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  • Profile photo of astroboy71astroboy71
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 18

    Hi all,

    Does anybody know what Conite is on the exterior walls of a house?

    I tried Googling and didn't get much in the way of results. I'm trying to work out why it is used on some houses and if it's a bad thing or not? What are the potential problems with it? Is it used for hiding something underneath like fibro usually?



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    Profile photo of FreckleFreckle
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 1,680

    p 7.09.12

    By 1910, however, the idea of applying a cement stucco to chicken wire on a timber

    frame had been adopted by the local architect Harry Marks at Toowoomba,

    Queensland, and this, while not important in  its own right, was a harbinger of

    'Gunite' and other such methods used at later dates. In Tasmania Bernard Walker's

    house 'Wylam' at Sandy Bay, Hobart, of 1916, was followed by a number of houses

    after World War I in using stucco over either wooden lathing or chickenwire. By

    the 1920s this stucco on chickenwire was widely used in rural Victoria, and cement

    over wire netting, is said similarly, to have been used for Spanish bungalows in New

    Zealand in the 1930s.


    In Australia generally the technique was known as 'Conite', an American name which

    may or may not have been used at the outset.  In 1947 the Victorian Housing

    Commission  reported that Conite on 'a special wire mesh', and finished in white

    cement, was proving very successful, especially in northern areas, and had been used

    at housing estates at Wangaratta,  Dimboola, Shepparton and Mildura. Clifford

    Lloyd described Conite on the basis of United States practice:  first of all wires were

    stapled horizontally across the studs at nine inch (225 mm) intervals, then stout

    building paper was laid over these, then wire netting was fixed over that, presumably

    also by stapling.  The cement render was placed over this, and the sand required by

    the American specification was translated into Melbourne terms by  Lloyd as two

    parts of Frankston to five parts of Cardinia Creek or Kooweerup sand, passed through

    a 1/8th inch (3 mm) sieve.  Some architects, according to Lloyd, sought to improve the

    system by using expanded metal rather than netting, but this was not as good because

    it required more joints, and the extra stiffness was unnecessary.  In America,

    according to Lloyd, 'many of the film stars' palatial homes are built of this …'

    In New Zealand a similar effect was produced by the use of 'Steeltex', an imported

    reinforcing mesh with a kraft paper backing, used as a base for stucco finishes.

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