Walls and cladding

Art deco houses typically used native timbers for framing, and stucco for cladding. Common problems include lack of insulation, and problems with moisture and weathertightness.

In any renovation, you’ll need to consider insulation, and may have to deal with issues such as undersized framing and deterioration or damage caused by moisture.

Original details

Use of timber

Most art deco houses were constructed using native timbers such as rimu or miro. Read more.

Wall framing

Art deco wall framing was typically 4 x 2” rimu, but other timbers were sometimes used. Read more.

Wall cladding

Art deco house typically used stucco wall cladding, though weatherboard is occasionally found. Read more.

Concrete construction

Concrete construction was occasionally used for art deco houses. Read more.

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Common problems and remedies


Art deco houses were typically constructed without insulation, and adding insulation to walls and roofs can be difficult. Read more.


Structural problems in art deco houses include undersized framing, deterioration due to moisture, and problems with foundations and subfloor. Read more.

Matching new framing and cladding to existing

New framing timber has different dimensions from original art deco house framing. There are several ways to deal with these differences. Read more.


Weathertightness is a significant problems for art deco houses because of their flat roofs and parapet walls. Read more.
Also see remedies: roofs and cladding for information about moisture trapped in walls and ceilings.


Flashings and cladding fixings may be affected by corrosion. See Remedies: roofing and cladding for more.

Lack of underlay

It was not uncommon for walls and roofs of art deco houses to be clad without building paper or underlay. Read more.

Deterioration of stucco cladding

Cracks can form in stucco cladding as the building settles or moves, and these cracks can let in water. Remedial work may be required. See matching new to existing for details.

Other common problems

Other common problems include walls that are out of square, and moisture damage to plaster ceilings. Read more.