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Get ready for tomorrow

Future-proofing is a term we're hearing more and more. But what does it really mean to you as a homeowner? Basically, it's about protecting your investment by ensuring your home incorporates sustainable materials and features that will make it relevant and contemporary well into the future.

It's hard enough keeping up with the Joneses, but how do you keep up with technology? Future-proofing your home isn't merely about the latest automation. In its more sustainable form, it's about employing long-lasting, durable building materials that won't need replacing or require regular time-consuming maintenance, but instead will do the job you expect of them and continue looking good long after your mortgage is paid off. Evaluating building materials on the basis of their durability is more economical in the long term than purchasing cheaper, but inferior, products. This is known as life cycle costing and is a key premise of future-proofing.

Made from hard-wearing fibre cement, James Hardie products offer optimal life cycle costing advantages. They will not burn, are resistant to permanent water and termite damage, and when installed as directed are resistant to rotting and warping. This makes them virtually maintenance-free, and their durability means a significant reduction in repair costs associated with wear and tear.

What's more, products such as Linea Weatherboard come with an extended paint warranty, which is even available on dark colours, to ensure sustainability well into the future.

Making sure your home incorporates energy-efficient features such as double-glazing, insulation, passive solar heating, wide eaves and natural ventilation are further ways to reduce long-term costs and make your home more comfortable now, all while improving its resale value for the future.

James Hardie offers an extensive range of soffit options designed to suit any home style or design. Products such as Eclipsa Eaves Lining, Hardigroove Panels, and Silkline Eaves Lining protect exterior walls and windows from the elements, reducing your maintenance costs and extending the life of paintwork and other exterior finishes. They'll also help prevent sun damage to interior furnishings and cut down the costs of heating or cooling your home.
Intelligent design lets you future-proof your home by ensuring it can adapt to your changing lifestyle and situation as your family expands and your children grow up. Spacious, open-plan entertaining areas that flow to usable outdoor spaces are essential today and will remain so into the future.

Another way to future-proof your home is by following the latest design direction of combination cladding. This innovative look in material selection has created a distinctively New Zealand style. The result is a move away from homogenous, box-like homes to a design that defines and breaks up the home's exterior to create visual appeal and interest. Mixing and matching cladding products in this way also gives the architect or designer much more scope for originality.

An increasing number of architects and designers are using James Hardie Linea Weatherboard with Monotek Sheet or Titan Panel to create a number of striking, new designs. With its deep shadowlines, Linea contrasts well with the smoother, more industrial look of Titan Panel and Monotek Sheet, especially when different shades are used to highlight the cladding combinations.

While future-proofing your new home may cost a little more upfront, the long-term savings in terms of reduced maintenance, increased energy efficiency, and creating a more comfortable living environment are significant.

Read other related articles...
    Intelligent home in the country
    Designing your home using combination cladding
    Planning for efficient home heating

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