Little Nerd is at his Oma’s house, Mr Nerd is at work, the dog and the baby are down and I’ve had two coffees by 9am. What better time to snatch some blogging time at my desk and hastily share some progress photos of our Scyon Walls cladding makeover. (If you haven’t seen our before photos, you can check those out here and see our plans for the design here.)
Firstly, we still haven’t 100 percent finished the whole project. I mean, we finished with the cladding part LONG ago. (The awesome guys from TJP Carpentry smashed that out in about two weeks in summer). But the rest of the work has ended up trickling on, only because we’ve ended up turning this into a full outdoor/garden renovation. Yes, we could have just done the cladding and painted the existing gutters and fascias, and the house would already have looked a TON better. But we realised this was a great opportunity to finally do everything we’ve always wanted to do to this house and its gardens properly – which included big tasks, like removing the old rusty single carport and replacing it with a new double one, demo-ing the old sunroom, and extending our existing driveway.
So this post is not a full reveal/before and after… however so many people have been emailing and DMing me to ask about this project and if I can post the reveal yet, and I feel so bad that I haven’t, because I really love the interest so many people have shown for our project and I appreciate all the support and encouragement I get from you guys. I just have to confess I am a typical blogger and I LOVE the satisfying punch of a great fully completed before and after. But I was reading a post by one of my two favourite design/renovation bloggers the other day, Daniel Kanter who writes Manhattan Nest, and he was talking about how he was making more of an effort to post progress posts even if something wasn’t finished and polished and pretty, because sometimes ages can go by and you can forget all the progress you HAVE made, and real life isn’t all about perfectly neatly finished projects in perfect neat time frames. And I was like yep, I need to do that too. (Also, if you haven’t ever read Manhattan Nest, you NEED to. You will love it. Daniel is the funniest dude, great taste, heart of gold, insanely cute dog Mekko (and I tell you all this at great personal risk, because if you discover him you may very well dump me forever in favour of delving into his archives for the rest of your life. Enjoy, though). That all said, even though we haven’t finished EVERYTHING we want to do, the house does look SO much better. So with only a few things left to do and some bits of tidying up, here’s how it’s looking today. As you can see, not all totally finished, but definitely getting there.
Here’s what we’ve ended up doing to The House Formerly Known as the Crap Shack:
- Had the house fully cladded in Scyon Walls Axon and Stria by TJP Carpentry.
- Painted all the cladding. (I guilted numerous family members into helping me paint the cladding (I’m not above using the pregnancy card… but in my defense, I will toil from dawn to dusk myself… well from 10am to dusk, I’m not a morning person. Look at me painting eight months pregnant, guys).
- Fixed the broken tiles on the roof and put in new valleys.
- Had new gutters, downpipes and fascias installed. We used Westcoat for our roofing needs; we thought they were great.
- Had the existing carport enclosed by the TJP Carpentry team to make it a single garage.
- Knocked off the old single carport/bin patio at the front.
- Had the retaining wall at the front side of the garden built. We had this done by Chris and co from Landscape a Lot and they did a brilliant job.
- Replaced the old carport with a new double carport (Mr Nerd’s dream carport, all he has ever wanted in life is to park two cars side by side). We had our new carport installed by Great Aussie Patios and love it.
- Had the concrete driveway extended.
- Got sexy new outdoor lights! Thank you Montauk Lighting Co. Even if we ever move house, I am taking these lights with me.
- Knocked off the old 1970s sunroom at the back.
- Knocked off the old carport that was in the back garden.
- Goodbye crapapple tree! I pulled that eight year old tree out literally in one small tug with one hand… no wonder it hadn’t exactly established.
- Got new house numbers! Hey you have to celebrate the smallest steps. I got our house numbers via this Etsy seller.
- Chopped off the brick side wall on the left side and put a gate there instead.
- Planned and submitted plans to council for a big covered back alfresco entertaining area with a deck (this is the next stage!)
- Removed some plants to make way for the cladding and/or other parts of the project (sob. I get so territorial and hostile when I learn a plant has to be removed and thus will potentially die. I think I probably was a plant in a past life. A short past life).
- Put in a soakwell where the new part of the driveway is to go.
- Some planting to get the gardens looking more lush. I cannot get enough of crazy overgrown gardens spilling over with plants – my kind of garden.
Phew! We’ve done it in stages – saving up for each part and doing it as we go, which I think will always take a little longer. We also had a couple of little hold-ups from council-related things.
We’ve got a few more things to go:
- Add the new back patio – the next big stage.
- Install a deck under the new back patio.
- Let my vast hordes of pot plants invade the new deck. I seriously cannot WAIT to arrange all my plants on my future deck. My plants and I have been waiting for this day for a long, long time.
- Eventually level the back lawn and bring it up a little closer to the house.
- Paint the new driveway (we were initially thinking a deep reddish brown to tie in with the roof, since changed our minds and might do a light grey as the lighter colour seems to open up the garden more).
- Redo part of the limestone beds.
- Pour gravel down the sides of the house.
- Replant parts of the garden beds (I plan on plundering my poor parents’ garden for cuttings so I can do a mass of agaves).
I’ve gotten a load of questions about the cladding – here are some of my most common ones and my answers. Please be gentle on my fuddled baby brain, but definitely do feel free to ask any more in the comments below. (Use small words please, ha!) The most common question I get – understandably – is in regards to costing.
So how much does it cost to clad a house?
The amount of Scyon product we used for our renovation was around $8,800 – for us, this was gifted to us in exchange for my blog coverage – and then we paid for labour.
