Your Home’s Exterior Decoded!

by Creative Style Interiors

When it comes to your home’s exterior, there are a lot of elements you need to consider when building, renovating or even if you are only repainting. We’ve taken out some of the hard work and decoded the different components of your home’s exterior so you can easily talk with your builder or painter.

*All definitions below have been taken from


Roofing comes in many materials, but the most common are concrete, slate, timber and timber-look shingles, terracotta and ceramic roof tiles, and powdercoated steel.

TIP: Roof tiles need to be made of concrete if you want to repaint them. You can also paint powdercoated steel.


“A shallow trough fixed beneath the edge of a roof for carrying off rainwater.”

Most gutters are made from powdercoated steel, and are available in a number of profiles to suit your home’s design.



“A pipe to carry rainwater from a roof to a drain or to ground level.”

Downpipes are designed to draw water from the gutters, and are made from plastic or powdercoated steel.

TIP: Downpipes are not an attractive feature so be sure to choose a colour for them that blends with the wall behind. Because you paint plastic downpipes you have many more colour options than powdercoated steel. However powdercoated steel has less ongoing maintenance.

Fascia boards

“A board or other flat piece of material covering the ends of rafters or other fittings.

Facia boards are timber or powdercoated metal immediately below the gutters to conceal the edges of eaves and rafters.


“The part of a roof that meets or overhangs the walls of a building.”

Eaves are horizontal sheeting allowing the roofline to extend beyond the external walls of your home. This keeps excess rainwater and other elements away from your external walls and windows.

TIP: Paint your eaves in a light colour to reflect natural light back through the window and into your room.


“The triangular upper part of a wall at the end of a ridged roof.”

This can be made from bricks, rendered brick, cement sheeting, weatherboard or other cladding. It can also have decorative timber attached to create a feature pattern.


Barge boards

“A board, typically an ornamental one, fixed to the gable end of a roof to hide the ends of the roof timbers.”

Barge boards are timber lengths that form two sides of a triangle on the roof edges of the gable.


“A distinctive section or ornament at the apex of a roof, canopy, etc. on a building.”

Finials are commonly used on Federation and Arts & Crafts homes, at the top of the gable.


“Cover (stone or brick) with a coat of plaster.”

There are two main types of render: cement and acrylic. Cement is cheaper, but will take longer to apply and dry, while acrylic is much quicker, but dearer to purchase.


“A covering or coating on a structure or material.”

Cladding may be in plank or sheet form. It’s main purpose is to keep the overall building lightweight, especially on first floor additions of some homes but it can also be used as a decorative element.

Cladding includes timber weatherboard (planks), PVC cladding (vinyl planks), fibre cement weatherboard (planks), composite wood cladding (planks), blueboard (concrete sheeting designed to be rendered in acrylic render).


Of course we all know what bricks are, but there are so many options with colour variations and composition. The main two you need to be aware of are face brick and common brick. Face brick is generally a more attractive brick designed to be seen, while common brick is much less attractive, often intended to be rendered over.

4696f638-1bb9-47a4-983f-ed74e0533781Hebel blocks are large aerated concrete blocks that are lightweight and easy to cut with a saw. They are meant to be rendered.


Besser or Cinder blocks are large, hollow concrete blocks that are usually rendered.

Mortar joints

“A mixture of lime with cement, sand, and water, used in building to bond bricks or stones.”

Mortar joints can be contoured to suit your design scheme and may be done in a number of different joint profiles.




Windows, Sliding Doors and Bifold Doors

Windows, sliding doors and bifold doors an be made from many different materials, including aluminium, timber and PVC. Newer to the market is a composite product made with timber for the interior and powdercoated aluminium on the outside.


“Ornamental design in wood, typically openwork, done with a fretsaw.”

Lacework is similar to fretwork, but is made from metal instead of timber.



If you’ve been inspired to renovate, but need a little help creating a colour scheme or designing you home’s exterior, give Creative Style a call on 0416 190 792 or email [email protected] to book an appointment with Jenny.

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