Weatherboard has the ability to take a darker finish and still be very low maintenance, which was crucial to this project because of the difficult access to the site. Oblique Weatherboard is our go-to product when we find ourselves in a situation where we need a highly durable material with low-maintenance needs.”
Jack was too busy with projects for his company Williams Elvidge to build the new home himself, so he handed the task to two of his builders. Before the Oblique Weatherboard was installed, he and his team received a support visit from James Hardie rep John Fitzgerald.
“The rep from James Hardie was great. He came out on site and gave us a run through, because it was the first time we’ve used Oblique Weatherboard. I found James Hardie really helpful and very approachable, and they have fantastic field support.”
The resulting home is a head turner that’s tall, handsome and pleasingly quiet on windy days. Jack, Zoe and their kids are enjoying a family-size home with the low maintenance convenience usually reserved for apartment living.