Summary: How much does it cost to render a house, average labour and material costs and factors to consider.
Rendering a house can be an attractive prospect for a number of reasons. Whether it is to brighten up the external appearance of your home, to reduce heat loss, to blend in a new extension to the rest of the property or just to renew old and tired existing render, many householders consider embarking on this type of project during their time of home ownership. However, most have little idea of the costs or implications involved.
|Rendering/Pebble dash house (External)
|£1500 – £4500 (m²)
Factors to consider
Firstly you will need to think about why you are undertaking this project. If your main driver is not down to aesthetic reasons then you will be likely to be prioritising by cost rather than by quality, whereas if you are significantly trying to improve your home you may wish to spend a bit more in order to obtain a better finish to the job. Similarly if it is the whole house being done you will probably want to go with a professional installer, whereas just a small repair or renewal may be something you could consider doing yourself.
In this age of rising fuel prices and concern over household carbon emissions, many people are looking to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. A simple coat of render can serve to reduce heat loss by a certain degree, but if you are considering this project you may want to go a step further and investigate insulated render or cladding in a bid to make your home more energy efficient for the future.
Most houses in the UK now have insulation of some sort in the loft area, but people tend to forget about the walls. In studies walls have been shown to account for around 40% of the total heat loss from a semi detached home, significantly more than the roof area and this figure will be higher in a detached home. Insulated render will be more costly in the short term, but has been shown to significantly reduce heat losses from a house and will be of particular importance to householders in solid walled properties where cavity wall insulation is not an option.
A step further would be to consider external cladding which, particularly in solid walled properties, can have a massive impact on energy consumption in the property. The cost of insulated external cladding can be very high and can involve major works to reposition windows, doors and other external features, but for a family intending to live in the same property for many years to come, it can be a very worthwhile investment. A wide range of systems are available for both insulated render and cladding, but always make sure any installer you use is registered with INCA (the Insulated Render and Cladding Association).
DIY rendering can be a fairly straightforward job, although often costs can run close to the cost of getting an installer to do the job for you. If you are rendering above the ground floor you will need to obtain scaffolding, the cost of which can run into hundreds of pounds for just a few days, whereas a contractor may well have his own equipment and be able to offer a more competitive price. Tradesmen can often obtain materials much cheaper than the general public too and due to the nature of rendering there is often a lot of waste, so frequently more materials will be used than originally calculated.
The finish on the render will be an important consideration at the start of the project. Popular finishes include pebbledash, smoothed concrete which is then painted and rough concrete finishes in a range of styles. The decision on this will largely depend on taste, although it’s a good idea to make sure the finished job will complement the rest of your own property and fit in with the character of the area so as to not upset owners of neighbouring properties.
Costs to consider
Prices for basic rendering by a contractor will be dependent on the materials you specify and the finish you want, as well as the square meterage of wall to be treated. A rough guide for a typical 3 bed semi detached house with basic render would be around £4,000 – £5,500. Insulated render will cost a bit more again, typical prices being around £7,000 – £9,000 and external wall insulation with cladding can run over £10,000 depending on the type of system used.
Most rendering jobs will involve the use of scaffolding, so it can be savvy to consider what other jobs you could get done at the same time. Painting upstairs windows, servicing fascias and guttering or having the chimney repointed can maximise the value you are getting. If it is the contractors own scaffolding, do request permission to use it for other purposes before going ahead with other jobs.