18 April 2022

Rendering a Brick House: Are There Alternative Ways to Modernise?

Danielle Redford
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Whether you’re a home improvement newbie or a seasoned reno wizard, every homeowner enjoys showcasing their property.

As contentment thins and urges to update your home’s appeal get the better of you, so do the endless questions and options influencing your refurb decisions.

Many make-over masters turn to the all-too-common cement render solution, in an attempt to maintain neighbourhood trends or consistency.

But are there better, more cost-effective methods to revamp that outdated exterior though?

Let’s discuss why rendering a brick house isn’t for everyone, detailing some equally-effective revival methods to fall back on.

Why Homeowners Like Rendering a Brick House

A slap of cement render looks brilliant, there’s no doubt about that. But is it the only path of progression?

Being the last owner in the street yet to face-lift that jagged 90s texture isn’t fun for anyone, and your or your neighbours’ homes might sit undervalued because of it.

Most homeowners view cement rendering a brick house their primary go-to because they:

  • Have the perception that it’s the ‘thing to do’ and decide it’s convenient to follow suit.

  • Have witnessed first-hand how well it transforms others’ homes.

  • Aren’t aware of the many alternative restoration ideas or techniques circulating the current reno world!

Rendering a home is an incredible way to revitalise a building, but it’s not suitable for absolutely every dwelling type.

Often, homeowners research whether similar homes to theirs (that are rendered), are selling for more, encouraging them to ponder the popular spruce-up.

Is Rendering a Brick House Your Best Option?

Upgrading a home’s exterior can be rewarding, boost investment potential, and will just feel more satisfying. However, should you fork out that hard-earned for an arguably ‘overdone’ concept?

Firstly, you’ll need to figure out exactly why you want to render your brick abode by answering the following four questions:

  • Will I be occupying the property or renting it out in the immediate future?

  • When do I plan on selling the home?

  • What’s it going to cost?

  • How much value is it genuinely likely to add?

If you’re planning to make the house your primary residence, knowing you’ll be there for years to enjoy it, it’s likely worth pulling the trigger on a major rendering job.

Intentions of putting your home on the market shortly? Then maybe hold off until you’ve got concrete, viable numbers outlining its feasibility.

The point of selling a property is to maximise profits, so only consider initiating significant renovation works if it makes financial sense to do so - otherwise, letting the next owners brunt the costs and hassles will likely be in your best interest!

It’s only natural to want to be 100% comfortable in your chosen property as your primary residence. If it means spending the money to render and fits within your budget, then why not?

How Else Can I Refresh My Home’s Appearance?

Committing to an expensive, sizeable reconditioning project can be highly unsettling, proving the decision-making process to be the most vital step.

If your mind has danced around the maths and is yet to convince you either way, here’s several alternative revamp options to weigh up that will save you some cash.

Grab a brush

Whisk or roll over door and window trimmings, guttering and the roof yourself or by hiring a pro. Try to avoid whites as they won’t look overly convincing against the bricks, but most shades of grey and other tones will work.

Reanimate the garden

Check out the current landscaping.

Plant species, size, shape and colour are the four factors you’ll be working with. Older brick homes yearn for a sense of ‘bulkiness’ regarding gardens and greenery.

Brickwork is already visually overwhelming, meaning big, block-style shrubbery dense in colour is likely to work best.

Contrast is also critical, so select lighter plants for darker bricks, or perhaps a bolder treeline or hedge for lightened foundational shades.

Make colours work

Either opt for light trim on dark bricks or vice-verser. Greys are available in many variants, including green, blue and purple-based shades, but your brick colour will be the ultimate determinant.

Take a step back to the curb and imagine you’re seeing the property for the very first time as a prospective buyer.

What specifically could improve that curb appeal as you enter the street? Does the driveway or something as insignificant as the side gate need a refresh?

Other Things to Consider

  • Mailboxes - Does your mailbox deserve an upgrade? Does the colour match the home’s walls?

  • Fences - Perhaps that dated wooden, pallet-like structure you call a fence requires a complete replacement? Again, colours and materials matter when selecting a boundary liner that truly compliments the main building when viewed from the street.

  • Walkways & Stairs - Yards featuring stairs, stepping stones or other path-like constructions should do so with a range of design, colour and texture options. What will visitors or tenants see as they’re guided through your home’s entrance and will it match the rendering if you decide to go ahead with it?

  • Balconies & Patios - You might have a second-story bedroom balcony or a full-length patio spanning your home’s entire face. What’s on the balcony, is it cluttered and could it be minimised, reduced or repainted to suit a cement render make-over?

  • Ornaments - Exhibiting extravagant yard ornaments is an impressive (and sometimes bold) design gesture. However, large, colourful statues, fountains and other garden centre pieces might not suit the grey-scale-like modernism rendering a brick house offers.

Making a Final Decision

Deciding on rendering a brick house can be tough. But at the end of the day, a cost-benefit analysis is what it comes down to.

For some, value for money might be the primary deciding factor, while relevance and curb side appeal could mean everything to others.

Contemplate your next goals or anticipated life events when deciding where home improvement ranks on the importance ladder.

Add any investment-related pay-offs and your current financial situation to the equation and you’ll have your answer!

Happy renos!

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