Building designer Reece Keil created a low-maintenance home for a professional Gold Coast couple, who approached him after hearing about his progressive and responsive design boutique.
The client brief was looking for a very low maintenance home with a design that maximized views of the Surfers Paradise waters at the front of the property, while absorbing the northern aspect from the same direction.
Keil chose Cemintel® Territory Woodlands for its visual appeal and, more importantly, for its minimal maintenance quality. The coating is made of cement, bonded with fibrous wood particles, pressed with a surface texture and prefinished using a durable paint process, where the paint itself has a platinum coating technology that protects against UV damage and fading.
When given the brief, Keil had to do some research to find a product that would tick all the boxes. Participating in the testing of new products and the use of materials that are not so commonly used, Keil wanted to give Territory the spotlight on this home.
“If they have something different to offer, and in this case it was pre-finished and this realistic-looking rough sawn finish, that’s going to spark interest, and that’s what I want, spark interest. interest.”
Due to the pre-finished nature of this siding, there is no touching up or painting required even years after installation, making it a quick decision for Keil and his client. “Once you install it, you don’t need to touch it again.”
Selling the concept to the client, Keil said, “They are very proud of the house and they like to talk about house stuff, products and so on. I showed them some samples and we sat them in the sun, in the rain, in the shade and all that, and we went through the acceptance process. They took it all on board and loved it, loved what it was, and finally used it.
Available in a variety of colors, Keil chose to use two of the color selections for this project. Keeping the overall light of the palette to suit the coastal environment, Territory Woodlands Limed was used for the front facade, while Territory Woodlands Whitewash was used for the secondary elevation above the rear garage. Keil worried that the coating was not light enough, but the depth created from the different colors gave a dynamic and appealing aesthetic. He says, “(The territory) gives the house different identities throughout the day, depending on the weather.”
The coating can look quite white in the sun and takes on a creamy look later on when evening sets in.
Installing siding like this provided a nice contrast to the neighbour’s architecturally designed brick dwelling. Keil’s design had to compete with another equally interesting building. The use of Cemintel products allowed the two houses to sit proudly next to each other, both striking, yet very different. In fact, the coating of Keil’s design is so different that it arouses great curiosity among passers-by. The client has been there for over a year and he likes that everyone always asks about it.
When asked to describe Cemintel Territory’s finish, Keil replied, “It’s textural, it’s natural to look at from afar. The good thing about it, especially in this case, is that a lot of people who see this house don’t know what it is, they immediately think it’s wood because it has l rough sawn appearance and you cannot pick up a repeating pattern in it.
“So right away people’s minds go to wood and then they start thinking about maintenance and it looks great, but it’s going to take all that maintenance equipment. And then once you start explaining to them what it is, they love it because it gives the look people want without the upkeep.
Compared to other pre-finished materials that don’t look as realistic or have to be repainted every 5 years, the Territory is a premium, low-maintenance product.
Teamwork is the source of a dream job
Being a reasonably newer material to market, this project was the first time Cemintel territory had been used by Keil and the builder, Tidal Constructions. The cladding comes in the form of three meter long planks, joined together with a weather resistant tongue and groove joint.
The biggest challenge on site resulted from the beautifully curved walls, which wrap around the side of the front elevation. Keil and the builder were able to send a Cemintel technician on site to find a solution.
“There’s some documentation that’s readily available on the setup process and everything, but it’s only when the guys are on site and physically doing it that certain things come up, so they can send someone, the after-sales support, to educate them and hold their hand through the journey, that’s really good.
This was an important part of the build, as Keil goes on to explain: “As soon as you start deviating from the manufacturer’s installation requirements, you void your warranty. Once a solution was found for the curved wall cladding, Cemintel also helped provide the warranty.
Like anything new, you have to get used to new installation methods. The trades were accepting the challenge and Keil compliments Cemintel saying, “They were also quite accommodating in educating the guys on installation methods.” Once Cemintel’s support arrived, the trades got what they needed to confidently continue with the rest of the construction, and in future projects.
Cemintel cladding systems come complete with all trim and flashing necessary for a seamless finish. A good example of this is the blade wall on the front elevation. What is a panel length limitation has been cleverly turned into an intentional feature, incorporating Cemintel’s flashing components to balance the wall, which is obviously taller than the 3 meter length. Instead of installing the panel and placing the flashing haphazardly over the longer length, Keil introduced a second flashing so that the break ended in vertical symmetry, which easily disguises the building requirement as another beautiful bespoke feature of the home.