Between 23 July and 9 August 2020 Three Birds Renovations are giving some lucky person a renovation package worth over $100,000. Being partners, James Hardie has pledged $10,000 worth of products to the winner. This begs the question “So what can $10,000 of James Hardie products buy you?” It’s hard to visualise. This blog article will show you how to create a rough estimate for Linea weatherboards and Axon cladding, two of James Hardie’s most popular products.

With $10,000 worth of James Hardie cladding you should have enough fibre cement to completely wrap a single storey 4 bedroom house. One with about 300 meters of floor space (15m x 20m). Or easily do an average extension with about 70 square meters of floor space. In this article, to keep things simple, the calculations exclude building wrap, corner accessories, framing, paint, labour, wastage and the holes for windows and doors.

**We’ll use the above house to visualise this example. The visible custard-coloured weatherboards on the façade cover an area of 75 square meters. Let’s assume it’s time for a makeover with some more contemporary JH cladding**

If you decided to spend $10,000 on premium, deep shadow Linea™ Weatherboards you could get about 172 square meters worth.

Here’s how to work out how much you need.

Firstly, find the amount of wall space each product piece covers. Go to the James Hardie website and find the Linea™ Weatherboards product page. Then scroll down to the product specification table and find “effective cover”. Weatherboards overlap and effective cover removes the overlapping amount to give you the exact area an individual installed weatherboard covers.

Linea™ Weatherboards are 4200mm long (4.2 meters), 16mm thick, giving the nice deep shadow line, and 180mm wide. They overlap each other by 30mm so you’ll only see 150mm of the 180mm board when it’s installed (effective width). **The effective cover of 0.63 square meters (m2)**.

Secondly, find out how much wall space you need to clad. I’ll apply this to my custard cottage (above). The entire front façade of my house, after measuring all the ins and outs, has about 25 meters of wall length and they’re 2.7 meters high (25 x 2.7 = 67.5). That’s 67.5 square meters, plus the two gables let’s call it 75 square meters. 75 square meters divided by 0.63 square meters (75 / 0.63 = 119) works out at 119 Linea™ Weatherboards required.

Third, get a price per board from your local hardware store or timber yard (yes timber yards hold fibre cement products). Using Google, the price I got was $36.65 a board, but I’m sure you could do better calling the trade desk for a quote (especially if you sound like a tradie). For 119 that’s $4,361.35.

For the maths fans, if I divide the total cost by the square meters I need ($4,361 / 75 = $58.15) I get a cost per square meter of $58.15. With $10,000 to spend that gets me 172 square meters or 272 boards.

Axon™ Cladding is a little different. Despite giving the appearance of a series of vertical tongue and groove joint boards (also called V-groove and VJ panel) it actually comes in large 1200mm wide sheets in various sizes to suit different wall heights. The size matches the effective width, so there’s no overlap to factor in.

It’s the same process as above except that you choose a board height that’s slightly larger than your wall height. For my 2700mm walls I’ve chose a 2750mm high sheet in the Axon™ Cladding 133mm Smooth style.

One. Find the effective cover on the Axon™ Cladding product page. **It’s 3.3 meters.**

Two. Sticking with the example above I’ll need 75 square meters worth. 75 / 3.3 = 22.7. I’ll need 23 sheets.

Three. Google tells me that the average price per sheet is $130.40. 130.40 x 23 = $2,999.20. So I’ll need to spend a nice round $3,000 on Axon™ Cladding, just 30% of my budget.

That makes the cost per square meter $40. With $10,000 to spend that gets me 250 square meters or 76 sheets. I could do the whole house in it!

You can follow this process for most other James Hardie wall and floor products such as Hardie™ Groove Lining, Villaboard™ Lining and Secura™ Interior flooring.

In reality, you’d create a detailed Bill Of Quantities (BOQ). The hardware store may ask for this when you place an order. These calculations would deduct the space for windows and doors and determine the optimal place for joins to reduce wastage. They would include the price of the James Hardie aluminium corner accessories and fixings (nails for timber frames and screws for steel ones). There could also be a product delivery cost from the hardware store. Make sure they use a crane truck for large orders. Then the boards will need to be measured, cut and installed as per the installation manual available on the James Hardie product page. There’s a lot to it, so make sure you use a qualified builder.

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