Rendering is a wall-covering method applied to your property’s external walls to protect your brickwork from the elements. There are different styles of render, and plasterers will be able to advise on the options available, and the best solution for your property.
This article will discuss:
- How much external rendering costs
- What affects the cost of exterior rendering
- How to save money when rendering your home
- What the best render for your home is
- What’s involved in rendering your home
- How to find and hire a contractor to render your home
If you think the outside walls of your home have seen better days, then keep reading to find out everything you need to know about having your home rendered.
How Much Does External Rendering Cost?
The cost of external rendering varies considerably depending on a number of factors, including the size of your home and the type of render you choose.
The table below illustrates the estimated cost of applying cement render (including removing old render and applying two coats of render using a sponge finish) to a bungalow, terraced house, or detached house:
|HOUSE SIZE||ESTIMATED COSTS INCLUDING LABOUR||TIME REQUIRED|
|2-bed bungalow||£2,500 to £3,500||4 to 6 days|
|3-bed terraced house||£3,200 to £5,000||6 to 9 days|
|4-bed semi-detached house||£5,500 to £8,000||10 to 14 days|
If you own a two-bedroom bungalow, the estimated cost of rendering your home ranges from approximately £2,500 and £3,500, including labour costs. Typically, rendering a bungalow should take between four and six days.
For anyone living in a three-bedroom terraced house, you should expect to pay between £3,200 and £5,000 for external cement render. On average, the job normally takes between six and 9 days to complete.
Finally, for a four-bedroom detached home, the costs of new exterior rendering can vary from £5,500 to £8,000. Rendering a home of this size will naturally require more time, and you should expect your tradesperson to allow 10 to 14 days for this job.
Are you ready to render your house? HouseholdQuotes can help you find the right tradesperson.
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What Affects the Cost of Rendering a House?
In addition to the size of your home, there are other factors which may affect the cost of applying external render to your home.
Below, we look at how your choice of render, painting, scaffolding and skip hire costs, and location can affect the cost of your rendering project.
Your Choice of Render
As discussed earlier, the simple choice of which render you choose will command higher or lower prices, and therefore impact the final cost of your home renovation job.
Below, we explain the costs of different render materials—including cement, lime, acrylic, polymer, pebbledash, and monocouche.
Cement is a highly popular choice for render throughout the country. However, other materials are available depending on your preference and budget.
Cement render costs approximately £10 per square metre—making it the most affordable type of external render. Cement render is ideal for homes made of bricks or blocks and for anyone who wants the outside of their home to have a smooth, uniform look.
If you own a period home, you may want to consider using lime render as opposed to cement.
Lime render costs roughly £20 per square metre and is much more breathable than cement. This stops moisture from building up behind the render, which could potentially cause structural problems in period homes (especially timber frame structures).
Acrylic and Polymer Renders
Both acrylic and polymer renders use cement as a base. In the case of acrylic render, plastic is added to the mix in order to make the render more flexible and durable.
Acrylic render costs approximately £30 per square metre and is available in a range of colours.
This type of render is quick to apply and can be used over top of existing cement render, as well as over painted and unpainted brick and concrete block walls. What’s more, acrylic render can be either rolled, trowelled, or sprayed onto the surface of your home so you can achieve a smooth or textured look depending on your personal preferences.
Since acrylic render is flexible, its also more resistant to cracking than cement render so it could be a more cost effective choice in the long term.
In the case of polymer render, a cement base is mixed with polymers such as nylon which adds strength. Polymer render also costs around £30 per square metre.
It’s worth noting that some polymer renders also incorporate silicone to increase water resistance whilst ensuring that the render remains breatheable. This makes polymer renders an ideal choice for coastal homes or for individual walls that are more exposed to water.
Polymer render can be used on most surfaces, including brick and concrete blocks, on steel-frame buildings, and over insulation boards.
Pebbledash was first introduced in the late nineteenth century and remains a popular choice throughout the UK. It consists of a mixture of cement, sand, and crushed stones and costs around £30 per square metre.
