What is Rendering and Why is it Trending Now?

Whether you like this trend or not, render is everywhere you look!

Render has become a very popular trend in modern building and renovation in Melbourne but what is it and why is it trending?

Rendering, when applied to the construction or renovation of buildings, refers to the application of cement to external and/or internal brick or concrete walls in order to achieve a smooth or deliberately textured surface. Also called cement rendering or solid plastering, rendering work is usually carried out by qualified plasterers. Widely done throughout Europe for centuries, rendering appeared on early Australian stone and mudbrick dwellings, but with the exception of some Federation style homes in the mid-1950s, it was an overlooked technique in this country until recently.

Rendering can improve the waterproofing and fire rating of a building, but the primary reason for doing it is aesthetic. In fact, in Mediterranean countries and elsewhere in Europe, a brick structure is not considered complete until it is rendered. Scratch beneath the rendered surface of many of those gleaming white homes on the hillsides of the Greek islands, for example, and you’ll see they were constructed of brick. In some regions of France, local councils even dictate the colour of a rendered surface and not rendering is unheard of. (1).

From a renovation perspective, render really can update an older, dated exterior and add value to your property by increasing street appeal. If you can afford to render and are looking at selling your property, consider rendering only if your going to make your money back after the sale.

Buyers now want low maintenance, move-in-ready, modern homes. Rendering can help create that modern, low maintenance feeling for buyers.

A good way to work out whether rendering is the right thing for your home or investment property is to begin with why you’re doing it. If it’s your own home and you’re planning to live there for the long term, then go for it: do what will help you enjoy the property most, as long as it fits into your budget.

If you’re planning on selling your home or it’s an investment property, then my advice is to only do it if the numbers stack up.

Most often, your decision to render or not will come down to the cost; and this can vary from a few thousand dollars to over $20,000 depending on the size of the house and the wall areas to be rendered. Also take into consideration that the additional painting, maintenance, and other costs associated with rendering can really begin to spiral out of control. (2).

For all those DIY’ers out there:

Rendering is a specialist technique perfected over centuries of innovation. Render must be applied properly to avoid disaster. Render can crack, even if applied by a professional because houses move. Consider hiring a professional renderer rather than doing it yourself.

If your not sure whether to render there are plenty of other finishes you can use for a brick home to modernise your exterior: paint your roof and trims, update the garden or re-do your driveway and path.

If you really don’t like rendering, that’s fine too.

Rendering is not always an option and depending on the style of your home, you can use other finishes, tips and tricks to get a modern finish. Your best bet is to get some professional advice before spending any time or money on your exterior.


1. HiPages.com, What is Rendering, 12 Nov 2012, Rob Schneider.

2. Domain.com.au, Why you shouldn’t render your brick home.

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