Going Old School: Choosing a Traditional Exterior Render for Your Home


While modern building materials have reached levels of durability and strength previously undreamed of, there's a still a lot to be said for many older processes and materials that are still in use. Traditional exterior renderings may have been supplanted in many places by modern acrylic and polymer finishes, but these venerable (and in some cases ancient) house coverings have many fine properties which are just as useful now as they were hundreds of years ago. The following traditional renderings are still in widespread use today:


Ideal for sprucing up a home's exterior on a limited budget, cement renders are relatively cheap and can be applied relatively quickly by professional renderers. Many homeowners like the look of unmodified cement renders because they are aesthetically versatile, and various paints, tints and pebble dashes can be applied to achieve a variety of new looks for a home. Cement renders can also provide a small but significant boost to your home's heat insulation, and they are enormously tough and durable.

However, cement is a very rigid choice of rendering and may not be suitable for older, timber-framed homes—this is because these homes tend to expand and contract with changing temperatures, causing cracks and flaking to appear in the surface render. Cement renders will also degrade quickly if they are penetrated by moisture due to damage or age.


Lime rendering gives your home the distinctive all-white appearance seen on many period homes and cottages, but it's useful for much more than its prized looks. Lime render is flexible and breathable, making it an excellent choice for older homes, and it can be applied to a wide variety of wall and substrate types. Despite its relative softness, it is also enormously durable, and its rough, rustic-looking surface leaves any cracks and defects that do appear barely noticeable. While modern lime renders are not made of the chopped hair and cows milk that went into traditional renders, they are still made of biodegradable materials, and lime renders have excellent environmental credentials.

However, there is a price to pay for all these advantages—and it's usually a big one. Lime renders require high-grade materials and skilled craftsmen to lay properly, and rendering an entire home in lime can be an expensive endeavour indeed. Lime renders may also be unsuitable for heavily polluted urban areas, as the bright white lime may be stained and yellowed by airborne contaminants.


Plastering your walls with mud might not seem like the best idea, but clay renders can be remarkably attractive if applied well. As you can imagine, they are about as eco-friendly as it's possible, and if you can source your clay locally you can keep your impact on the environment to a bare minimum. Clay is also an excellent heat insulator, and a clay render can cut your heating and air conditioning bills significantly.

Clay differs from other renders in that it never cures and sets, and while this makes repairing damage and cracks a breeze, it also confers a few disadvantages. It should not be used on homes that have existing problems with damp, as it can exacerbate them. Driving rain and wind will noticeably erode your clay over time and necessitate renewal. Clay renders also absorb water rather than repelling it, which can cause serious problems with mould and metal corrosion in wetter areas.


31 May 2016

Questions to Ask Before Hiring Remodeling Contractors and Other Tips

Remodeling your home can be stressful, but it can and should be exciting and fun as well. The right remodeling contractor helps significantly to reduce the stress in your project and boost the fun factor. However, to find the right remodeling contractor, you need to ask the right questions. Hi, my name is Mark, and I love old homes. As a result, I end up loving remodeling. I have bought and remodeled five homes so far, and if you are thinking about diving into this type of project I want to help. This blog will cover everything, from questions to ask contractors, to tips on doing somethings on your own. Enjoy and thank you for reading.