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Guide to Exterior Materials & Finishes for the Home - Part 1 of 2

October 24, 2017
Guide to Exterior Materials & Finishes for the Home - Part 1 of 2

Are you building or renovating and looking for some ideas on how to treat or upgrade your home's facade?

You may have considered completely refurbishing the front of your house, or perhaps your'e dabbling with the idea of just giving it a little bit of a refresh? 

Whatever the extent of your project, giving the front of your home a makeover or addressing it's aesthetic importance from the get go has many valuable benefits.

Benefits of an Exterior Makeover

As a default many people focus their time on doing up the interior of their home, however, the facade is equally important, especially if you’re upgrading with the intention to sell at some stage in the future.

A home’s exterior sets the scene of things to come. If your house looks like it’s in a shabby state of affairs or cheap and nasty from the front, it can actually impact negatively on the value and appeal of the whole street.

Upgrading your home’s exterior will not only add style and give it more character, it will greatly increase the value of your home. In the instance of selling, having great curb appeal will help to entice any potential buyers and bring them to the door. 

Getting Started 

Making the decision to upgrade is a very exciting and rewarding time. However, it can also be quite a daunting process. Often it’s difficult to know where to start and if you’re doing things on your own there’s not always a great deal of information readily available.

It can be tricky to have the vision to see what is possible when you may not be aware of all of the product options that are available. The good news is there are so many different building materials and exterior finishes on the market that can be used for both new builds and facade facelifts.

Part 1 of our comprehensive guide takes you through some of the most popular materials and finishes products on the market such as; roofing, masonry, cladding and exterior paint solutions.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our guide which will include three Flat Lay Mood Boards teaming with exterior materials and finishes ideas and inspiration. We also cover information on Windows & Window Frames, 
Decorative Screens for Doors, 
Outdoor Shading
, Vertical Gardens and Living Walls.

You can jump ahead at any time by clicking on the links below. 


House Facade Ideas and Inspiration

Ensure your new home has curb appeal or spruce your existing façade with the following exterior materials and finishes options below.

Popular Types of Roofing

Starting from the top and working our way down; there are many types of roofing styles and construction materials to choose from. Below we have highlighted the properties and benefits of the 4 of the most widely used roofing materials in Australia.



Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles are the most economical and durable roofing material on the market. They truly embrace the harsh elements and get stronger with age as they continue to harden being baked in the sun.


  • Colour longevity and flexibility. They come in a wide range of colours and profiles and provide the opportunity to update the look of your roof with a simple re-coat.
  • A choice of Colour Technologies are available to help retain the look, beauty and re-sale value of your home.



Terracotta Roof Tiles

Terracotta has been used for thousands of years. There’s a richness and depth of colour with terracotta that will never fade, ensuring the value, integrity and beauty of your home is preserved for decades to come. 


  • Terracotta has a lower embodied energy which means less energy is consumed in all processes involved in the manufacturing of a terracotta tiled roof.
  • Maintains a consistent temperature in the home keeping it cooler in summer and warmer in winter, ultimately lowering your energy bills. 

  • The thermal properties and natural materials also enhance breathability and creates a healthier home with less condensation and mould.

Discover more Roof Tile options.


Solar Tiles:

In Australia the sun is almost always shining. Having a solar panel on the roof with a few kilowatts is a smart move as it can go a long way to reducing your power bill.

 Some solar tiles can be heavy or unsightly, and can be limited to only fit certain areas of a roof – (such as the one that faces the street). This can spoil the look of a beautiful roof, however there is a solution.


Monier have a product called SOLARtiles which are a modular, tile-integrated solar panel that looks sleek and blends in nicely with the rest of the roof. They have all of the benefits of a regular solar panel but without any of the associated drawbacks. For more information visit



Colorbond® Metal

Strong, secure and energy smart, COLORBOND® steel is tried and tested in Australian conditions to look great and deliver outstanding, long life performance.

