The mere phrase ‘pebbledash’ conjures ghastly images of grey, boring houses. But in addition to being used to knock up cheap housing, pebbledash — or rough-cast render — was also a big part of the Arts and Crafts movement.
On the other hand, if your home’s original features have been covered with post-war pebbledash, you might be looking to restore it to its former glory. I know I would!
Either way, before determining the cost of removing pebbledash (and indeed whether it can be done), it’s important to know the difference, and why it’s there in the first place.
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What Is Pebbledash?
Pebbledash involves literally throwing smaller stone fragments on to wet mortar on an external wall, which is then pressed in. Conversely, rough-cast rendering requires the mixing of larger stones or pebbles in with the cement and sand, prior to applying it to the walls. The latter creates a smoother finish which is usually painted or limewashed.
Favoured for covering up damage and/or building cheaper houses in the post-war years, pebbledash creates a more textured finished and is also used on houses in areas prone to coarse weather.
What’s Involved in Removing Pebbledash?
Before finding out what’s involved, first, consider your reason for wanting to remove it.
Of course, you might simply dislike it. It’s not the most popular choice of fascia in the 21st century, and as a result, this might affect its value. But, consider why it may have been applied in the first place.
Pebbledash is usually good for around 20-40 years, so it’s possible that it’s beginning to crumble away, which will need rectifying. Pebbledash rendering is designed to protect the outer shell of your house. Which means if it’s cracking or dropping off in patches, it’s exposing the house to potential problems with damp. So, what are the options?
Remove the Pebbledash
Removing pebbledash is not easy. But it isn’t impossible. It’s a labour-intensive process using hand tools, and the brickwork would need to be cleaned in order to restore it to its original state.
Lifestyle blogger Simone Olivia had this done to her Victorian terrace, the details and process of which she shares in this post.
Bear in mind though that this could uncover — or cause — damage to the brickwork underneath, which would need repointing.
Repair and Paint the Exterior
You can hire someone to repair any damaged surfaces, however, this will cause problems with mismatched areas. It is possible to have it painted, but given the texture of the surface, this in itself is not easy.
Paint-rollers won’t work and stippling the entire area will take a very long time. Spray painting will be much more efficient.
Render the Wall
A properly executed rendering job will involve removing the existing pebbledash and rendering over the bare bricks. Having new render applied on top of the existing finish will add unnecessary stress to the walls.
With the risks involved in what you could potentially uncover by stripping the exterior right back, having a new rendering job might be the best option. So, what’s the cost of removing pebbledash and re-rendering?
Removing Pebbledash – 2021 Cost Comparison Table
Prices include scaffolding where appropriate. Painting is extra and not included in the table below:
|Job Type/Size||Details||Average Cost||Time|
|2-bed bungalow||Removing existing render and applying a flat render, finished with a damp sponge for a smoother finish||£2,100 – £3,000||4 – 6 days|
|3-bed semi-detached house||Removing existing render and applying a flat render, finished with a damp sponge for a smoother finish||£3,800 – £5,200||5 – 8 days|
|4-bed detached house||Removing existing render and applying a flat render, finished with a damp sponge for a smoother finish||£6,300 – £7,800||1 – 2 weeks|
|3-bed semi-detached house||Re-rendering with a pebbledash finish and added masonry paint||£4,000 – £7,000||2 weeks +|
Please note that this table has been put together as a guide only, using data gathered from Quotationcheck.com and Householdquotes.co.uk. You will need to request full quotations from a selection of trusted professionals.
Prices will also vary depending on your location, preferred or recommended removal method, and any remedial work that may be required, such as repointing.
Tips for Hiring a Professional
- Obtain a selection of at least three quotations in writing
- Get a price for the entire job and an estimated time of completion
- Ask for each quote to be itemised, for easier comparison
- In addition to labour, scaffolding where appropriate and material costs, there may be charges for disposal and any clean up required
- When obtaining quotations, ask an expert their opinion on your best course of action. Depending on your preference, an experienced tradesman will be able to decipher which type of rendering job would be best for your property
- Always ask for reviews and recommendations and if possible, speak to previous customers
Can I Remove Pebbledash Myself?
Removing pebbledash is a difficult and long, drawn-out process. That’s not to say it can’t be done. But from what others have said, it’s a bit of a minefield. Of course, if you were an expert in rendering property, you wouldn’t be asking the question. You’d know it’s not something that just anyone can do.
Personally, I’d highly recommend hiring a professional with a good level of experience, which you can find on Rated People. Remember, you have to value your own time against the cost of removing pebbledash.
I would love to restore a Victorian terraced house, especially if it meant renewing the original brickwork. Properties can be a thing of beauty, and some need a great deal of TLC.
Whether your property is a restoration project, or it’s just really not aesthetically pleasing, you can see now; there are options. To speak to an expert and decide which option would be best for you, visit Rated People.
Have you ever lived in a house with pebbledash? What are your thoughts on the cost of removing pebbledash? Please let us know in the comments below, and if you enjoyed this post, please share.