While other types of cladding may create an attractive new look for the outside of your home, few combine the aesthetic appeal and long-lasting protection that you get with rendering.
Whether you’re looking to revitalize the external appearance of your home, cover years of wear and tear, or add some much-needed curb appeal before putting your property on the market, a good quality render can make even the oldest of homes look like a new build development and -best of all- keep them looking that way for years to come.
Still, if this is your first time renovating your property, likely, you have at least a few questions.
What’s the best type of rendering to use? How long will the whole thing take? Most importantly of all, exactly how much does house rendering cost?
Today, we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we outline everything you need to know in order to set an appropriate budget for your rendering work.
House rendering costs vary depending on the size of your home and the materials used, but the investment can prove well worth it for the added protection, insulation, and curb appeal it provides
What is House Rendering?
Much like timber or stone, house render is a particular variety of cladding which is applied to the outside of your home in the same way that you might apply plaster or drywall to the interior.
Rendering can be applied to either the entire external surface of your property or a single part of it, the latter proving to be the most common option on homes where only a single wall is showing signs of old age.
Either way, the finished job adds an extra level of long-lasting durability and vibrancy to your property. In most cases, this ensures that it’ll be years before you even have to pick up a paintbrush and add a fresh coat of paint to your external walls.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen more and more homeowners invest in rendering before putting their property on the market, such is the positive difference it can make to a home’s value.
Yet that’s far from the only reason to have the work carried out. Other key reasons include:
Creating a Fresh, New Look
With such a wide variety of colors to choose from, house render can completely transform the look of your home. While this is a good enough reason for anyone who may be fed up with the same old exterior they’ve had for decades, there’s actually much more to it than changing things up for the sake of it.
Over time, years of weather damage, and general wear can leave homes looking old, tired, and run-down. Render proves to be an effective, affordable way to cover up this cosmetic damage, turning your home from the blight of the neighborhood to the talk of the town.
Provide Added Damp Protection
In older homes, particularly those in areas prone to heavy rainfall, water has a nasty habit of seeping through solid brick walls. This results in a build-up of damp that can cause a multitude of expensive problems.
Since even some of the best home insurance companies won’t cover you for damp and condensation damage, it pays to prevent that damage from occurring in the first place. A solid house rendering can help with this by stopping water from even touching the brickwork, thus preventing damp.
Added Heat and Insulation
While render itself will provide minimal added insulation, many homeowners opt to combine the work with the installation of external wall insulation. While this can prove expensive (adding an extra $50 – $60 per square foot to the total cost), it often proves more cost-effective to have both jobs carried out at once rather than done separately by different contractors.
What’s more, the added insulation means you’ll be relying less on your heating system to keep your home warm. As such, the savings on your home energy bills mean that the insulation ends up paying for itself in the long-run.
How Much Does House Rendering Cost?
A smooth, lime or acrylic-based render can add an attractive new look to any property
For the average American home, a full-scale house rendering could cost between $3,000 – $20,000 including materials and labor carried out by a skilled professional.
While that may give you a starting point when it comes to setting your budget, we’re not blind to the fact that there’s a whole world of difference between those two figures.
The truth is that like many home renovation projects, the actual cost is determined by a number of different factors. In this case, it’s typically the size of your home and the type of rendering you have done which will ultimately determine how much you have to pay.
With that in mind, let’s look at some more detailed figures:
House Rendering Costs by Property Size
When it comes to determining house rendering costs, size matters. Larger homes like this one will cost more than the standard suburban three-bedroom home.
The size of your home determines not only how long it will take your contractor to finish the job, but the quantity of materials they’ll need to order. As such, when you ask that contractor to provide a quote, the cost is the first thing they’ll consider.
While older homes tend to be the ones that need rendering the most, the good news is that they’re typically much smaller than modern homes, which means they generally cost less to render.
Small homes – $3,000 – $10,000
Smaller homes such as those built before the 1990s and modern, two-bedroom properties tend to average around 1,725 square feet. At the lower end of the scale, you may find a professional willing to do the work for around $6,500, though we’ve found that most tend to quote in the $7,000 region.
Mid-Range Homes – $7,000 – $14,000+
The average three-bedroom home built any time from the 1990s to the early two-thousands will usually average anywhere from 2,095 to 2,330 square feet. To render a property of that size, expect to pay a minimum of $9,000.
Keep in mind, however, that certain types of material, and whether or not you choose to add exterior installation, could see those costs scale upwards in excess of $14,000.
