How much does it cost to re-clad your home on a basic budget in New Zealand?

Re-cladding a home in New Zealand on a basic budget is a significant undertaking, balancing cost with quality. This introduction will explore the key factors affecting re-cladding costs, focusing on affordable options. We’ll examine various materials like weatherboard, brick veneer, and fibre cement, noting how each choice impacts the overall expense. The discussion will also cover house size, design complexity, labour costs, regional price variations, and additional expenditures like insulation or structural repairs. This guide aims to clearly understand the financial aspects of re-cladding in New Zealand, helping homeowners make informed, budget-conscious decisions.

How much does basic recladding cost?

The cost of basic home recladding in New Zealand varies widely, primarily influenced by material choice, house size, and labour costs. Basic recladding can be affordable for homeowners looking to enhance their property’s exterior without a significant financial burden.

Material choice plays a pivotal role in determining the cost. Options like weatherboard, vinyl, and fibre cement are typically more budget-friendly than premium materials like brick veneer or high-end composites. The size of the house is another crucial factor; larger homes require more materials and labour, increasing the overall cost.

Labour costs also contribute significantly to the total expense. These can vary based on the complexity of the job, the contractor’s expertise, and regional differences in labour rates. Additionally, if the recladding project uncovers issues like structural damages or a need for better insulation, these repairs can add to the cost.

On a basic budget, homeowners should also consider the chosen materials’ long-term benefits and maintenance requirements, as some may offer better durability and lower maintenance costs over time, potentially offsetting the initial investment.

Given these variables, obtaining multiple quotes from reputable contractors and comparing materials and services is advisable to get a realistic estimate tailored to your specific needs and budget.

What is the leaky home syndrome, and why did it happen?

The ‘Leaky Home Syndrome’ is a significant issue affecting numerous New Zealand homes, primarily constructed between the late 1980s and early 2000s. This syndrome refers to buildings that suffer from serious moisture penetration problems, leading to structural damage, mould, and poor indoor air quality. Several factors contributed to this widespread problem:

  • Design Flaws: Many homes were designed with complex roof lines, monolithic cladding systems, and inadequate overhangs, allowing water to seep into the structure.
  • Building Materials: The use of certain cladding materials, unsuitable for New Zealand’s varied and often wet climate, compounded the problem.
  • Construction Practices: Faulty construction techniques, including inadequate sealing and flashing, made buildings more susceptible to water damage.
  • Regulatory Issues: Changes in building regulations during this period, aiming for more cost-effective construction, inadvertently led to lower building standards that didn’t adequately address water-tightness.

What are the costs involved in recladding?

The costs involved in recladding a home can vary significantly based on several factors:

  • Material Costs: Different cladding materials come with varying price tags. Options like timber weatherboard, vinyl, or fibre cement have different costs per square meter.
  • Size and Design of the Home: Larger homes or those with complex designs require more materials and labour, increasing the overall cost.
  • Labour Costs: The cost of skilled labour for recladding can vary regionally and also depends on the complexity of the work.
  • Preparatory Work: Any additional work, such as repairing underlying structural damage, removing old cladding, or updating insulation, adds to the cost.
  • Finishing Work: Costs related to painting, sealing, and other finishing touches post-recladding should also be considered.
  • Permit and Inspection Fees: Depending on local regulations, there may be costs associated with permits, inspections, and compliance with building codes.

Do I need Building Consent for my recladding project?

Whether you need building consent for your recladding project in New Zealand is an important consideration. Generally, building consent is required for most major renovation works, including recladding, as it significantly alters the exterior of a building. This consent aims to ensure that all renovations comply with the New Zealand Building Code, particularly in terms of structural integrity, weather-tightness, and safety.

The process involves submitting detailed plans of your project to the local council for approval. These plans should outline the scope of work, materials to be used, and how the project will adhere to the building standards. Obtaining this consent before commencing work is crucial, as failing can lead to legal issues, fines, and complications with insurance and future property sales.

Get in touch if you’re thinking about renovating

Getting professional advice is crucial if you’re considering a recladding project or any other form of renovation for your home. Specialists in building and renovation can provide valuable insights into the most suitable materials, designs, and approaches for your specific situation. They can also help navigate the legal and regulatory requirements, ensuring your project complies with local building codes and consent processes.

Don’t hesitate to contact licensed building practitioners, architects, or renovation specialists. They can offer guidance tailored to your needs and help ensure that your renovation project is successfully compliant and enhances the value and functionality of your home.


Recladding your home in New Zealand is a significant decision that requires careful planning and consideration. Understanding the necessity of building consent, the factors affecting the cost, and the implications of the Leaky Home Syndrome are crucial in undertaking a successful renovation. By seeking professional advice and ensuring compliance with local regulations, homeowners can navigate the complexities of recladding, ultimately achieving a renovation that not only revitalises the appearance of their home but also enhances its longevity and performance. With the right approach and expert guidance, recladding can be a rewarding investment in your property.

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