It's goodbye to brick

New homes: According to research from James Hardie, young home builders are now leaving brick boredom behind

New homes: According to research from James Hardie, young home builders are now leaving brick boredom behind

Australia's younger homeowners are preparing to end the country's love affair with brick houses.

The findings of a James Hardie survey of people who have built their home in the past five years, or are currently planning to do so, showed that only one third preferred the traditional brick cladding or veneer facades found in quintessential Aussie properties.

Meanwhile, 44 per cent preferred to use a mix of cladding types and styles including horizontal, vertical and panel arrangements.

This trend points toward a preference for modern design says Cathleya Buchanan, James Hardie, Australian Marketing Director:

"Our data shows that almost one in three (31%) new builds are being undertaken by people under 30.

"These younger homeowners are most likely to want a contemporary appearance that mixes a number of building materials and profiles to ensure their home doesn't look dated in the near future."

However, unlike other styles such as Queenslander and Hamptons, this modern movement encompasses a number of looks explains, Cathleya:

"The term modern is used in housing in the same way that pop is used in music, it's not just one thing and is constantly evolving.

"We're seeing a leaning to clean, angular lines, monochrome palettes, cantilevered second levels and open plan spaces, while moving away from detailing such as eaves and balustrades.

"These basic tenants of modern design drive toward new materials like Premium Fibre Cement Cladding, which can be used to create strong, striking shapes. It's also lightweight making it suited to large open-plan spaces and second stories and overhangs," adds Cathleya.

The trend, which will affect approximately one million new build homes is being driven by higher value projects, with more homeowners working with an architect or designer (61%) requesting an individualised modern look, compared to those using a volume builder (44%).

When asked to choose the most important factor of their project four out of five (80%) prioritised the look of their property over the cost (70%). However, it's important to know how to communicate your aesthetic to your architect or builder.

"We all want a home that reflects our tastes and lifestyles, which is why it's important to know how to communicate what you want, for example, our research has shown that what most homeowners call 'modern' is referred to as 'contemporary' by architects and building professionals.

"It's also important to specify the right materials, with two thirds (65%) of young homeowners citing this as an important part of their project," said Cathleya.