With 22 colours available, you can choose a roof colour that sets the theme for your whole home, or complements your other building material choices. In particular, you can 'mix and match' colours with your gutter, fascia and downpipes made from COLORBOND® steel.

  • COLORBOND® steel roofing, walling, gutters and downpipes are also compliant for use in bushfire zones and may help protect your property from fires.

  • The range of thermally efficient light colours can help to keep your home cooler on hot, sunny days.

  • Easy to maintain by washing with clean, fresh water.


Masonry Brickwork & Blockwork

Brick is by far one of the most commonly used building materials for the housing industry. PGH Bricks have an amazing range of bricks and cladding options. For a number reasons brick continues to be the preferred choice along with other forms of masonry such limestone blocks or alternative types of building stone such as granite, travertine or more exotic types such as Kimberly stone. 

We have reviewed the benefits of Limestone below as it’s one our favourites.




  • Solid Investment as building with bricks equals fewer upfront costs and virtually no ongoing maintenance
  • Energy efficient – Insulates keeping your home cool in Summer and warm in Winter

  • Endless options – Bricks come in a diverse range of sizes, profiles and colours

  • Strong, safe, weather and age proof – resistant to the extremes of the Aussie climate
  • Sound reduction – dramatically reduce external noise such as traffic

  • Suitable for both traditional and modern styles of homes


Blockwork by Bruhn Limestone


  • A beautiful product that offers a larger brick format than a standard brick type
  • Offers blend of colours from lights creams to rich sandstones

  • High insulating and acoustic properties
  • Is comparable in price to other traditional building products

  • Suited to both traditional and modern contemporary designs

  • Available with a smooth or textured finish in a variety of styles such as Plainface, Rockface or Bevel Edge

For for information visit Bruhn Limestone.


Wall Cladding Materials

One of the most common ways to renovate the exterior of an existing home is to apply wall cladding. This product is a fantastic for solution homes that need a lot of TLC as it will provide a brand new look, without having to completely demolish. Not only will cladding give your home a whole new lease of life, it can also assist with any thermal and insulation issues the house may have, and in turn can generate savings on your electricity bills.

There are many types to choose from; the table below covers: timber, timber composite, fibre cement, natural stone, reconstituted stone and pebble walling options. 


Timber Wall Cladding

Nothing beats the natural beauty and warmth of Timber cladding. It can be installed vertically or horizontally and comes in a variety of different timber species. Be sure to look for hardwearing types such as potted Gum or Ironbark.


  • A strong building material that is quick and easy to install
  • More environment-friendly compared to other building materials. (Most good suppliers will source their timbers from sustainable timber sources only)
  • Timber is timeless & suitable for both or contemporary or traditional style homes
  • Natural insulation material

  • Great acoustic sound absorption


Composite Wood Cladding

InnoClad Innovative cladding systems is a composite wood combines a mix of wood fibe, plastic, and a type of binding agent. These ingredients are put together to form a material that is denser and stronger, than natural wood alone.


  • A sustainable Timber Alternative 

  • Composite costs less over its lifetime than wood and lasts longer, too
  • Available in Shiplap, Concealed Clip Fixing and Flat Joint cladding systems
  • Provides a clean finish with consistently spaced shadow/join lines
  • Can be orientated vertically or horizontally

  • Can be used for garage doors and soffit ceilings


Fibre Cement Cladding

Fibre cement panels such as Cemintel’s Territory range can simulate materials like timber, concrete, stone, tiles, metal and smooth render in a sophisticated way to enhance a building façade but without the ongoing maintenance.


  • Pre-finished in a variety of colours and textures
  • Light weight & panels easily fit together
  • Minimal ongoing maintenance
  • Stain resistant & self-cleaning with Nichiguard®
* Protected against UV damage and colour fading


Stone Wall Cladding

Natural Stone

Eco Outdoor Stone cladding offers the look of a stone building without using full-sized stone pieces. It comprises of a thin layer of stone to cover a substrate such as concrete or steel. Stone can be used to clad entire homes or to highlight architectural features such as columns and pillars, blade walls, feature walls or portico’s.