Pebbledash lends home a unique, textured look and modern pebbledashing is available in a range of colours to suit different tastes.
Because pebbledash can be sprayed, it’s generally quick and easy to apply so it’s ideal if you want to change the look of your home in a short time.
As a bonus, pebbledashing can last up to 40 years. And, if you decide to change the look of your home later on, you can always paint it using a thick knap roller and good quality masonry paint.
Monocouche (meaning single coat in French) renders are the most expensive material for rendering, costing approximately £35 per square metre.
The term ‘monocouche’ is a slight misnomer, as this type of render is actually applied in two passes which are bonded together using a special type of mesh.
This type of render is made using white Portland cement. It’s available in a range of natural tints, so there’s no need to pay extra for painting afterwards.
If you like the look of stone but need a more affordable alternative, monocouche can be used to create decorative effects such as ashlar (which mimics the look of Portland stone blocks) and quoin (which resembles stone bricks).
Whether You Plan to Paint Your New Render
Unless you’ve chosen a tinted render, it’s a good idea to apply masonry paint over your new render. This prevents moisture from getting into the render and causing cracks and damage over time.
Painting the outside of your home can cost anywhere from £1,000 to £2,500 depending on the size of the property and other factors.
To learn more about exterior painting costs, please visit our guide.
If You Require Scaffolding
Depending on the size of your home, your contractors may need scaffolding in order to safely render the upper storeys of your home.
If you live in a bungalow, your tradesperson should be able to render the outside of your home without scaffolding.
However, if you live in a terraced, semi-detached, or detached home, you should allow some extra funds for scaffolding. Typically, scaffolding hire can cost anywhere from £500 to £1,300 per week, based on the size and height of your home.
To learn more about the costs of scaffolding, visit our detailed guide.
If You Need to Hire a Skip
If your contractors need to remove old render, you’ll need to hire a skip for all the rubbish.
The cost of hiring a skip can range from £90 to £390 per week, depending on the size of skip you need and your location.
If your property doesn’t include a driveway, you may need to apply for a permit from your local council for an additional cost.
Want to learn more about the costs of hiring a skip? Have a look at our guide here.
How Can I Save Money on External Rendering?
Comparing quotes is a great way to potentially reduce the cost of rendering your home. HouseholdQuotes can help you get quotes from multiple tradespeople near you, so that you can find someone that suits your budget.
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In addition to comparing quotes, advance preparation can also save you time and money.
Think carefully about the different render materials and finishes available, their respective advantages and disadvantages, and the look you want to achieve.
It’s also a good idea to determine how many coats of render you need. Cement is cheapest, but you usually need two coats of render, possibly one coat of stabiliser if the render is overly powdery, and then two coats of masonry paint.
Multiple coats require more time to apply, so incur higher labour costs.
Depending on the condition of your home and your personal preferences, a pre-coloured or finished render could be more affordable and may save you money down the line as you won’t need to repaint.
Doing more preparation and research ahead of time will help you feel more confident that you’re choosing the right render for your home and budget, and reduce the chances of making costly changes down the line.
What’s the Best Render for a House?
There isn’t one ‘best’ render option for any given home – lots of variables come into play to determine what’s best for your property, such as location and proximity to the elements (such as being on a seashore versus being deep within a village).
|Cement||Most cost-effective choice, durable, can help with energy efficiency||Inflexible, leading to cracks over time, condensation can be caused, can look plain and uninteresting|
|Lime||Helps with air circulation, good ecological benefits, can last for 600 years, cracks can self heal over time||Much more expensive than other options, a seasoned professional is required for application|
|Pre-coloured or Finished||No need for additional masonry, quicker than traditional render, wide range of colours available||Daring colours can deter housebuyers, more expensive than traditional renders|
|Pebbledash||Low-maintenance and hardwearing, mid-price range, good for coastal properties||Hard to remove, can deter housebuyers, can look tired after a few years|
Cement is by far the most cost-effective choice of render finish at just £10 per square metre. This render type improves the durability of outdoor walls, protecting against the elements, and can also help with energy efficiency by trapping in more heat from inside your home, and keeping out any external draughts.
