ARTICLE Libby Schultz IMAGE Abodo/Jeremey Toth
How much does basic recladding cost?
If you’re recladding the likes of a sturdy statehouse, or a trusty brick-and-tile, your renovation project is likely to be straightforward. But even with a low-risk home, there’s still a chance you’ll find more than you bargained for.
The first thing to know about recladding costs is that your contractor probably can’t give you a 100% fixed price upfront. There are several factors that affect the cost – and only some of them are known from the outset.
Firstly, of course, there’s the size of your home. A one-level house will be more cost-effective to reclad than one with multiple storeys or a complex design. You’ll also pay more if your home is situated on a steep or tricky site because it will need more extensive scaffolding.
The cost will also depend on the amount of remedial work needed. The moment of truth arrives when you strip back your existing cladding and reveal the state of the framing underneath. Either your existing framing is in good shape, or it needs replacing.
One of Refresh Renovations' Consultants, says this is the single biggest factor that can affect the cost – and it’s also the biggest unknown.
What is the leaky home syndrome and why did it happen?
Problems like poor plaster cladding and design, coupled with shoddy building practices, are a perfect storm of bad surprises that have traditionally led to leaky homes. Plaster as a cladding got stuck with a bad name.
“Clients are telling us they want to get away from the stigma of plaster, whether it’s leaky or not,” say our Refresh Renovations Builders.
The year your house was built can provide clues to your level of risk, but "you won’t know for sure that your framing is sound until the framing has been exposed,” says Renovations Specialist Hailey English.
“And if you come across anything that isn’t up to code, it will have to be rectified.”
In one of her projects, the owners of a potentially leaky home had previously received the all-clear from their testing company.
“The owners still wanted to get rid of the plaster…and when we took the cladding off, a lot of the timber was in fact damaged and had to be replaced.”
What are the costs involved in the recladding?
Moisture-testing can never accurately predict the condition of the framing underneath, say our Refresh Renovations Builders, given that it’s done on a spot-testing basis. So when preparing estimates for her clients, she always includes a calculation for the ‘worst-case scenario’ of having to replace all the timber.
“As a very broad guideline, an average cost to replace all the timber, including labor, is around $7,000 per elevation,” she says.
“So that’s approximately $30,000 for a one-story home and $60,000 for a two-storey home.”
The more common scenario, though, is that only a proportion of the timber needs replacing. Any timber that is wet, decaying, moldy (or displaying black spores) will have to go.
“Once the framing is exposed, we engage an independent timber consultant who inspects it and tags the timber that needs to come out,” our renovation builders explain.
“After that’s replaced, we have to inject the new timber and all the existing remaining timber with a preservative compound.”
Do I need Building Consent for my recladding project?
As you’d expect, you may need paperwork for your recladding project. While state and local laws vary throughout the US, most US communities adopt the International Code Council's I-Codes, which address all aspects of single- and multifamily construction, from structural elements to systems such as heating, plumbing, electrical, ventilation, etc.
Another common pitfall is delayed inspections. Mis-timing these inspections is a common pitfall for first-time renovators, says Ben King, a construction manager with Refresh Renovations.
“You don’t want to be tools-down for two weeks while you wait for your inspection to happen,” says Ben.
“An experienced project manager knows to pre-book the inspections, then communicate with the builders to keep progress on track.”
If it looks like your project might be a bit more than anticipated, it is worth reading mid-range and high-end recladding costs to see the additional benefits you can get out of a higher-end recladding job.
Note: Prices are rough approximations only and Refresh Renovations cannot be held accountable for their accuracy. All prices in this article are exclusive of installation costs and any variations unless otherwise noted.
If you would like to discuss options and ideas for your next recladding or renovation project, please use the enquiry form alongside to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive inquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.