The main types of timber cladding in Brisbane are weatherboard and chamferboard and they are an integral part of Brisbane’s rich timber and tin history. A true weather board is wedge shaped and is fixed by overlapping one over another much like a shingle. A common version of a weatherboard is more accurately called a chamfer board which can be distinguished from its cousin by a distinct angled top edge and flat face.
From the early days of settlement in Brisbane, saw mills were established all over the city to service local building demands and each one produced a different profiles (shape and dimension) of chamfer board for the area they serviced. Modern saw mills have carried on this tradition to a large extent and this has caused some major issues in being able to source the correct profile when doing repairs or extensions to an existing property. Make no mistake – sourcing chamfer board for an 100 year old Queenslander is time consuming and sometimes “near enough” just has to be “good enough” unless you want to have some milled to match which can be costly.
Tip: Try Googling with dimensions and call timber merchants. You could also get lucky visiting your local house recyclers like Redshed.
Repair or Replace Chamforboard
- Lever the boards above and below away (up) from the damaged board. Tip; Use an off-cut under your crowbar so as not to mark your boards.
- Damaged single whole or part boards can be cut vertically with a circular saw set to a depth of 20mm (depth of board) and removed. Sometimes they need to be broken up with a hammer and chisel to remove as they are tightly fixed in a sandwich with little or no movement possible.
- Remove any nails that may obstruct the installation of the new board and install and fix.
- Caulk and paint as required.
Tip; If you are replacing a section of several boards and the replacement boards are slightly off size (which is likely) adjust the board in the tongue and groove to fake it in with the original boards before fixing. Small adjustments over several boards works best.
Fibre cement cladding has come a long way from the days of the old asbestos ridden fibro shack and is now, due to its versatility and cost, a building material of choice for many architects and builders. Modern building use of fibre cement sheeting is very similar to how it was used in the past. Fibre cement sheets are nailed to the external studs and the joins are then battened out creating a modern looking shadow line.
Tip; If replacing battens be sure to replace caulking
Caution: Fibre cement products, including sheeting, that are more than 15 years old can contain asbestos fibres and under no circumstances should be cut, drilled or broken. Link to advice on removal of asbestos
- Ideally older Fibre cement sheeting should be professionally removed and replaced with new cladding
- It is possible to seal fibre cement sheeting to render it safe.
- Painted fibre cement sheeting is safe unless disturbed (cut or drilled).
Modern fibre cement sheeting is ideal for bathrooms and kitchens as it does not rot and forms a perfect base for waterproofing membranes and tiles.
Blueboard or blue board, is a versatile method of achieving a rendered look on a framed construction and is used on both commercial projects and houses and even fences. The essential elements of blueboard construction;
- Timber stud frame includes top and bottom plates.
- Building wrap (vapour barrier) attached for habitable areas.
- Blueboard nailed or screwed to studs.
- Tape bedded into acrylic base coat for joins. (specialised products).
- 2 coats of acrylic render (rockcoat) – texture and colour optional.
Video Rockote Acrylic Rendering
Cement rendering large areas is a specialised process best left to the professionals but DIY rendering smaller areas and repairs can be undertaken with success by following these tips.
Tip; For the perfect render mix use an old paint can or bucket to measure the mix which should be – 6 parts sharp sand – 1 part cement – 1 part lime. Add water slowly and if your trowel stands up in it, its perfect. Check out the video for the Render It product which may suite for smaller jobs.
- If render is falling away use a bolster chisel to lever loose render out.
- Check for future problems by tapping render with trowel handle and listen for a drum sound which means the render is starting to detach. Remove this render also.
- Clean up the area (scrape and wire brush) and wet down with water.
- Apply first coat of render taking care not to overwork and drag moisture to the surface. If the area is shallow you may be able to work the render with a wooden float or flat piece of timber and finish with a slightly damp sponge.
- If deep – do not overfill – after about 45 minutes scratch surface with trowel or render comb and wait for it to dry. This is your scratch coat which your finish coat will adhere too. Tip; Using a small flat brick or paver – rub the area to flatten any high spots.
- Apply last coat of render and finish with wooden float and sponge.
Tools Required: Hawk (flat plate with handle underneath) large trowel, Steel and wooden float, Sponge (for smooth finish).
Tip; If you are cement rendering a large area attach some temporary rails the same thickness as the render to the wall you are working on. This will provide a screeding surface and the job will end up nice and flat.