Should I Reclad My Plaster Home?

We get a variety of valid questions from plaster home owners during building inspections. Some of these questions come from a ‘slightly worried’ mindset about the cladding on their home, and what the public perception is about plaster cladding systems.

Should you reclad your home, even if it’s not leaking?

The short answer is “No”. You don’t need to reclad unless the home is so far rotted that the toxic black mould is a health hazard, or the rot is causing structural integrity problems. Most homes have targeted areas that are leaking that need to be repaired… both the leak source and any damage caused as a result of the leak or moisture ingress.

There have been cases in NZ where reclad companies have convinced the property owner it’s a leaky home and needs to be reclad, only to find once the cladding is removed the timber frame is perfectly OK around the majority of the home.

 It’s true that recladding a house does increase the overall value of the home, but are you over capitalising?

How much does it cost to reclad a plaster house in NZ?

This will vary from company to company, but let us say for the purposes of this exercise that it will be $750 per square meter of floor area. For example, your home might be 200sqm, therefore it could cost $150,000.

Should I ‘bite the bullet’ and just reclad the home anyway?

If you plan to stay in the home long term, from our experience, the home owner will simply fix the detected leaks and subsequent damage… then maintain the home properly to avoid the same mistake in the future.

If you plan to sell, then you would need to ‘run the numbers’ and determine if it’s all worth it. If you spend $150k, will you get more than that back with the upgrade, or will you only break even on the deal after the process of moving out, paying fee’s here and there, stressing out, having the reclad all over your LIM report etc etc.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to numbers. Some builders buy leaky homes as a business… but normally from the price of the land only. When they slice the home open, some of them find it wasn’t so bad after all and go on to make a handsome profit.

It’s true that you automatically get thrown into the ‘potential leaky home’ basket, even if your home isn’t leaking… so work through every ‘numbers’ scenario you can. Maybe get a couple of free quotes from recladding services and you’ll possibly find it’s actually a good option to reclad in weatherboard… the cladding most Kiwi’s feel comfortable with and trust.

Keep in mind that you may need consent to do target repairs.

First… you need to know if it’s leaking or not! We can help you in that area from a non-biased point of view, as we don’t sell repair or recladding services at the end of the job.