Cheatley House in Wanganui

Symmetry and bold looks were key elements for the Cheatleys when it came to the design and execution of their Wanganui home.

Both those elements were captured by using tray cladding – Steelform Roofing Group’s Steelform TCS using COLORSTEEL® substrate in matt Tempest colour – with horizontal cedar cladding as a feature and counterpoint to the vertical black tray cladding.

Over the years, Dayle and Cath Cheatley had seen vertical tray cladding used to striking effect on various homes and it was always going to be a key design element along with a 3.5-degree monopitch roof, in the same Tempest colour but in a Styleline profile, also from Steelform Roofing Group.

They also wanted a home with open plan living that maximised its elevated rural setting to capture the sun and views of Mt Ruapehu, Mt Taranaki and the Ruahine Ranges.

They designed the floorplan themselves based on houses that they had owned before.

As Dayle says, “We took a little bit of each one and put what we liked together in this home. It is very much open plan living, all facing north looking at Mt Ruapehu.

“We wanted to maximise the elevation we have and use of the sun. It is a very warm house in winter when the sun is lower. The sun streams into the master bedroom, kitchen and lounge all day. The kitchen, scullery, dining and front entrance have polished concrete floors – great for retaining that heat in winter – and the remainder of the home is carpet.

Sliding doors from the living area open up to a large covered deck for entertaining. The guest bedrooms and bathroom are in a separate part of the house to the master bedroom, giving privacy.

The Cheatleys contracted local builder and good friend Tom Francis and took advice from him about the types of tray cladding that would fulfil their vision.

Dayle says, “Because we also wanted to incorporate cedar, the steel tray section cladding and cedar had to work with each other. Tom came to us with some design options of steel cladding and, being locally produced by Steelform Roofing Group, the TCS fit the brief perfectly.

“The colour choice for us was always going to be black cladding – my wife loves the look of it – and we just like the way it looks with the cedar.”

Tom says, “I took the aspects of the tray cladding sections that are currently used and modified their appearance and their set-out to mimic more of a board and batten look, and one that was more symmetrical than examples we had been studying.

“My main focus was around the joinery and how the cladding and the joinery could meld together to be symmetrical.

“I folded up quite a few different prototypes and developed the sizing and how they would fix to the exterior. I finally ended up with a 400mm tray separated by a 45x45 treated timber batten; the upturn on the tray was capped over the batten by gluing on a U-shaped COLORSTEEL® cap. He adds, “I modified the floor plan and the joinery openings to suit the width of the tray and batten perfectly; every window was a multiple of a tray and every space between units was a multiple, which had to be specified to the frame manufacturers and in turn had to be carried out and made to within a few mm to ensure the system worked out onsite as it did on paper. This was my quest to achieve perfect symmetry and ensure there were no uneven trays.”

And this is where Steelformers came in, with its Schlebach Quadro+ profiling machine, which can run the five different profiles in the Steelform Quadro range, including the Steelform TCS that the Cheatleys wanted for their home.

The profiling machine is transportable so can be used on site and has an exchangeable cassette system that allows very short retooling times for different profiles. When profiling from a coil, the desired width, length and the item count are entered first via a touch panel. When the programmed length is reached, the crosscut shear executes an automatic cut.

Tom and his team installed the cladding themselves. He says, “Ever since my apprentice days I have had a fascination and a love for working with metal cladding.

“The opportunity does not arise often so I really enjoyed this project. I like the skillset required to work with metal claddings; you have limited tools, and your skills determine the final finish and quality of the installation. The buck stops with you. If you do a poor job, there are no plasterers or painters to wave their magic wand. So the applied method and the attention to detail really appeal to me.”

Tom adds, “We love the Tempest colour; the matt finish really appeals to installers and homeowners alike. We had solid timber soffits of clear pine. We used 150 PFC extensions to the top chord of the truss to form a covered deck area.

“Elements of cedar were used to complement the Tempest COLORSTEEL®. We were careful where we applied the cedar. We chose to locate it in the positions it was most likely to perform with the least minimal amount of maintenance required – as this is a COLORSTEEL® house, that’s the beauty of using this product: low maintenance.

“So that ruled out west-facing and exposed north-facing. We chose the front door alcove and garage door wall on the south side of the house – no direct sunlight – and the undercover deck area facing north – limited sunlight but with biggest impact visually.

All the cladding was installed on an Eco Ply Barrier Cavity, on 140x45 framed walls with R3.6 insulation. In the middle of winter, after it was closed in during the construction process and with no heat source, the temperature never dipped below 18.5 degrees Celsius inside.

Dayle says of the build, “Working with Tom was very easy. We wanted someone young and full of energy – we got that – along with attention to detail and immense pride in his workmanship. We also had a group of young local tradies working alongside Tom and this was important to us.”

Before the home was started, a large external shed was erected and this served as a base for the builders and tradesmen during construction. It has the same Steelform TCS cladding so it gave Tom and his crew a chance to work with the material before they started on the home.

Inside, the home has a modern look with a neutral colour scheme and a mix of polished concrete and carpeted floors.

A centrepiece of the home is a 5m-long black steel hearth, which serves as a platform for the woodburner and as a bench seat.

The folded, single piece steel hearth was designed by the Cheatleys’ friend Clint Black, and took eight people to lift it in.

Dayle says, “With the fireplace being elevated, the heat flows through the open plan living very well and heats this big space. We wanted to it to be a feature and I think we got that. It is also a big bench seat, fantastic for afternoon wine in the sun – as my wife says and does!”

Quadro TCS Cladding
Steelform TCS Cladding is the latest cladding product by Steelform Roofing Group. The 26mm U-panel cladding system is available with standard pan widths of 250mm, 330mm and 470mm, but can be customisable, allowing the user to alter the widths to suit their design requirements. The added ability to have the product formed on site is a big advantage for larger scale projects. The cap provides added boldness while concealing the fixing system, creating a clean, modern exterior.

Fixing method: Timber batten (typically 45x45mm H3.1) fixed over 20mm horizontal ventilated cavity batten. Spacings of the battens are dictated by the cladding’s pan width.

Each TCS Cladding panel is screw-fixed (using a stainless steel countersunk screw, at 400mm centres) through each 26mm upstand into the timber batten.

The custom made cap flashing is then fitted over the top of the batten and pop riveted (at 400mm centres) to the sheet upstands. For additional securing of the pan, Steelformers recommends using a bead of silicone along each batten.

Building and cladding Manufacturer: 
Steelform Roofing Group Taranaki
Cladding: Steelform TCS in ‘Tempest’
Roofing: Steelform Styleline in ‘Tempest’
Telephone: 06 344 5142

Builder and cladding installer: 
Tom Francis Building, Wanganui
Telephone: 027 305 2379

Roofing installer: 
Gullery Roofing, Wanganui
Telephone: 06 347 9396