Perfect Weatherboard home renovation with Hardie Plank Weatherboard

Fibre cement products help create a weatherboard house renovation

“The materials fit with our brief of having a beautiful, yet easy care, low maintenance home.”

An ugly 1980s two-storey duplex in central Nelson has been transformed into a contemporary, with an industrial twist picture perfect home using robust building products in smart ways to evoke a sense of place.

The home is defined by the identity of home owners, Johnny and Ana Stevenson. Johnny is a sea captain and Ana is an interior designer and stager who runs her own company, Open Home Ready, from home.

The transformation of the Stevensons’ home has been described by Architect, Tony Karsten of Karsten Architectural Design, as “quite immense”. After 16 months of renovation work, Ana is pleased to be able to receive clients at home and let the beautifully appointed home speak for itself.

“It is great to be able to share my experience with clients - the good, the bad, and the ugly. There are always compromises to be made. I enjoy the challenge of achieving what I envisaged, even if it had to come out of plan B… or sometimes F,” laughs Ana. “The feel and look of the property is just what we imagined when we first bought it as an ugly duckling four years ago.”

Contemporary with an industrial twist

ExoTec™ Facade Panel was used on the exterior to create an interesting form at the gable ends of the roof, which was a budget-friendly feature in lieu of changing the whole structure.

This solution was a perfect match for the original 1980s Hardie™ Plank Weatherboard on the top floor and provided a contemporary update to the home. To create the contemporary with an industrial twist look the Stevenson’s were seeking, two large windows on the street front were artfully screened by a fibreglass mesh typically used for walkways on commercial fishing boats operating out of Nelson Harbour, where sea captain Johnny works.

Hardie™ Flex Sheet
was used to create the fins for the screens. Architectural Designer, Tony Karsten, says, “[The screens] create a stealth profile and introduce some square contemporary forms to the exterior.”

The Hardie™ fibre cement products used provided a flexible, durable, and budget-friendly solution. The original Hardie™ Plank Weatherboards were in such good condition after 30 years that they only needed a quick paint.

Hardie™ Plank Weatherboard can be painted in a variety of colours, and provide design flexibility as well as peace of mind when it comes to durability. It allowed Ana to apply her selected colour palette – the “quite dark and moody” landscape of the Marlborough sounds – to both the interior and exterior.

“The materials fit with our brief of having a beautiful, yet easy care, low maintenance home.” Ana describes the difficulties of keeping to budget, “With a rebuild or renovation, the unknowns are unavoidable.” Tony advises others about to embark on a similar journey, “You must work with what you’ve got and have realistic goals. With the general cost of building at present, it is easy to aim too high and you will end up over-capitalising.”

He suggests looking for some good ‘bang for buck’ solutions. Because a wide range of decorative paint finishes can be used on both Hardie™ Plank Weatherboard and ExoTec™ Facade Panel, renovators are only limited by their own creativity.

“We saved hugely by not changing the roof pitch,” say the Stevenson’s. “The ExoTec™ Façade Panel adds graphic lines and the cavity system gives peace of mind regarding weatherproofing.” ExoTec™ Façade Panel is a fibre cement panel, designed as part of an expressed jointed system.

It is fully sealed, low-maintenance and has high impact resistance. To achieve a picture perfect look for your next new home build without the expense, talk to James Hardie today or visit our website for more inspirational home building stories.

James Hardie Captain Plan-it Nelson
Nelson. New Zealand
Project Type
Industry Professionals

Designed by Tony Karsten, Karsten Architectural Design and Ana Stevenson, Open Home Ready


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The Design Handbook


The Hardie™ Cladding Collection has a wide variety of products to select from, creating design versatility, in which It’s Possible™ to Make Modern like never before. It’s a movement that’s reshaping perceptions and changing the way New Zealand builds. This design handbook demonstrates that with great advice, support and inspiration, it’s possible to build a house you’re truly proud to come home to.


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