Sunday, 12 May 2019

A Modern Tone for the Future of the Average Australian Home

Do you love the romantic notion of living in a historical architecturally rich home? Well, according to the findings of a James Hardie survey, Australia’s younger home owners are preparing to end the country’s love affair with brick houses.
The findings of the study indicates that of all the people surveyed who have built their home in the past five years, or are currently planning to do so, only one third preferred the traditional brick cladding or veneer facades found in quintessential Aussie properties. Meanwhile 44% preferred to use a mix of cladding types and styles including horizontal, vertical and panel arrangements. This trend clearly points toward a preference for modern, seamless design.
According to Cathleya Buchanan, Australian Marketing Director at James Hardie, data shows that almost one in three (31%) new builds are being undertaken by people under 30. These younger home owners are most likely to want a contemporary appearance that mixes a number of building materials and profiles to ensure their home doesn’t look dated in the near future. 
However, unlike other styles such as Queenslander and Hamptons, this modern movement encompasses a number of looks. The term modern is used in housing in the same way that pop is used in music, it’s not just one thing and is constantly evolving. The term is used for anything from updated versions of established trends like ‘modern coastal’ and ‘Mid-Century Modern’, through to ‘Minimalist’ and ‘Designer Mixed Cladding’ aesthetics. There is a clear preference leaning to clean, angular lines, monochrome palettes, cantilevered second levels and open plan spaces, while moving away from detailing such as eaves and balustrades. These basic tenants of modern design drive toward new materials like Premium Fibre Cement Cladding, which can be used to create strong, striking shapes. It’s also lightweight making it suited to large open-plan spaces and second stories and overhangs.
While the market is softening following the 2015 building boom, there are still a large number of new builds compared to historic standards. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures there were a record number of homes under construction in NSW in 2018, while Victoria was marginally below its own construction record so while numbers have and will likely continue to fall, there are still a considerable number of projects being planned or finalised in 2019.
The trend, which will affect approximately one million new build homes is being driven by higher value projects, with more home owners working with an architect or designer (61%) requesting an individualised modern look, compared to a those using a volume builder (44%).

When asked to choose the most important factor of their project four out of five (80%) prioritised the look of their property over the cost (70%). However, it’s important to know how to communicate your aesthetic to your architect or builder.

According to Cathleya, we all want a home that reflects our tastes and lifestyles, which is why it’s important to know how to communicate what you want, for example the research shows that what most home owners call ‘modern’ is referred to as ‘contemporary’ by architects and building professionals. It’s also important to specify the right materials, with two thirds (65%) of young home owners citing this as an important part of their project.
The move away from the brick look is being driven by a preference for building products that help create architectural design motifs. Modern looks require more design variation using modern materials, such as James Hardie’s range of Premium Fibre Cement Cladding, including the large panel format of Matrix Cladding, or the vertical lines of Axon Cladding. Combining these and other profiles can deliver striking features like floating walls, overhangs, and protective cantilevers that define a contemporary style.
Considering the longevity of the property when defining your vision is also very important. It is important to avoid focusing on the finished home, without thinking about its longevity. No one wants to deal with ongoing maintenance, which is where Premium Fibre Cement Cladding adds another benefit as it resists flaking, warping or swelling, as well as fire and damage from termites and moisture.

If you would like to read more about renovating or re-building your own home from scratch, read this blog post: Beyond Renovation - When to Consider a Knock Down Rebuild Project!

Till next time... what do you prefer? A romantic old brick building or a modern build with trendy cladding?


About Scyon
The Scyon™ brand is owned by James Hardie Technologies™ Ltd and was invented in the research and development facility at James Hardie Rosehill, NSW. Launched in 2006, Scyon products are made from sand, cement and cellulose. Scyon is manufactured at plants in Rosehill, NSW, Carole Park, QLD and Pernose in Auckland, New Zealand.

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