Wall Rendering Costs in the UK

During September and October 2016 the team here at Quotation Check sent out over twenty quote requests to tradespeople and companies for new wall rendering on a typical three-bedroom property. Check out and explore our insightful price guide below, which is based on an average of the figures we received.

About Us and Our Render Prices

We have been sourcing quotes from businesses in the home improvement sector for nearly three years. Our goal is to lift the lid on the prices charged by these traders, hopefully, with our data at your disposal, you can steer clear of unscrupulous businesses that overcharge.

Some of our visitors use our data when budgeting for the future, others print off our pages and use our figures as a negotiating position when dealing with sales people. We have put a lot of effort into gathering these figures and producing this website and we hope you find the results insightful.

Please don’t forget that there are some caveats to the methods we used to get wall rendering prices; your house may be different to the ones wanted rendering. The prices charged by tradespeople do fluctuate as do the cost of materials. Businesses all have differing costs, overheads and profit margins.

If you need a fixed quote, we suggest you contact local tradespeople and arrange a quote based on an inspection of your property.

This page was last updated on .

Rendering – A Quick Introduction

Render is a sand/cement mix that is applied to the brickwork or walls on the outside of a building. It was originally used to cover up and waterproof old bricks that had cracked and were letting in moisture.

Nowadays render is very popular as an alternative wall finish. It is usually applied in two coats; the final coat can be “smooth” or “Pebbledash”. Masonry paint is almost always applied to the finished work to keep out moisture, which can freeze in winter and cause the render to “blow” off the wall.

Masonry paint is almost always applied to the finished work to keep out moisture, which can freeze in winter and cause the render to “blow” off the wall.

Cost/Price to Render a 3-Bed House

The average basic wall rendering price for a 3 – bed property is £4200.00 but check out our tables below for more information:

Job 1

Our price/cost example below is to scaffold a 3-bed semi-detached house, remove all the existing render, Key the brickwork and apply two layers of render. The render will not be painted, that will cost extra.

LocationSmall Business /TraderLarger Business (5+ employees)
Need a Custom Price? >Compare Up To 3 Personlised Quotes Here
London Area£4500.00£5500.00
South, SW and Midlands£4250.00£5000.00
Outer Region and North£3500.00£4750.00



 

Job 2

The example below is also for a 3-bed house but instead of smooth render, we want a “Pebbledash” finish. Again we are including the scaffold costs but not painting.

LocationSmall Business /TraderLarger Business (5+ employees)
Need a Custom Price? >Compare Up To 3 Personlised Quotes Here
London Area£5750.00£7000.00
South, SW and Midlands£5500.00£6500.00
Outer Region and North£4000.00£5000.00

Job 3

Again we want a 3-bed house to be rendered, this time with a “Pebbledash” finish and also prepared and painted with two coats of Dulux Weathershield masonry paint. We have included the scaffold costs. Painting Pebbledash s not an easy task, because the surface is uneven it is time-consuming to spread the paint and cover all of the render. It can take three times as long to paint Pebbledash compared to smooth render.

LocationSmall Business /TraderLarger Business (5+ employees)
Need a Custom Price? >Compare Up To 3 Personlised Quotes Here
London Area£6000.00£7000.00
South, SW and Midlands£5750.00£7000.00
Outer Region and North£4000.00£5500.00

Your Next Step – Get a Fixed Rendering Quote Today:

We stand by our research and believe it’s very insightful but we also accept that every house is different. If you want a firm figure, you really need a written quote from a local tradesperson that is based on the specifications of your property.

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Our Price Guide Assumes…

Our price guide displayed in the tables at the top of this page assume the following:

1) Scaffold is erected, this will have multiple levels so the workmen can reach all parts of the wall with ease. Windows will be covered with plastic sheeting, as will your conservatory if you have one.

2) The old render is removed using a vibrating tool.

3) The original wall is then “Keyed”. This involves making sure any new render will adhere correctly to the bricks, grooves may need to be cut into the wall and the whole wall brushed/dusted off. It may be a good idea to wash the wall as well, especially of it’s very dusty. You can also add a plasticiser/stabilising solution to the bare wall, again this is only needed if the wall is very dusty and you are struggling to get a good Key.

4) Apply the first layer (called a “scratch layer”) of sand/cement mix (4 sand to 1 cement) a waterproofer/plasticiser can also be added to the mixture. This first layer should be around 7-8mm thick and the surface must be scratched so the next layer has something to adhere to. The scratches should be a few millimetres deep but not so deep that they go all the way through to the wall.