  • A beautiful construction material that adds character and charm
  • It’s also a great investment as it increases the resale value of your home
  • Excellent durability, low maintenance and protective features
  • Available in a number of colour combinations and profile designs


Reconstituted Stone or Cultured Stone® 

Cultured Stone® by Boral is a product supplied by PGH Bricks and Pavers that has all the qualities of natural stone but with significant added benefits.


  • Lightweight & more affordable than natural stone

  • Made from 58% recycled content

  • Superior durability and life cycle covered by a 50 year warranty

  • Doesn’t require sealing after installation 

  • Unlike natural stone, corner pieces are available for a seamless join


Pebble Flooring & Walling

Eco Outdoor Pebbles are such a versatile landscape or building product. They provide gorgeous texture and colour that can be utilised as either a design accent or a unique surface covering for walls.

Discover more Stone Cladding products.



Concrete Cladding

Concrete aggregate is a beautiful product available from Stone Outdoors. It is made up of precast concrete with aggregate that is sourced locally from Victoria or South Australia.

Concrete cladding is becoming increasingly popular due it’s level of design flexibility as it is available in various sized tile formats. It’s suitable for both interior and exterior applications and the beauty of this product is you can choose any size format that you wish - from brick size at 230 x 110mm all the way up to large sheets of 500 x 753 (with any size in between). 

The cladding is easily fixed using adhesive and can be fitted by a builder or a tiler. Any of the shapes sizes colours and textures in the range can be ordered as a cladding product or can be customised. For example; 

  • A large format honed cladding tile with exposed coloured glass aggregates

  • Products designed to replicate off-form concrete

  • Shaped products that can be ”stacked” to create a highly textured wall cladding


Exterior Paint Finishes


Acrylic Paint

An acrylic paint is self-priming on most surfaces and can be applied to the following areas. 


Wall, Deck, Door, Eave, Fence, Fretwork, Gable, Gutter, Window, Balustrade, Shade grill, Handrail, Fascia, Curtain Wall, Column, Awning, Cladding, Soffit, Steelwork, Screen, Veranda, Architectural mouldings, Parapet, Pergola.


Specialty Finishes & Textures

Paint is one of the most versatile and cost effective ways to transform the look of your home. A number of faux exterior paint effects and finishes can be achieved simply with a new lick of paint. A whole array of beautiful textures and finishes can be created for external walls and for detailing exterior elements. 

  • Smooth

  • Mottled

  • Bagged

  • Soft washed look

  • Tuscan

  • Venetian
  • Cement render
  • Iron 

  • Bronze 

  • Gold

  • Tin

  • Zinc


Doors, Windows & Trims

Semi Gloss or Gloss

Look for a durable, non-yellowing, water based exterior gloss enamel that is low odour and can be easily washed up with water. Semi gloss and gloss are a good alternative to traditional oil-based enamels, as they are quicker to apply.

Door, Window frame, Trim, Skirting, Architrave, Balustrade, Handrail, Column, Wall, Partitioning, Cornice, Steelwork



Roof & Trim Semi Gloss

100% acrylic paint suitable for use on exterior roofs including galvanised iron, Colorbond® and trims such as plastic spouting, timber fascias, masonry and structural metals.

 Fascia, Fretwork, Roof, Spouting, Downpipe

Loving learning about all of the various types of building materials and exterior finishes available for the home?

For more inspiration don't miss our Exterior Finishes Flat Lay Mood Boards in Part 2 of this guide, and be sure to check out our case study on a facade renovation in Brighton listed below.


Guide to Exterior Materials & Finishes for the Home - Part 2 of 2

Leave The 80s At The Footpath

We hope you found this article helpful. If you are ready to start building your wish list of products, then be sure to check out our Building products range.

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