Why you shouldn’t bash the idea of pebble dashing your home

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Pebble dash often gets a bad rap, seen simply as a naff and unfashionable exterior
render for homes. But despite its rocky reputation, there’s a lot of reasons to love
pebble dashing. It’s practical, cost-effective and doesn’t need a lot of care.
Not convinced? Read on to find out what pebble dash is and why it’s beneficial to
many homes.

Riverside Lifestyle

What is pebble dash?

First off, it’s probably a good idea to explain exactly what pebble dash is, as it’s often
confused with other types of render.

Pebble dash is a render that’s applied to the exterior walls of homes. It usually
consists of a cement, sand and lime plaster layer with stones or pebbles applied to
the surface while it’s still wet. The term pebble dashing comes from the technique of
throwing the stones onto the render.

Similar renders, such as rough cast, add stones straight into the mix. With pebble
dash, the stones are exposed to give a colourful and textured appearance.

Reasons you should use pebble dash

Although you might think of pebble dash as unfashionable, it was one of the
favoured architectural tools of the Arts and Crafts movement. This is the same
movement that first brought the beautiful wallpaper and fabric designs of William
Morris into homes. If you have a period Victorian or Edwardian house, there’s a
strong chance it has some pebble dash sections. So, to keep your home true to its
design roots, look after and embrace this pebble dashing rather than try to change it.
But you shouldn’t think of pebble dash just in terms of aesthetics. Pebble dash is
highly practical too. It provides a layer of protection in tough environments. This
means that homes in coastal areas and in rural areas such as open moorland, can
really benefit from pebble dashing. It can limit the erosion of brick and stone walls
and keep structures sound for a long time.

Adding an extra layer to your home’s exterior also helps to increase insulation. So,
your home stays warmer, and your energy consumption and bills are reduced.
Pebble dashing a house costs as little as £2,000 and can last between 20 and 50
years if it’s looked after. Therefore, it’s affordable and durable. But what other
benefits does pebble dashing your home have?

Further benefits of pebble dashing

As you now know, a pebble dashed exterior will last you a long time. But it’s also
very low maintenance. And unlike painted walls, it doesn’t need redoing every few
years to stay looking good.

Pebble dashing can also help to hide imperfections in your brickwork. So, if
alterations to your home over the years have left your exterior with mismatched brick
and block work, pebble dashing can help your home achieve a more uniform look.
Isn’t it a bit too beige?

Pebble dash is typically thought of as a brown-beige coating. But there’s plenty of
choice of decorative stones that you can use in pebble dash. This makes it a lot
more versatile than you might think.

Mixtures of quartz, flint, marble, dolerite and a mineral known as Derbyshire Spar
mean pebbles come in a range of colours and textures. So, you can have a sparkly
bright white or a matt, honeyed tone to your finish. Red, rich brown and black stones
can also be thrown into the mix to give your home’s exterior a more individual

When a rough cast or smooth render treatment might be better

Of course, pebble dashing isn’t for everyone and it isn’t always the best option for
every home. Sometimes a rough cast or smooth render treatment might work better.
This is especially true when you wish to add insulation or protection to your walls but
want a painted finish. Pebble dash can be trickier to paint over than other renders, so
it wouldn’t be your first choice.

If you fancy a clean-lined, modern finish to your home then perhaps a pigmented
silicone or smooth cement render with a crisp white finish would work best. Similarly,
if you want to use colour contrasts on your exterior – such as white walls and black
window frames or cream walls against sage green doors and eaves – then pebble
dash isn’t necessarily right for you.

In conclusion

Hopefully you can now see that pebble dash isn’t at all bad and should be a
consideration when you’re looking to improve warmth and reduce the maintenance
of your home.

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