HardiePlank®: Creating fabulous fascias in Essex

With nearly three decades of experience in the cladding and roofline business, Gary Stevens knows what works.

The owner of family business The Fabulous Fascia Company Ltd, Gary has been providing high-quality improvements on homes, schools and commercial properties across East Anglia for years, but says he hasn’t found anything to match the quality and long-lasting results of HardiePlank® weatherboard.

Hunting for an improvement on established products he was using, Gary had HardiePlank cladding recommended to him, and found the versatility and durability of the fibre cement weatherboard impossible to ignore. Although most people viewed it as a “new-build” material, we saw straightaway the potential for refurbishing existing homes, offering something different and vastly superior to what was out there up to that moment.

“It’s the way it looks” said Gary.

“As soon as I was introduced to HardiePlank I was hooked – the product is so superior to plastic, even better than the grained plastic we were previously working with.

“HardiePlank can be used in a traditional or modern way, it’s quite universal in its appeal and there are very few houses it’s not appropriate on, particularly with the choice of colours. In fact, we are the first company to put up all of the 21 colours, and we have installed to old and new houses, on chalets and mobile homes, on traditional cottages, and on schools and flats.

“The more people see and hear about James Hardie, the more they fall in love with it. When we go to see people in their homes, I’ve found that they may not be familiar with the product, but people love it once they’re introduced to it. “There is definitely more awareness now, customers like the cedar grain effect, the authentic ‘wood’ look.”

Five times thicker than vinyl cladding, resistant to fire, moisture, rot, or pest and able to withstand winds of up to 150mph, the product’s low maintenance and upkeep appealed to Gary. He believes HardiePlank cladding is delivering not only great visible results for his clients, but long-lasting reassurance there will be no further outlay on keeping that look.

“Our company is very well known, we get a lot of work because they’ve seen our work everywhere,” said Gary. “People like HardiePlank because it’s strong and low maintenance. Particularly in coastal areas they really see the benefits as they have to deal with the weather, because here in East Anglia, homeowners are faced with dirty, sandy rain that normally damages the fascia or shows the dirt. Hardie protects them from that.”

As James Hardie preferred contractors, Gary’s installers underwent rigorous training and assessment to ensure a perfect fit every time. It is crucial to fit HardiePlank boards the Hardie way”, adds Gary, “all too often people put it up the wrong way, either because it is quicker or because they simply do not know what they are doing.

Having worked with other materials, the flexibility of HardiePlank to create any kind of design quickly became popular amongst the team.

“We’ve developed a real pride,” said Gary.

“We felt we had something that’s a first-class product and we could offer a first-class fitting service.

“We found something that is so much better than plastic and other cladding materials – if you choose a white plastic it can get dirty very quickly and the foiled plastic colours have a tendency to bubble and warp after time. I never have to worry when I install James Hardie cladding.”

With the customer’s satisfaction central to his business, Gary says the broad range of colours and ability to create classic or contemporary looks can deliver the desired style and character to each project.

“We like to sell the best quality products that we can” he said.

“This product really will change houses. The reaction from customers has always been that they are really pleased, something that I never got with plastic. I also really love the colour range and always try to make people think outside the box, when designing the improvements to their home. I go into a meeting with a homeowner thinking ‘how can we transform your house?” Nearly nine years after our first installation, we have hundreds and hundreds of transformed homes, and just as many satisfied customers.

“HardiePlank® weatherboard is universal in its appeal and there are very few houses it’s not appropriate on, particularly with the choice of colours.”

At a glance

- Fabulous Fascias has been providing refurbishments for homeowners across the South East
- The firm has now used all 21 colours of HardiePlank® weatherboard on a variety of projects