5) After the first layer has dried (1-3days), apply a second 7mm layer of sand/cement, this time with a 5-1-1 mixture. That is 5 plastering sand to 1 cement with lime added to the mix. Waterproofer/stabiliser should also be added to this final layer. It is essential that the second layer is slightly weaker than the first layer (1st layer 4-1 mix and the 2nd layer 5-1 mix), this is to prevent cracking.

6) This second layer is screeded/straightened/sponged off several times as it’s drying, this gives the wall a smooth sandy finish. This is where experience is key, knowing exactly how and when to screed/straighten will be the difference between a smooth render and a total dog’s ear of a job! 7) Although we haven’t included this in our price guide for rendering, you will need to apply a stabiliser to the new render after it has dried. The surface is then ready to be painted with 2-3 coats of a good quality masonry paint.

Sand/Cement Strength

There is some difference of opinion with regards to the strength of the sand/cement mixture. Some old school plasterers tend to prefer a 4-1 mix for the scratch coat and 5-1 for the final layer while others go for a stronger set of mixtures at 3-1 for the base coat and 4-1 for the top layer./.,b

One thing that is certain is that the layers must get progressively weaker, the first layer being the strongest. Different tradesmen will use different additives and quantities, we would suggest you ask your tradesman lots of questions before instructing him to go ahead with the work.

Be Wary of The Cheapest Quote

Corners can be cut on almost every job, but one place you don’t want to screw things up is on a wall that is about to be rendered.

If the wall isn’t keyed correctly then the render won’t adhere and will fail, not straight away but after a few years of thermal movement.

Here is our essential guide:

Your tradesman should be spending some time getting that wall keyed correctly! That means scoring lines into the brickwork and dusting/washing off so the surface is free of dust and the new render will adhere correctly. The work shouldn’t be done on the hottest day of the year, the cement will dry too quickly and as we all (should) know – cement shrinks as it dries, if it dries too fast it will crack!

The perfect day would be warm/mild but not too hot, not too much direct sunlight either. Rainy days are not good either though, even worse is freezing conditions, the moisture in the cement will expand as it freezes, leading to more issues. The sand needs to be washed to remove the salts that would otherwise ruin the render, special “plasterers sand” should therefore be used. The first layer must be stronger than the second final layer, if the first layer is weaker, it will pull off the wall and/or crack.

Waterproofer, PVA, plasticiser and lime should all be used in the correct quantities which will depend on the weather and circumstances.

Factors That can Increase/Decrease the Cost

  • Where you live is the primary cost factor, London being the most expensive area to have your wall rendered.
  • If you live in a bungalow then your tradesman won’t need to hire a scaffold, so you can save around ~£1000.
  • You can save money by painting the render yourself, just make sure you prep the surface correctly first!
  • Having a chimney that needs rendering will bump up the price considerably, extra scaffold and finishing.
  • Having lots of windows means extra work on the edges, which takes time and costs money (see video)

Questions to Ask Your Tradesman/Company

Here you can find a list of questions that we suggest you ask your chosen traders/companies when they come to quote:

How will you prepare the brickwork prior to applying the render?

How thick will the render be?

How will they form the corners around windows and reveals?

Who will be responsible for any damage caused/noticed after the scaffold is removed? (plasterers blame the scaffolders who claim the damage wasn’t caused by them etc)Get it in writing, if your trader is organising the scaffold, they should ultimately be responsible for any damage that is disputed. If you chose the scaffold company and there is a dispute over any damage then you may have to negotiate.

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7 Responses to “Wall Rendering Costs in the UK”

  1. JohnSeptember 16, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    Great article on plastering, very helpful thanks 🙂

