When Anne and Clive Kingdon chose to bring the timeless style of America’s east coast to East Sussex six years ago, they were embarking upon a complete transformation.
Although the couple weren’t actively seeking a project, they were captivated by the stunning views from a brickbuilt bungalow, and set about converting the property into a large two-storey home flanked by rolling gardens in 2008.
Eager to replicate the classic elegance of New England, the pair opted to render the bottom half of the house and add the clean lines of timber weatherboard to the top.
But they quickly ran into problems after the wooden cladding failed to stand up to the elements.
Anne explained: ‘As the back of the house is very exposed, the wood is subjected to driving rain, high winds and the heat of the sun. This caused the timber to expand and contract frequently, which resulted in blistering and peeling plus fading of the paint. The paint work was redone three times in our first four years and was costing us a small fortune.’
After researching more durable alternatives, Anne and Clive heard about HardieLinea® fibre cement cladding through a friend, and were impressed by the results seen on another property.
‘I saw the photographs on the website, investigated the product and we knew we wanted to go for it,’ said Anne.
‘So we started organising the project last October for the work to be done in the spring.’
Selecting the product in Boothbay Blue for its sturdy silhouette and sleek finish, Anne felt the advanced formulation fibre cement cladding would deliver the desired effect as well as provide long-term protection against the weather.
“I love the New England look and knew instantly that the HardieLinea was what we wanted,” she explains.
“It’s such a deep, chunky board, much less fussy than standard weatherboard, and gives a really clean line and smooth finish that looks very substantial. We’re delighted with it and hope it’ll last a long time.
‘I initially wanted a mid-grey but we ended up choosing the Boothbay Blue, which actually looks grey depending on the light and is a strong contrast against the render on the bottom half of the house.
‘I think the shade we chose looks fantastic and is very reminiscent of New England.’
Having been let down by an earlier firm, Anne and Clive brought in James Hardie preferred contractor Square Deal to undertake the work this summer.
The job took two and a half weeks to complete, with an additional day required to finish the garage.
‘Square Deal were really good and very professional,’ says Anne. ‘They turned up when they said they would, were extremely tidy and were nice guys. We were very happy with the service.’
With the house now finished and a glorious summer in progress, Anne feels the HardieLinea cladding has finally achieved the vision she had for her home and its strength added peace of mind for the future.
She says: ‘I particularly like the view from the back of the house, and was sitting in the garden the other day looking at it and thought, wow my house looks really stunning!’
‘I know it will save us money. When I compare what we were spending on maintenance we will have our money back in three years. Only now, it will look freshly painted all the time!”