Whilst the specification of the insulation type, the thickness and the method of fixing the EWI system may not be negotiable the same is not said for the external finish with a wide range of colours, textures and effects available to provide an appropriate project aesthetic.
Properties and indeed entire communities can be transformed through the specification of the finish colour, texture and effect and these days there’s no shortage of choice.
An external render remains a popular finish of choice but long gone are the days when this means mixing sand and cement and painting! These days modern, fibre reinforced basecoats incorporating a reinforcing mesh provide excellent adhesion, strength, flexibility, weather resistance and vapour permeability whilst a through colour finish render provides the long-lasting, low maintenance colour and texture to give the “wow factor” to the end result.
Texture can range from a very smooth finish up to a heavy looking dash effect render. Regional variances aside, the most popular being a fairly light even 1.5mm texture.
When it comes to colour whilst white may still be the most widely used most system suppliers offer a range leading into hundreds of differing colours and often are also able to colour match to any project specific requirements.
Dry Dash Finish
In certain parts of the country (in particularly Scotland) there remains a regional preference to incorporate a dash finish, often using locally sourced aggregate, in order to bland in with the locality.
This offers no challenge with a through colour render basecoat used as a carrier into which the dry dash aggregate can be thrown.
Careful selection of the basecoat colour and the dashing aggregate itself can create stunning effects.
On the whole the UK is a nation of brick lovers and brick remains the most popular way of building homes. It’s therefore natural that there be a requirement for creating a brick finish to an EW system.
There are three main ways that this can be done:
Clay Brick Slips:
These are thin slices of actual brick which create a sort of tile which can be bedded into an adhesive basecoat and a mortar joint created with a coloured pointing mortar.
Clay brick slips are traditionally fired and cast to a thickness ranging between around 10mm and 25mm.
Lightweight Brick Slips:
These systems can accurately replicate the appearance of brick through the use of acrylics, minerals and polymers. Whilst not being as “heavy duty” as a traditional brick slip these lightweight systems do have a place in the market.
Brick Effect Render:
It is also possible to create the appearance of a brick finish through the use of through colour render. We’ve also known cases where timber cladding has also been replicated in this way.
Of course, it’s possible to create an infinite number of finishes by combining different textures, finishes, effects and colours within the scope of a single project. Brick slips to lower levels with render above, different coloured render finishes, feature houses of a different colour / finish … anything’s possible.