Your guide - rendering a house

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Rendering a house is one of the most popular and easiest ways to give the exterior of your home an instant transformation. Either by rendering your entire home or by partially rendering it and combining the render with a material such as wood cladding or exposed brick, there are so many different options that look wonderful. There are so many choices of colour, finish and the type of render to opt for, so there is something for all budgets and homes.

Rendering a house is very popular at the moment on a modern looking house particularly an off white combined with an grey windows, however it does looks great also on traditional or period style of homes, you just have to choose the correct colour and combination for it to work well.

We look at the various types of option for rendering a house including the cost and maintenance. We have also chosen some of the most amazing rendering ideas for houses to inspire your project.

The most beautiful combination of render, cladding and pale grey windows. By Michael Tarring Architects.


What are the different types of rendering for houses?


Cement rendering

The original type of render is a cement render that is mixed on site with sand and cement. It is applied on several layers and often referred to as scratch coat renders as the base layers are scratched for the next layer and the final coat is applied smoothly so that it can be painted onto. Several layers of paint are then required to create the finished look. 

The downside to cement renders is that as the sand and cement is mixed on site, this can lead to a difference in texture of rendering, which will be more prone to cracking and will require painting and maintenance over the years.


Coloured rendering systems

The most popular products for rendering a house now are coloured renders which come in acrylic, silicone or one coat monocouche renders. These rendering systems are made up of anti-crack formulation and UV resistant pigments which allow for large areas to be seamlessly rendered with perfect colour consistency. Coloured render systems have the colour already through them which means they don't need to be painted over the years.

Silicone is a popular choice over acrylic and is common for the leading brands. Silicone render is more robust than acrylic over dirt and algae, so it requires less maintenance in the long term. Silicone renders are thought to be self cleaning in that when it rains, the dirt will wash off. 

Monocouche rendering is applied in one thin coat therefore the least labour intensive form of rendering your home. 

The biggest drawback of coloured render is that the material is more expensive, with the cost around £8-£10 per square metre, compared to cement render costing around £1 per square metre for the materials. Having said that, they requires minimal maintenance and won't need to be repainted, so the maintenance costs are minimal in the long run.

These renders can either be applied with a hand trowel or else sprayed on, significantly cutting down on the labour time. Additionally, as they have the colour already mixed in then they don't need to be painted, again significantly cutting down the labour time and cost.


Lime rendering

This is the most traditional form of rendering and is mostly used on period properties as it looks authentic. It's a breathable option so perfect for period homes where there can be an issue with dampness on the original walls with standard cement. Lime render is an eco friendly option which is also less prone to cracking than standard cement. It is harder to apply than the standard cement mix so best kept for special projects.

This modern rendered extension looks beautiful set against the warmer tones of the period home. By Simon Merrony Architects.


How much does rendering houses cost?

The cost of the render will vary significantly depending on the size of your home, detail of the specific job, your location in the country and of course, the type of render that you use.

Cement render is the cheapest material to buy as it's a basic sand and cement mix. However the labour costs are significant as it requires several layers of application followed by coats of paint. You should expect to pay around £40-£50 per square metre for the whole job. Additionally, if you choose cement render than there will be maintenance costs over time to keep it looking good. Lime rendering will be slightly more expensive for the actual product and the labour time will be slightly more too, so you should expect to pay around £50-£60 per square metre.

Rendering a house with a coloured render costs more for the actual product and the cost will also vary depending on the type of coloured render. Including materials and labour, you should expect to pay from £40 per square metre for a standard render system but up to £80 per square metre if it's an insulated render system, for example. These coloured systems require little maintenance so you shouldn't expect to pay more in the long run.


How long does it take to render a property?

For a coloured render such as a silicone render, you should expect around 1-2 weeks for an entire home. This is also dependent on the weather with no delays due to damp and freezing conditions. Expect rendering a house with either cement or lime to take longer to be finished and painted as it's labour intensive.

Rendered extension looks wonderful next to the traditional brick. By Pad Architects.


Who can apply render to my house?

There are professional companies who are specifically focused on rendering homes which may be a good option if you have a large project - they will be expert in advising you of the best type of render for your home. Most good builders and plasterers will also be able to apply render to your home, just make sure they have experience of your type of product.


What are the benefits to rendering a home other than the obvious aesthetic?

In addition to the design and look of rendering a house, rendering can improve the thermal insulation of your home, with some people choosing to have insulation under the render too which will have an even greater impact. Additionally, rendering a house can also protect your original brickwork from the elements and reduce dampness. 

A striking modern home with cream render combined with a weathered oak. By Model Projects


Can my house be rendered at any time of the year?

The conditions need to be right to apply render and freezing or damp weather conditions will delay this - this applies to all types of render. So if you are applying the render in the winter time, you need to make sure that the overnight temperature will not drop below freezing. Although professionals will render all year round, it's a job that is best left for Spring!


Do you need planning permission before rendering your home?

If you are planning on rendering your house and changing the look of your home, then it is likely that you will require planning permission, particularly if you live in a conservation area. Always check your local planning for guidance.

Rendering on this beautiful property set in a conservation area. By Alexander James Associates.


Published: May 20, 2020


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