Are you looking to give the exterior of your home a new lease of life? For a long-lasting option, you should consider pebble dashing. In the following guide, we'll equip you with all of the essential knowledge needed, to make an informed decision about pebble dashing.
This article breaks down the pros & cons of various types of pebble dash and looks at how much it would cost, based on the size and property type. The following article will prove very useful if you're planning to have your home pebble dashed at some point in the future.
Pebble dashing is the process of rendering the outside of a property with a lime-heavy mix that generally includes shells, or more often, pebbles. This mixture may also contain sand, cement, and small gravel. The popularity of pebble dash, also known as rough cast, is largely down to its durability, low-maintenance qualities, and suitability for exposed or coastal regions.
The average cost of pebble dashing a home is around £3500 to £5500, although this is a broad estimate. The average price will vary depending on a range of different factors, including the home's size and type, the chosen pebble dash render mix (i.e. limestone, marble or flint), the existing exterior materials on the house, ease of access, and property location.
The reason that the latter point is a cost-affecting factor is due to how labour costs differ from region to region, with some of the highest rates in the southeast of England and some of the lowest in North England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Let's now take a closer look at price estimates for different scenarios.
To pebble dash, a medium bungalow will cost about £1880 to £4100. For a small bungalow, expect a total cost of £1325 to £2775, and as for a large bungalow, it will probably set you back between £2990 and £5100. You will likely pay several hundred pounds less to pebble dash a semi-detached bungalow than you would for a detached bungalow.
In the case of a small terraced house, to pebble dash house of this size will cost around £1500 to £2675. Your total bill will likely end up between £2125 and £4000 for a mid-sized terraced house, or £3300 to £5000 for a large terraced house.
If you are looking to get a semi-detached house pebble dashed, you can expect to pay around £2150 to £3710 for a small property, £2785 to £4460 for a medium property, or £3770 to £5375 for a large semi-detached home.
Should you wish to pebble dash a home that is detached, it will cost roughly £2525 to £4535 for a small home, £3700 to £6135 for an average detached house, or approximately £5165 to £7850 to pebble dash home in the form of a detached house.
The labour cost will likely range from £275 to £550 a day, on average. You'll need to hire at least two labourers for the job, although perhaps three or four, with the cost of hiring one professional landing around £130 to £150 a day.
With the job taking as little as four days, to as long as two weeks, you can expect to pay a labour cost anywhere from £520 to as much as £8400. It will really depend on the scale and timeframe of the project. While hiring fewer labourers will cost less on a daily basis, the work would take longer with fewer hands on deck, so this won't necessarily represent any real savings.
|Type of Property||Size||Total Cost|
|Bungalow||Small||£1325 to £2775|
|Medium||£1880 to £4100|
|Large||£2990 to £5500|
|Terraced House||Small||£1500 to £2675|
|Medium||£2125 to £4000|
|Large||£3300 to £5000|
|Semi-Detached House||Small||£2150 to £3710|
|Medium||£2785 to £4460|
|Large||£3370 to £5375|
|Detached House||Small||£2525 to £4535|
|Medium||£3700 to £6135|
|Large||£5156 to £7850|
There are three common types of pebble dash materials, namely, flint, limestone, and marble. In this section, we'll take a closer look at each of these options and break down their pros, cons, features, and average costs. We'll also consider how they differ and which option is the most popular and least popular.
If you want to keep your expenses to a minimum, the best choice is limestone pebble dash, with an average cost of £8 to £10 per 25kg, which is around 45-50% as expensive as marble or flint. This makes it the cheapest option in terms of the pebble dash a home price.
Limestone has a wonderful natural aesthetic, although it is more susceptible to damage and staining in the long-term since it is not as resilient as flint or marble pebble dash. Despite this, limestone can still do a decent job at protecting your property against the elements.
In some cases, homeowners will use limestone pebble dash where they need to match with a painted finish or wet dash and where there is a lack of texture.
✔ Inexpensive to install
✔ Natural aesthetic
✖ Not as resilient as the alternative pebble dash render choices
✖ May suffer from staining in the long-run
The smooth appearance of marble offers its own touch of beauty, albeit at a higher price than limestone. Marble pebble dash costs approximately £18 to £20 per 25kg, making it twice as dear as limestone.
That said, its glistening appearance is considered an upscale alternative to limestone and marble comes in a wide range of colours, while also providing greater durability.
✔ Elegant and glistening visual
✔ Whole host of colour options
✖ More expensive than limestone
✖ Still susceptible to long-term staining
Next, we have flint. This aesthetically pleasing stone finish is also available in various colours. Further, flint is resistant to scratching, stains and corrosion.
However, with a cost of about £18-£25 per 25kg, it is as expensive as marble and about twice the limestone price. It is also prone to seeing its colours fade with time due to sunlight exposure.
✔ Long list of colours to choose from
✔ Resistant to corrosion and stains
✔ Beautiful aesthetic
✖ Not as cheap as limestone in the terms of the pebble dash a home cost
✖ Colour can fade from long-term exposure to sunlight
There will be some minor variations in applying a limestone, marble or flint pebble dash render, but the steps are largely the same.
