Rendering best practice more achievable

Dale Telling of Fassa Bortolo UK looks at the steps to take in choosing the best external render system for your next development.

Practical, durable and stylish, render systems can completely transform the exterior of a property through colour or finish, while protecting buildings against typical British weather conditions. Whether it’s the development of a suburban new build, a series of coastal properties or a period restoration, there is a render to suit the job.

As with all external finishes, there is uncertainty as to which systems can be used with different substrates, but – providing you know the material you’re using – a render company can easily specify the right product to suit your property.

The key considerations for most builds and renovations are cost, maintenance and aesthetics. Rendering provides one of the best solutions here, delivering a striking design and seamless finish to a house which can be applied in a matter of days.

With a good quality render, developers and builders can be assured of a durable finish that will stand the test of time against algae, weathering, and any other factors that could damage or discolour the finish. Some render systems are more hard-wearing than others, but homeowners will be able to keep the surface looking its best for a number of years with minimal upkeep.

A crisp, clean white render is one sought-after look, especially within modern construction, where white walls and dark grey window frames are in demand. However, if your planning requires a different colour to blend with the rest of the buildings in the area, you can often match your render to almost any shade with a colour matching service available at distribution centres, or direct through manufacturers.

Render for insulation (EWI)
For builds that require good insulation properties, consider incorporating external wall insulation (EWI) on a mechanical rail system in the form of mineral wool or Expanded Polystyrene (EPS). Suited to a range of residential and commercial properties, EWI systems deliver excellent insulation and a sleek aesthetic finish.

Such systems can create a drained cavity behind the render carrier board which allows the components to breath from behind, and drain any moisture caused by condensation.

This type of system can be easily installed due to its light weight, and can be part applied to a timber frame structure offsite for accuracy, with the render applied to the facade onsite, either by hand or by machine once the project reaches the final stages. These systems can be fixed to a multitude of substrates, making it versatile within most housebuilding projects. It is common to add insulation via a cavity wall or internal panel, however some systems are applied to the building exterior to maximise the living area.

Renders to suit all
Some renders are limited to certain substrates, whereas others can be applied to almost any building material, and finished with bespoke colour options making these renders versatile options for any project. These systems can involve several stages, but can be completed from start to finish in a relatively short space of time.

Set featured imageSome projects require a render system that can be applied quickly by machine or hand, and finished the next day. A fast and efficient option for decorating the facade of a building, single coat renders offer simple application and are ideal for protecting substrates against all weather conditions. Generally applied to masonry substrates, the finish is recommended to be 15 mm thick to comply with regulations, however thickness is dependent upon location.

Listed and heritage buildings often require a completely different render system that allows walls to breathe.

Many of these older buildings have issues with damp and condensation, so need a lime-based render system.

Dale Telling is commercial manager at Fassa Bortolo UK