I am totally going off our (limited) experience here but I think I can safely say that if you are outsourcing the work to a carpenter or builder, you could expect to pay a minimum of $11 – 14k for labour and additional material costs (framing timber to create the battens, fixings, window flashings, corner stops).
We had one company out to quote for the cladding of the house and they quoted us $80,000! That wasn’t with the cost of cladding and materials, by the way.
If it’s a reno and you need things removed, ie: hot water unit, split-system air-con units, factor in the cost of getting electricians/plumbers out. You could also minimise these costs by not cladding your utility wall. It’s very common, even in luxury builds, to have the little-seen utility wall not clad, and have it left brick or rendered. But I’m very happy we did ours. It looks a thousand times tidier than what it did, as you can see in the pics above, so was well worth it.
Also don’t forget the cost of paint (my intel suggests this is about $18 per sqm). We painted ourselves to save costs, and paint cost about $1200.
So all up I would say to do an entire three bedroom two bathroom brick house I think you could expect to pay around $21,000 to $24,000 minimum for labour and cladding if you get it done professionally.
If you are handy and dedicated, you could do it yourself and save on carpentry costs for sure.
I get a lot of messages from people who LOVE cladding and really want to use it but the cost of doing a whole house is out of their renovation budget. An idea I often suggest is just doing a part of their home in cladding, like a section or a feature wall. You can make that a design highlight and save on other areas ie: by painting your brick, leaving brick exposed etc, rendering or bagging brick etc. It’s a lower-cost way to introduce cladding into your exterior design for lots of impact.
What things can affect the cost of cladding a house?
The style of Scyon Walls cladding you plan to use. For example Axon, which comes in large panels, is generally quicker and less labour-intensive to install than Stria, which comes in planks.
Size of your house (and whether single storey or two).
Whether it’s a renovation or new-build.
How much of the house you plan to do.
How many cuts and corners your house will require – ie: for windows, door openings, pillars.
How complicated your job is, obviously. For example we had our open-style carport enclosed with cladding, basically building a wall out of the cladding, which added to the cost.
If you are going for a company to put your cladding up, we definitely think you should get three quotes (at least). Our quotes varied hugely. (Also, the cheapest quote may not be the best!) We were so very happy with the guys we went with, Tim and his team from TJP Carpentry and we would recommend them highly.
How much would it cost to do just the front elevation of my house?
If you want to do your front façade only, I would advise taking the cost of the above for our whole house (materials + labour) and work out 30-35% of it and use that as a rough guide. (Please don’t ask me to do the maths myself right now. My baby brain will implode. The other night we had friends over for dinner and I was telling a story (well trying to) and I legit said, “What’s that word for when you take one language and you try to make it into another language? Deciphering?” Jesus Christ. And then I forgot the end of my story. In fact even now when I think back to Saturday night I can’t even remember what my story was about. But I’m sure it was amazing).
I really want to do some Scyon on our house but my partner doesn’t want to do the whole thing – do you think you have to clad the whole house?
I definitely don’t think you have to clad an entire house to give it a great new look. While we did, that was because the house was such a mess! It was a total hodgepodge of finished render, plaster and exposed brick, particularly that amazing side wall where you can see we just got bored of rendering and gave up, about six years ago. We wanted to do the whole house – except the (now) internal garage wall which we left as render and painted. But I think you can do part and it can look just as great. Like a feature wall, a ‘box’ feature, your western wall, alfresco entertaining area, balcony or front façade only. Paint any existing 70s or 80s brick (or stone – I love painted stone) black or white and add in cladding! A perfect way for getting a mixed materials look which is so on-trend now anyway.
And doing just a section is great if you want to revamp part of your house or modernise it or add a feature without spending a lot of money. I can’t find the link but the lovely Ascher Smith has clad some old fencing in Scyon for projects and it looks superb. Another of my readers is thinking of cladding an outdoor sauna in Scyon. I’ve seen it done on cubbyhouses and sheds. The product has so many uses – it’s not just limited to houses and that is partly why I am such a fan.
Did you affix the Axon cladding over the render? If not how did you affix the product?
Our carpenters drilled timber battens onto the rendered walls and then affixed the Axon panels to the battens. This progress post I published here will give you some idea. They did an awesome job but it can also be done if you’re good at DIY. Scyon Stria is a bit more complex to DIY (you basically build a frame and slot the pieces in).
Where can I buy Scyon Walls cladding from?
Loads of places sell Scyon panels including Bunnings trade centres – you can visit the Find a Stockist part of their website here and type in your postcode, easy-peasy.
What colours did you paint the cladding?
We went with Dulux Natural White and Monument. The reason we liked Monument is it’s nice and dark and also a Colorbond colour so would be easy to match with the gutters, fascias and carport posts and downpipes. I had always wanted to do black, white and timber from the start.
How did you paint the cladding?
With brushes! You can use a roller or spray paint. But we thought with brushes gave the best effect even though it was labour-intensive.
What is the timber used to the feature wall?
Cedar cladding that we oiled.
Am I being weird if I ask what does the cladding feel like?
Not being weird! Scyon is a lightweight cement composite. The best way I can describe it in my current fugue newborn state is it’s not rough but not super-smooth. Once painted it feels nice. It feels a hell of a lot nicer than the horrible render we had before – I was always scabbing my knuckles or elbows on it or catching and grazing the leather of my handbag on it! You can go touch Scyon in person at the Scyon Walls exhibit at Home Base Expo in Subiaco.
That’s about it for now! Please let me know if you have any other questions and I will do my best to translate or decipher a response for you 😉 Maya x
You can see more transformations and renovations at scyon.com.au.