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Recladding a heritage house

In New Zealand's urban areas many homes built pre-1930 are considered to have historic significance, or heritage value.

Preserving the historical and architectural integrity of heritage homes (or any architecturally significant home) is compulsory in some areas and is a delicate task that demands careful consideration, especially when it comes to recladding.

While recladding can improve the aesthetics and structural integrity of a heritage house, it also carries the responsibility of maintaining its intrinsic value and unique character.

Here are some essential considerations when embarking on the journey of recladding a house with heritage value:

  1. Research and Compliance: Before initiating any recladding project, thorough research is paramount. Understanding the heritage regulations and guidelines applicable to your property is important. Many heritage homes are subject to strict preservation rules to maintain their historical significance. We ensure that your recladding plans align with these requirements to avoid any planning complications. Another feature of pre-1930's housing was the proximity houses had to one another. Sound transmission and Fire protection requirements in particular are much more stringent now than they were in the early 1900's. Bespoke solutions for achieving fire ratings for cladding and openings almost always have an impact on the reclad.

  2. Respect the Original Design: Heritage houses often boast unique architectural features like shingles, fenestration and design elements that reflect the era in which they were built. When recladding, it's crucial to respect and preserve these original characteristics. Choosing materials, colors, and textures that complement the existing style of the house is assessed as part of the planning approval. We strive for a seamless blend between old and new.

  3. Material Selection: Selecting the right materials is crucial for a successful recladding project. We opt for high-quality materials that offer durability and longevity while also maintaining the aesthetic appeal of the heritage home. Traditional materials such as wood, brick, or stone in South Island areas are often preferred for heritage recladding, as they complement the original construction and add to the authenticity of the property.

  4. Weather Resistance: Heritage homes are often more susceptible to weather-related damage due to their age. When recladding, prioritize weather-resistant materials that can withstand the elements and protect the underlying structure. Proper insulation and moisture barriers are essential to safeguard the interior and prevent issues such as rot or mold.

  5. Underlying issues Common underlying issues with heritage homes relate to the underlying structure. Many older homes are built on timber piles that are over 100 years old and rotten with concrete or clay bricks around the perimeter which is often shallow or sitting on poor quality ground. Almost all heritage homes have a bit of a lean on them. There are a few different ways to correct the foundations or work with the house in it's existing state, each situation will be slightly different and requires the guidance of a structural engineer.

  6. Consultation with Experts: Recladding a heritage house is not a task to be taken lightly. Seek guidance from heritage conservation experts, people like us who have experience in recladding historic homes, and experienced contractors who specialize in historic preservation. Their expertise can provide invaluable insights into preserving the integrity of the home while ensuring structural stability and compliance with heritage regulations.

  7. Budget and Timeline: Recladding a heritage house can be a significant investment both in terms of time and money. After an initial consultation we can help set a realistic budget and timeline for the project, taking into account factors such as material costs, labour expenses, and any unforeseen challenges that may arise during the process. Be prepared for potential delays, especially when working with older structures that inevitably will reveal some hidden issues.

  8. Future Maintenance: We always consider the long-term maintenance requirements of the building envelope in material selections. Choosing materials that are easy to maintain and require minimal upkeep to preserve the appearance and integrity of the house for years to come. Regular inspections and maintenance routines will help prevent deterioration and prolong the life of the recladding.

In short recladding a house with heritage value is a meticulous endeavor that requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a deep respect for the property's history and architectural significance.

By considering these essential factors and consulting with experts such as ourselves, you can ensure that your recladding project enhances the beauty and longevity of the heritage home while preserving its timeless legacy for future generations to admire.

To find out more about our recladding process download our Investment guide to recladding your home.

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