5 min read

Front Runners: First impressions count with façades

Make a good impression with the façade of your new home – with show stopping choices that put you front and centre.

Perhaps you can’t judge a book by its cover, but plenty of people judge a home by its front façade. Your home’s street appeal says so much – about your style, the way you live and your neighbourhood – so choosing your exterior is probably one of the most important decisions you will make when building.

There are many things to consider when choosing your façade, including resale value, council restrictions, your own aesthetic, as well as practicality. Here’s a few things to keep in mind when deciding on the look of your exterior.

Where to start

A great place to start is with PGH Bricks’ Style Quiz, which will help you identify the styles and looks you are drawn to and create your own moodboard that reflects your choices. Monier Roofing also has a great round up of popular exterior looks, complete with details such as outdoor accessories and garage doors which are helpful starting points. Both tools offer up-to-date inspirational imagery, professional knowledge and user-friendly cutting-edge tools that allow you to feel confident in your choices.

It’s important to know that if you are building or renovating in an established neighbourhood, you will need to check with your local authorities regarding the front façade. Some new suburbs also have rules about material choices and colours. Councils have guidelines regarding setbacks, styles of houses and some even require approval of exterior paint colours. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to take a look at recent renovations or builds in your neighbourhood to get an idea of the sort of aesthetic likely to meet with council approval. If you are doing a Knockdown/Rebuild, most councils will want a new building to be in keeping with the existing streetscape.

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Online Tools

If you are having difficulty choosing and visualising a façade for your home, there are several online tools that will help you understand what your choices will look like in real life.

Once you feel comfortable with the style of home you are after, take a look at the iDESIGN program by CSR, which will allow you to choose styles of facades, materials available and even paint colours on some of the most popular exterior designs.

Choose from styles such as Australian Coastal, Hamptons, Scandi, Ultra Contemporary or Urban Industrial and play around with different colour and material combinations until you have the look you are after.

Mix and match bricks, roof tiles, Cemintel weatherboards and Hebel walls to see how your chosen aesthetic can look in different colour combinations, and give guidance on details such as guttering, roofing line and feature walls.

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Street Appeal

Depending on whether this is your forever home or the perfect-for-right-now home, it’s important to keep resale value in mind when choosing your façade. Street appeal can make all the difference when selling a house, and can help you achieve a higher price, especially when you are in an established neighbourhood.

Real estate agent and veteran of four series of The Block, Jesse Raeburn says that the front façade is the most important decision facing homeowners when they decide to sell, because that’s what potential buyers see first and if you don’t get them through the door in the first instance, you’ve lost them forever.

“I think whenever building a new home or designing a new home, street appeal is one of the most important factors to ultimately getting a good sale,” he says. “You get one chance to make a first impression.”

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Popular Home Styles

The Hamptons look still reigns supreme for new builds, with most volume builders offering variations on this classic style of home. The Hamptons look has also evolved into a more relaxed Australian take on the aesthetic, creating what is often called an Australian Coastal style, which usually features large verandahs and a neutral colour palette. Cemintel’s Street Style collection offers the perfect range to achieve this look, providing both classic styling and a hard-wearing façade.

Mid-century modern is rising in popularity as an exterior style, as displayed by Tanya and Vito’s home on The Block in 2021. The couple created this look using Cemintel Edge cladding to create a style which is particularly popular in the southern states and established suburbs. This bold aesthetic perfectly matches the trend towards mid-century interiors and furniture.

Contemporary facades continue to be a popular choice in newer suburbs, with homeowners appreciating streamlined material choices and slick design details. Angled roof lines are a favourite choice of this style, creating a dramatic and striking first impression.

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Maintenance Of Your Facade

Different façade materials will require different types of maintenance.

Bricks are largely maintenance-free, just needing an occasional brush or hose down to ensure that they stay clean and tidy. Older brick houses may require repointing or tuckpointing, which is a process that involves renewing the external parts of the mortar joints. This was a popular design statement of the 1920s and 30s and is generally not a structural requirement, but done more for aesthetic or heritage reasons.

Cemintel can be installed primed and ready to paint, or pre-finished, which allows you to install without the need for painting – a great time and cost saver.

Building with Hebel gives you the reassurance your fully rendered home will look beautiful and your design and comfort needs are met. Hebel external walls are rendered with an acrylic coating system, giving you the freedom to choose from a wide palette of contemporary colours.

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