What’s more, it can help to make walls look brand new again especially if applied to ageing bricks, and is easy to customise with colours after being fitted.
With that in mind, cement render can look quite plain and uninteresting when pitted against other rendering finishes. Cement is inflexible, which can lead to cracks in the surface over time, and can also lead to condensation inside the home as warm air can’t escape the walls as easily.
Looking at lime render next, unlike cement, lime allows walls to breathe and will help with air circulation within the home and the reduction of condensation. There are also good ecological benefits, and when applied correctly, lime can last for years – up to 600 years, in fact.
Lime is autogenous, and can ‘self heal’ cracks over time with water from rainfall – but it is more expensive than other rendering options. You’ll want to enlist the help of a seasoned professional to ensure good placement of render on your property.
Pre-coloured and finished renders gives a pre-coloured finish, negating the need for additional masonry painting after the render has been applied. This makes it wuicker than traditional render and masonry application, and there are a wide range of colours and finishes available to suit practically any style.
However, if potential home buyers don’t like the colour, it can be a deterrent more so than a traditionally coloured building which could impact resale value. This render type is more expensive than traditional renders, but the cost of painting is removed, so it can end up working out as the same just with a higher initial cost.
Finally, we’ll look at pebbledash rendering. This is low-maintenance and hardwearing, making it a good option for those homeowners who don’t want to constantly think about their external render.
It also carries a mid-range price, making it generally quite affordable for most homeowners, and is very good for coastal properties as it adds a substantial layer of protection from the elements.
Pebbledash can be hard to remove, taking a lot longer than other types of render which can deter potential home buyers as they know they’ll have to cover this cost. It can also look tired after a period, which again can act as a deterrent for home buyers.
What’s Involved in Rendering a House?
External rendering will involve the following stages:
- Removing existing render
- Applying flat/smooth render
- Sponge finish
After this, your contractor can then paint over the external render to give it a coloured finish, but this will come at an extra cost and will add more time to your project’s length.
To save on this step, you can opt for a pre-coloured render so that once your contractor has applied the coats, your home is done, and you don’t need to bother with spending money on masonry paint and extra labour fees for the painting.
How Do I Find and Hire Someone to Render the Outside of My House?
Finding the right renderer can be challenging. At HouseholdQuotes, we can connect you to renderers in your area.
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External rendering is a job that will expose any flaws in the finish to everyone who passes or visits your home, so you must be picky when choosing your contractor to ensure you get the results you want for a fair price.
If you can see recent work completed on neighbour’s homes, it’ll give you a good indicator as to whether or not that particular contractor is worth your time or if you should avoid them like the plague.
However, if no one you know has had external rendering done recently, you can always turn to the internet to find a suitable contractor.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
The first element on the list of requirements is to obtain a written quote. This is an essential part of any home renovation job and will help to give you some stability when negotiating prices.
Asking for an itemised list of options with their associated prices will also help you to judge who is the best fit for your specific job, as you have like-for-like elements to compare with other contractors.
It’s a good idea to get around three to four different quotes and to let the contractors know that you are shopping around for quotes as this helps them to be more competitive for your custom, which can help to drive prices down.
Seeking out the contractor’s experience, much like you would with a potential employee, is a vital part of the hiring process.
If you’re opting for a pebbledash finish, you want to make sure your contractor can complete that finish to a high quality. It won’t be of much help if the person is great at cement rendering but has never applied pebbledash.
Similarly, finding their customer references and any associated photos or videos to back up their claims can help to give you a visual idea as to whether or not the contractor is a good fit for you. While they can say anything about themselves on their website or any promotional flyers, the proof is in their finished work, and if it’s no good, then you know they’re not right for you.
Finally, all contractors should carry insurance to cover both themselves and you while they work. If for any reason a contractor doesn’t have insurance, or they refuse to show you proof, then it’s best to strike them off your list of potential contractors as they could end up being unreliable and causing damage to your home which they won’t cover.
