5 reasons why rendered walls might not be the best choice for your outdoor space


Imagine transforming your garden and you’re faced with the decision; how to clad the garden walls, and whether, or not, to render them.

In this article, we delve into the 5 compelling reasons why rendering might not be the best choice for your outdoor space. From the complexities of multiple trades involved, to ongoing maintenance challenges and weather dependencies, we aim to equip you with a clear understanding of why alternatives might better suit your garden’s long-term beauty and practicality.


Before you read on, we made a short video on Instagram detailing the main problems with rendered walls.


Outdoor Table Setting Surrounded By Rendered Walls - Photo by Harvey Dyson, garden by Bestall & Co.
Outdoor Table Setting Surrounded By Rendered Walls – Photo by Harvey Dyson, garden by Bestall & Co.


Rendering a garden wall involves:

Applying a couple of layers of material to a brick or block work wall and can achieve a smooth or textured finish.  While rendering can enhance aesthetics and provide weather resistance, it’s important to consider alternative approaches that may better suit your garden’s needs and long-term sustainability.

Research shows that alternative materials can offer comparable or superior benefits to rendering, without the drawbacks of maintenance and weather dependency during installation.  For instance, natural stone or composite cladding not only blend beautifully with garden environments, but also require less upkeep over time. 


5 key things to know about rendered walls:

1. Maintenance challenges

  • Potential regular resealing and repainting (unless a coloured render is used which we’d highly recommend)
  • Potential for cracks and moisture damage – ensure the walled is sealed at the rear and built for rendering (we wouldn’t advise trying to render a wall which hasn’t been built or designed for rendering as it will probably drop off very quickly)
  • Cost implications of ongoing maintenance – mainly associated with badly or incorrectly built sub structures

2. Aesthetic limitations

  • Lack of natural texture and character (although great if you’re trying to achieve a modern ’Barcelona’ look)
  • Difficulty in matching existing garden elements in certain older properties
  • Impact on overall garden design cohesion e.g. if you have existing stone walls

3. Environmental considerations

  • Sustainability concerns with cement-based renders
  • Natural alternatives that promote eco-friendly practices
  • Impact on local wildlife and garden biodiversity e.g. no cracks and crevices for things to hide (although this may be a good thing if you’re not keen on bugs!)
  • Potential health risks associated with rendering materials
  • Safety considerations during installation and maintenance
  • Regulations and guidelines for outdoor construction projects

4. Weather dependence during installation

  • Challenges posed by British weather conditions
  • Risk of rendering failure due to frost or water ingress
  • Seasonal limitations on installation and maintenance, as it cannot be applied during frosty or wet conditions, leading to potential delays

5. Cost effectiveness

  • Initial cost comparison with alternative materials, particularly due to the number of trades involved e.g. brick layer, scratch coat and top coat (then potentially a painter)
  • Long-term savings in maintenance and replacement
  • Durability and longevity


Consider the case of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, who opted for natural stone cladding over rendering for their garden walls.  They found that the reclaimed local stone enhanced their garden’s rustic charm while requiring minimal maintenance compared to traditional renders. By choosing materials that complemented their garden’s existing features, they achieved a cohesive and more sustainable outdoor space.

What are your thoughts on these reasons?  Are you leaning towards alternatives to rendering for your garden walls?  Share your experiences or questions in the comments below.


In Summary

In conclusion, deciding against rendering your garden walls can offer numerous benefits, from reduced maintenance and cost savings to enhanced environmental sustainability and aesthetic appeal.  By exploring alternative materials, you could embrace natural beauty and functionality for a garden that truly reflects your vision and values.

    • Consider the long-term maintenance implications of rendering
    • Explore natural alternatives like timber or stone cladding
    • Factor in environmental and aesthetic considerations
    • Seek professional advice for building regulations, planning permission and customised garden solutions

Choose wisely to create a garden that stands the test of time.  Embrace the natural allure of non-rendered walls for a sustainable and visually captivating outdoor sanctuary.


Article created June 2024.