Upgrading the external look of your home is one of the most effective ways of adding value to your property, and a new render is one of the cheapest ways to do it.

Render is normally made up of sand and cement or a flexible, breathable polymer render which suits properties with solid walls. It can hide multiple sins on the brickwork of your period home, whilst creating a sleek finish on modern homes.

Why should you render?

It is not uncommon to see a variety of properties along a typical street in a city. They will be more or less modern, older, some were built in the past, or with exposed bricks, while others had colours applied in the past. Some properties have a render finish while others do not - this is a good question! Here are the various reasons for rendering your property.


Historically, the most important reason to render property is to improve its appearance. Rendering a shabby looking wall can brighten it up, and it can be used to give the whole house a facelift.

There can be a real mash-up of brick types on a property, or the property may look worn and drab because of years of exposure. You can completely change the appearance of the property by adding a layer of render - giving it a smooth uniform finish. That term seemed to be associated with pebbledash in the 1970s, but nowadays it is usually associated with white smooth renders.

Re-rendering may be necessary if your render is old and worn, or if it is cracked. During this process, the old render will be stripped off the exposed wall and a new one will be applied. Installing render would be an alternative to having to re-paint every few years if you have painted brickwork as well; in this case, it would provide an attractive finish instead of being scruffy-looking.

Preventing dampness

Water ingress and penetrating damp are two other reasons why people choose to render their homes. When exposed to the elements over a protracted period, some types of brick can be susceptible to dampness. There are many problems in the house due to water entering the house through the solid brick wall. Rendering the outside walls of the home prevents damage from occurring to the home by blocking the path of water in. Of course, this is just one option. 

You should have an expert examine your property for damp issues before rendering it. He or she will tell you what you need to do. Render may not be the best solution in some circumstances, and if rendering is appropriate, then the type of render you use will be important - so if you are dealing with damp, do your research.

Improve thermal performance

Rendering your home provides some insulation of its own, but if you are rendering, it is the perfect time to consider full external insulation.

The cost of external solid wall insulation is high - as is that of rendering, but if scaffolding is going up and you're having your wall rendered, go ahead and think about external insulation. There is typically a 50-60 pound per square meter cost for rendering a building, whereas installation of exterior insulation with render costs about 100 pounds per square meter, so insulating at the same time makes sense. The insulation of a building can also benefit from various grant monies, however, rendering will not.

Is rendering worth it?

Whether you live in a modern home or a more traditional home, there are still several good reasons to render your property. Having said that, you are looking at a considerable expense - rendering might not be worthwhile for everyone. If you are thinking about getting render, think carefully about whether you want to insulate the wall at the same time- since this is an investment that will be on your wall for many, many years and will cost you a lot to remove or replace.

How much does it cost?

If you wish to give your home external rendering, you will generally need:

  • An initially based coat, depending on substrate
  • A topcoat either, Thin Coat or Scratch Coat

What are the types of render finishes?

Old or historic buildings suit a lime render with a textured or patterned finish, whilst modern homes can benefit from new, silicone-based renders that are flexible, breathable, low-maintenance with a smooth finish.

  • A lime render is the best option for old homes. The material is breathable and flexible, making it ideal for period properties where dampness is an issue.
  • Typically, cement render is used on exterior walls. Mixing it on-site and using inexpensive materials makes it cost-effective. However, as it requires two to three coats, labour costs soon mount. To keep it looking fresh, it must be regularly repainted.
  • Usually made of cement or lime, polymer renders are impregnated with plastics to maintain their shape. Colour can be added directly to the polymer render, eliminating the need for painting.
  • Often, acrylic renders are used as a topcoat. For a longer-lasting finish and to prevent cleaning, silicone may be added.
  • This method means one coat is sufficient, as Monocouche means 'single bed' in French. A cement render based product, it can be troweled or sprayed on after it has been mixed with water. Easy to apply, but expensive to buy, you save on labour and maintenance fees. This product is easy to clean, won't crack, and is already coloured, so no painting is necessary.

How to render walls

Rendering walls is an important skill to have. Knowing when your house needs to be rendered and how much it will cost is even more useful. Before spring, you might want to check so you can book someone in for the work during better weather.

Visit Amaroc today for more information on rendering.