If you want to give the outside of your property some love and a makeover, then applying a fresh coat of external render can be the way to go.
With such a big job, it’s best to make sure you’ve thought about all eventualities before getting started. Here’s our final checklist to make sure you’ve considered everything before getting started:
- What’s right for you? Do you already have render applied to your home and do you like how it used to look? Getting a like-for-like replacement can be a good idea to replicate what you already have and to keep your property in line with the look of the others around it
- Does your existing render need to be removed before a new layer is added? Consider where the skip would stay during the project, and whether or not you need council approval to have it sitting on the roadside if you don’t have a driveway
- Think about the location of your property. Do you need something ultra-hardwearing to help your property withstand the elements, such as in a coastal position? If so, pebbledash might be your best call, whereas more in-land properties can choose from a wider array of finishes
- Do you want a rough or smooth finish? Make sure to consider the different finish options to find one that suits your needs
- Will you want to paint over your render? Look into acrylic or polymer with an already pre-treated colour to save another job of painting
- Collect three to four quotes from contractors, and let them know you’re vying for other’s work as this will help to make their prices more competitive
- Have itemised quotes to easily compare between different traders
- Make sure to check their references, experience, and find out if they have insurance. If they don’t, do not agree to work with them
Use HouseholdQuotes to find local renderers and potentially save money on your house rendering project.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need Planning Permission to Render My House?
Generally speaking, planning permission isn’t needed as this is considered general maintenance and upkeep of your property.
Where the lines blur is if you’re situated in a conservation area, national park or an area of outstanding beauty. In these locations, you will need to seek approval before having external render added to your home.
In these areas, you’ll likely be asked to clad your home in a similar, sympathetic style to those around you to ensure the style of the area is consistent.
How Soon Can I Paint the New Render on My House?
This depends on the type of render you have. For acrylic or polymer, you should wait between three to five days before painting.
It increases to four to seven days for lime, and then up to five to ten days for cement, monocouche and pebbledash
As previously mentioned, you can skip this step if you opt for a pre-coloured render in the first instance, which will give you a coloured finish as soon as the render is applied with no waiting period.
How Long Does Render Last?
When applied correctly and properly maintained, external render can last between twenty and forty years, making it a substantial investment in the health of your property.
Is Render Difficult to Maintain?
With such a long life expectancy, it’s straightforward to imagine that there’ll be a certain amount of upkeep required to keep your external render in top condition during its lifetime.
It starts with proper application and applying a masonry coat to ensure moisture penetration is lessened as much as possible. Render without a paint coat is susceptible to getting damp over the years when subjected to the elements, so it’s an important step to not miss.
Then, depending on the finish you choose there are different aftercare routines. You can take a look at these in detail on this page.
Is It Possible to Remove Pebbledash?
Pebbledash can be hard to remove from a property owing to its hardwearing properties, but it doesn’t make it impossible to remove.
A professional will be able to remove it from your exterior, but it’s good to note that it’ll take longer and therefore cost you more in labour hours than a smooth render surface.
What Are the Alternatives to Rendering?
If your home is already rendered but you don’t want to apply a new coat, consider painting the exterior. Masonry paint can work wonders to refresh and revitalise the look of your home at an affordable cost, and the colour choices are limitless.
Otherwise, cladding is another way of giving your property a different look whilst also adding extra protection to the outside of your home.
Stone cladding can give your home a traditional look whilst timber cladding can look either traditional or modern depending on the type of timber and finish you choose.
Whenever you plan to make changes to the outside of your home, it’s a good idea to check if your home is subject to any local restrictions. If your home is in a conservation area, there may be constraints on the materials and finishes you can use.
How Is Render Different To Plaster?
Although similar, the biggest difference between plaster and render is the simple fact that plaster is applied to internal walls, and render to external surfaces. The main differences are:
- Rendering uses more cement in the mixture, as well as coarse sand, to increase the strength of the walls and offer protection against the weather including rain and snow
- Less cement is used in a plaster mixture, together with fine sand, to attain a finer, smoother finish that’s easier to paint and decorate
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