Large Homes – $15,000 – $25,000
Modern properties built after 2013 tend to be at least 2,600 square feet, though older homes with four or more bedrooms may be even bigger than that.
At the bottom end of the scale, a budget of $15,000 will ensure you have enough to pay for enough render of your entire property, especially if you use cheaper materials such as cement. Again, other materials could require a larger budget of anywhere from $20,000 – $25,000.
House Rendering Costs by Material
Some renders such as acrylics and monocouche come pre-mixed in a variety of colors
It’s no secret that cladding in general is available in a wide variety of finishes, but not everybody is so familiar with the idea that render itself can be made from a whole host of different materials.
After the size of your property, it’s these materials that will largely influence the cost of your house rendering. All of the prices below are based on the rendering carried out on a full property and include both material and labor costs.
Cement Rendering Costs – $3,000 – $10,000
When most people think of house render, it’s usually the cement variety they’re thinking of.
Chosen for its relatively low cost and ease of application, cement was the go-to choice for rendering projects before many of the other varieties even came along.
In terms of materials alone, this tends to be the cheapest option as even premium quality cement costs less than other options such as lime or PVC. However, in order to be effective, cement requires several coats to be applied, and, as you can imagine, this soon causes labor costs to add up.
That’s not the only disadvantage, either. Unlike other options, a cement render doesn’t stay fresh forever and will regularly require repainting to keep your home looking at its best.
Lime Rendering Costs – $5,500 – $12,000
A limestone render can breathe a whole new lease of life into older properties like this one
Until low-cost cement came along and stole its thunder, lime was the traditional material of choice for home rendering.
In recent years, it’s enjoyed a resurgence in popularity of sorts as people discover the benefits of applying a lime render to older homes.
More so than any other material, lime is very breathable which means that when it’s applied, it prevents the problem so common in older homes of moisture becoming trapped in the walls and causing damp build-up.
No doubt inspired by the way lime-based interior plasters manage to both cover cracks and damage while still adding a smooth, polished finish, lime is typically chosen as much for its aesthetic qualities as it is its damp-proofing ones.
While it looks attractive on its own, a regular coating with a decent limewash will help it to retain that attractive new look long after the work is finished.
Polymer Rendering Costs – $9,500 – $20,000
Also known as polymer-modified render, this takes your standard white cement or limestone and uses it as a base, with different types of polymers blended in to reduce their weather-resistant qualities and overall strength.
Each polymer type produces a different finish, though each one provides added strength and durability, meaning the finished job will carry on looking brand new for longer.
The best part is that most brands come pre-colored, eliminating the hassle of continually repainting.
On the downside, this added strength and weatherproofing capability does come at a cost, with a polymer render costing an average of $10 – $20 more per square foot than a basic lime or cement finish.
Acrylic Rendering Costs $9,500 – $17,500
Acrylic sealers are often applied as a thin finishing quote to enhance the aesthetic qualities of the undercoat and prevent cracking.
Good quality brands will also mix silicone into their acrylic render which not only keeps that fresh new finish looking at its best for years to come, but also helps keep things clean.
With a silicone-based acrylic render, natural rainwater will clean away any dirt, meaning that’s one less job for you to worry about.
Monocouche Rendering Costs
The name ‘Monocouche’ comes from the French for ‘single layer.’ As you’ve probably guessed already, this means that you can apply just a single coat and get all the durability and attractive finish that you’d normally only get from several layers of other types of render.
It’s also very easy to apply which, combined with the single coat, means your contractor shouldn’t take long to finish the job. Naturally, that means significantly reduced labor costs, and if you’re doing the job yourself, this might be a good way forward.
However, that doesn’t make this the cheapest option of the bunch. Bags of premixed monocouche render are very expensive to buy, and with each bag covering around 10 square feet, the costs soon add up.
On the plus side, monocouche renders are usually pre-colored and have the same ‘self-cleaning’ properties as silicone-acrylic options, saving you a small fortune in maintenance costs over the years.
Frequently Asked Questions About House Rendering
Completing a full render on a large home like this one should take a professional contractor between two and three weeks
Do I Need a Permit to Render My House?
As a general rule, you don’t need to apply for a permit to carry out a home rendering project as this typically falls under general repair and maintenance. However, there may be exceptions to this rule, and it’s always worth checking with your local building authority before you start work.
Keep in mind too, that if you’re a member of your area’s Homeowners Association, then they may have their own rules and guidelines about what is, and isn’t permitted.
Who Can I Get to Do My House Rendering?