  2. Kevin JoslinOctober 14, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

    All fine and good unless the house was built using lime mortar and soft, red bricks. If you coat these walls with the mix suggested, you will seal what was designed to be a ‘breathable’ wall. A consequence of this will be that moisture will not be able to evaporate from the wall, it will gradually build up inside the cement render and will make its way to the bottom of the walls where over winter, it will freeze and separate the render from the brickwork. This will result in cracking and may threaten the structural integrity of the wall. In addition, older houses often used wooden lintels for doors and windows. If you seal these under an OPC coating, they will rot and in time, fail. If you have cavity walls, the consequences can be even worse as the metal ties will not stay dry and will rust and fail, with very expensive consequences. The main result of coating a lime-built wall in OPC will be a wet wall, which will usually be blamed on ‘rising damp’ (which doesn’t actually exist – water does not flow uphill – the Dutch find it hilarious that we insist on a DPC and they know a thing or two about water) and will usually result in a second bill for worthless chemical injection. Instead, use NHL 3.5 lime and sharp sand in a 3:1 mix for a ‘scratch’ coat (do not be tempted to include OPC in the mix), wait for two weeks dousing the wall with water every couple of days and finally apply a top coat using the same mix. Do not use waterproof coatings as you will cause the same problems as OPC. Use a breathable paint, or for the really ‘old-school’, limewash. Different lime mortar mixes may be needed if you have an exposed wall. When it’s done, it will last for 30-50 years (with suitable repainting – it’s what old timber framed houses were coated with, and they tend to last), If you coat a lime-built house in OPC, it will last ten years, if you are lucky and will often crack and can cause bricks to break and walls to fail. If your house was built in the 1930s or before, it will have been constructed with lime. Most builders don’t know how to use lime and so will use what they do know (if the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail) There are quite a few who do work with lime and it’s worth seeking them out.

    • Natasha BuckinghamOctober 21, 2015 at 9:14 am #

      Thank you so much for this, I suspect no that my home maybe lime , I live in an ex coal board house , it is fab , but there is no cavity walling , it’s freezing in here and for some reason all the vents blocked up.
      I was looking into rendering as many on the street are , Mine being the only detached (mine collapsed next doors fell off) it’s a 50/50 mix half are rendered half are not .. so I am now thinking maybe my porous brick is indeed breathable ?
      In which case I have no idea how to prevent my beloved heat escaping .. I have fabulous loft insulation , windows and doors do need updating , heavy fire doors throughout , but no carpets I can’t stand them ..
      So thought that rendering would be the solution .
      I am now going to research my home to ensure I know what brick it is , and won’t be hiring anyone who doesn’t know the difference.
      🙂 absolutely blown away by the fact you bothered to comment and explain the difference ! Thank you so much .

  3. DeanOctober 21, 2015 at 7:23 am #

    I agree with getting at least 3 quotes and not to always go with the cheapest.
    But the prices your suggesting that include removing existing render look a little short to me. There is no guarantee as to how easy the render will come off, the last thing the customer needs is to have the company get a couple of days in to the job and realise they can’t cover their money. In my experience the removal cost as much as the rendering.

  4. GlenysAugust 13, 2016 at 6:13 am #

    Ur article was very helpful. I am about to purchase a new build house with render to all 4 walls . Three of the walls look great . While sitting in car waiting for rain to stop looked across at house n most of the 4th wall the render looked like ripples / lumpy in most places and part way up we have 4 plug like bobbles? Last week we we shown round the property ( like an inspection ) and asked the site manager about findings to be told. The plug like bobbles were drain holes ( if so why only on lumpy wall ) and the imperfections in render were no problem it was just that the render dries out very quick and the imperfections were caused by the renderer not working quick enough and the wall drying out . Will this was last or should the render be removed and re applied? Will it last long or start pealing off. We did notice a small crack in the render in another wall to be told it will be sorted please can u advise me as I am at my wits end and being pestered by builder to exchange contracts . Many thanks Glenys

  5. Jeremy SinclairSeptember 28, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

    Thank you, very helpful article.
    We have pebble dash render on the walls of our house.
    This render has come loose at the corners of the property, and in places above the damp proof course, which looks messy. Above the ground floor the render is fine though.
    So I am wondering about the urgency of replacing the render, what guidelines do you suggest. Also whether it is feasible to replace the render to ground floor level only – possibly leaving a line of flat render when keying into the render above. Then painting over the whole house?

    Thanks, Jeremy

  6. AmyFebruary 19, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

    We are gutted, we’ve just had our kitchen hacked off, injected and re-rendered because of damp and have now been told the exterior which is pebble dashed has blown. We were hoping to get the garden done this year but looks like the money we have saved will have to go on the exterior of the house instead. It’s over 100years old, end terraced 3bedroom house, it’s a cold house with slightly higher ceilings. After reading the posts especially the one from Kevin I’m guessing we need a silicone based render and not the usual. As we are on a tight budget I’m thinking of just painting the exterior and not having it pebble dashed again, will this still be ok as I don’t fancy going thru this again in a couple of years.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    Amy x

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