Pebble dashing is somewhat challenging work. If you are not familiar with this job, you should consider hiring a professional. Alternatively, make sure that you undertake extensive research and know exactly what is involved. You'd also need to decide on the right pebble dash for your property, budget, and preferences.
Once you've picked an option, and should you choose to hire a contractor, it might be worth your while asking your friends and family for a recommendation. If not, the criteria you should look for in a labourer is someone with experience and ideally some positive online reviews or references. It would be best \to ask a few different labourers/companies for quotes before making a decision.
Before any work can begin, the mix must be prepared correctly. First, lime needs to be mixed with water, per the instructions of the manufacturer. It should be covered over and given at least 24 hours to hydrate. The remaining elements should then be added, such as sand, cement, or/and slaked lime.
The exact materials needed for the mix and ratio of the mix will vary depending on the type of pebble dash being used and the specific product employed. At this point, the labourer(s) will now have the base mixture required.
A trowel may be used to apply this mixture onto the wall in order to pebble dash wall number one of all those you want to coat. The trowel must be held level, and the edges should be employed to make a smooth, flat coat mix on the wall. By doing this, you will create a base layer.
It will take about one hour for this surface to dry. Next, rake the base layer using a notched trowel to establish a grooved surface. This will make it easier for the next layer to stay in place. This should also be given a minimum of 24 hours to dry.
Whether it is limestone, marble, or flint pebbles, they will first need to be rinsed and then fully drained. They should be added to a sizable flat bin or a large bucket. This should be placed beneath the wall. The top layer should be mixed as per the manufacturer's instructions and then applied using a trowel.
The goal here is to create an even and smooth top coat which is laid over the base layer. The labourer(s) will likely use a plastic sheet to capture any falling pebble debris by placing it spread out beneath the wall. These pebbles may then be reused to ensure that the wall is completely covered in pebble dash.
To apply the pebbles in the first place, the bucket should be held below the wall being worked on. The contractor may scoop pebbles up either with a scoop or a trowel. The pebbles should be flung at the wall to give that natural, slightly chaotic look of a pebble-dashed wall. Some will stick, while others will fall onto the plastic sheet. In the end, though, the wall should be fully and evenly covered with pebbles.
As soon as this is achieved, it's important that each section is checked and lightly pressed with the back of a trowel to confirm that the pebbles are securely in place. Once more, the wall should be given 24 hours to dry. The reason that this process may take so long is down to the size of the area.
To have an entire detached house pebble dashed is going to involve many days, even weeks of work, for instance. To fully cover a house, the steps outlined in this section should be repeated for every wall for which you would like to pebble dash. Once all of the work is complete, it'll be a simple matter of cleaning up the area.
Rather than getting a variety of work done on your house over a long time period, you may prefer to get lots of jobs out of the way at once, so at the same time as having your home pebble dash rendered.
For example, to have a wooden roof, joist repaired will likely cost between £400 and £475. If you would like to repair a metallic joist, expect the cost to rise to around £550 to £650. As for replacing a whole roof, this will likely set you back £2700 to £3450.
Painting pebble dash will probably cost between £700 and £1300 depending on the property's size and the number of walls you need to have painted. Wall preparation work may be more expensive, depending on the extent of the work required.
As for planning permission and building regulations, if any expenses apply, you'd be looking at paying about £150 to £250 and £200 to £250 respectively.
As mentioned, rendering walls with pebble dash is not one of the most straightforward DIY jobs. It's essential that each layer of the mixture is just right and applied in a specific way.
If you have some relevant experience or feel sure that you know exactly what is involved, you should proceed with caution. Otherwise, it best to hire some professionals.
As for planning permission, the main requirement that must be met in order to avoid needing approval is that the materials used should have a similar appearance to those already present on the exterior of your home.
The other examples where planning permission approval is needed are if your home is a listed building or if you live in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Broads, a National Park or a Conservation Area.
These rules of planning permission apply first and foremost to England and Wales, although the rules may differ if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
There are also some building regulations to consider. If building regulations or planning permission approval is required, you'll need someone to sign off on your work. If you have any doubts, you should contact your local council.
As with any work, there are risks involved. For one, you could accidentally ingest some dangerous materials. Also, if you are working at a height and using a ladder, for instance, there is the threat of falling. The most important consideration with any do it yourself project is to make sure you are conscious of any safety steps that should be taken.
There are of course some disadvantages to pebble dashing. For one, there is a risk of falling if working at a significant height. Secondly, commercial equipment is required, it can be disruptive work, and it can also prove a bit time-consuming.
If you fail to receive planning permission or building regulations approval, you will need to reapply with the suitable changes made to your application(s).
Yes, but you'll need to use a suitable masonry paint like Dulux Weather Shield.
Removing pebble dash may be achieved by rendering and ideally with a colour render.
It should last for 20 to 40 years.
Not really. Unless you have the specific mix and equipment needed, it will be nearly impossible to effectively repair a pebble dash.