With the right materials, a good quality trowel, and some scaffolding, it’s technically possible to render your exterior walls yourself. However, unless you’re already fairly experienced at this kind of renovation work, you’re likely to find that the DIY approach takes far longer yet looks far less smooth than it would if you brought in a professional contractor.
The good news is that finding such a contractor shouldn’t be too difficult.
Most professional drywall finishing companies and professional plasters should also offer external wall rendering services. If they don’t, they should at least be able to point you in the direction of someone who does.
How Obvious Will it Be if I Only Have Part of My Home Rendered?
If it is done well by an experienced professional, your render should blend flawlessly with the rest of your property, but it all depends on the kind of finishing texture.
If you have areas where the existing render is damaged, or if you’ve recently had an extension built that is being rendered for the first time, then your renderer will have the task of ensuring that the old and new render match.
This is much easier to do if your existing render has a smooth texture, especially once you paint over it.
However, if you’re adding a new render that is vastly different from the old one, then it may not look so seamless. In that case, if costs allow, it might be easier to simply tear out the old render and redo the whole property from scratch.
Can I Combine Materials When Rendering My House?
Combining rendering with other materials such as stone and timber has been a popular design trend in the last few years
Absolutely you can. In fact, one of the biggest trends in home exterior design over the last couple of years has been mixing a traditional render with other types of cladding such as timber or stone.
While this can create a unique look that really makes your house stand out from the crowd, it may prove more expensive, especially if you have to hire multiple contractors to add them to your home.
How Long Does it Take to Render a House?
It should take between one and two weeks to render a house from the day your contractor first arrives on-site to the day the final pack up their tools and leave.
Of course, if they’re removing your old render before replacing it with a new one, then this may take at least an extra week.
Otherwise, the process is fairly straightforward. First, your contractor (or perhaps a team of contractors) will prepare the walls. This means repairing any structural defects to ensure the walls themselves are solid and sturdy enough to support the render finish.
After that, things like security alarm boxes will have to be removed, as will bargeboards, pipes for collecting rainwater, and any other external details.
Next, door frames and windows will be properly treated to create a smooth, clean edge for the render.
This whole preparation process should take no more than a day. For smaller properties, it may only take the course of a single morning.
If you’re having external wall insulation installed, this will be the next step and should take two to three days depending on the size of your property.
With that foundation, a fiberglass rendering mesh will be applied to create a strong, reinforced foundation, and finally, the rendering itself will be built up and a finish applied.
If you’ve chosen a pre-colored render material that requires no painting, then all that is left to do is to reattach those pipes and other external details. Otherwise, the finish will be painted over and this can add another two or three days to the total time.
How Long Does House Rendering Last?
Applied well to a clean, solid wall by an experienced contractor, your new render should continue to serve you well for years to come.
However, some types of render are more durable than others and will, therefore, last much longer.
With an acrylic render, for example, you should expect to continue enjoying a good return on your investment for the next thirty to forty years, though that will depend on what kind of condition your walls were in pre-rendering.
Likewise, lime-based renders are often chosen specifically for their long-lasting strength and, done well, could last you upwards of 50 years. In other words, use lime render now, and you’re unlikely to ever have to re-render again in your lifetime.
With the cheaper, cement-based options, however, there’s a greater risk of your render cracking or even shrinking over time. In that case, you’re looking at between eight and sixteen years before you need to start thinking about having that render replaced.
Final Thought: How to Choose the Best Rendering Material for Your Home
Having looked at all the house rendering costs above and weighed up all of your options, only one question remains:
Which is the best rendering material to use for your home?
As with most things, this is all going to depend on exactly what you’re hoping to achieve.
If you’re looking to simply refresh a tired-looking property and at a little extra weather-proofing for as little as possible, then the low-cost of a cement render will undoubtedly be your best option.
If lasting protection and durability are what matters most to you, then polymer and acrylic options should definitely be on your radar, while monocouche is always worth considering if you’re more concerned with style over substance.
Finally, we’d be doing you a disservice if we didn’t once again sing the praises of a lime-based render for older, traditional properties.
Offering greater flexibility and breathability than the standard-cement options, it proves to be the most effective render for combating the kind of damp and moisture-retaining issues that can so frequently affect older properties. Meanwhile, it has a smooth, polished finish that can really transform an outdated property into one that would fight right in with even the most modern of neighborhoods.
Though it tends to be more expensive than cement, this combination of unbeatable protection and aesthetic appeal means lime truly does offer the best of both worlds.