Cob cottage restoration and external lime rendering, Mid Devon

Cob repair to external walls

As with many beautiful cottages we come across in Devon, this one had been coated in a sand and cement render and painted with a non-breathable plastic based paint. As we know very well by now, plastic paints are not good for the environment…well, they certainly aren’t that great for your house either! This cottage is located on a busy road so had a few challenges in that respect. We carefully risk assess all our jobs prior to commencement and ensure that we take appropriate safety measures.

We began by removing the cementitious render, uncovering a few damaged patches of cob in the process. The owner had contacted us because they had signs of damp and were well aware that they needed to remove the existing render in order to stop the problem getting any worse. Once the cob was patched using cob blocks supplied by Scott Parr, we prepared the substrate for external lime rendering.

External lime rendering

For this job we used a three coat build up of lime render. External lime rendering should only be undertaken at certain times of year; lime render that is caught out by frost before it is fully dried out or ‘cured’ can be problematic later down the line. Be aware of this if any builder suggests they can lime render the exterior of your house in the UK during the winter months! This work was undertaken last summer.

Earthouse Building Conservation Ltd - External lime render

This photo shows the cottage after the first coat of lime render had been applied.

The photograph above shows the first flattening coat of lime render before if has fully dried out. There are gaps around the windows as the customer was having them replaced, but we were able to work around this. We ‘made good’ around the windows once they were installed. The stone buttress is a great feature of the house and was left revealed; in later photographs you can see this has been cleaned and re-pointed.

Earthouse Building Conservation Ltd - External lime render on grade II listed cottage

Exterior lime rendering (first coat) on the south elevation of the cottage.

The lime rendering was completed with a final coat of rough scat finish. This rough scat finish has a large surface area and allows the structure to breathe more efficiently.

Silica paint decoration

New lime render painted in Sto silica paint

The customer chose to paint their newly lime rendered cottage using a silica paint system produced by Sto Ltd.

The photograph above shows the road facing side of the cottage. The customer chose a vibrant shade of silica paint, produced by Sto Ltd. Paint colour is a very personal choice and whilst some customers prefer to independently make their decision, Earthouse can help advise on shades and colours in order to make the very best of a building. On this occasion and on our advice, the customer has changed their mind and decided to repaint at a later date in a more subtle colour. The photographs below show the completed lime rendering and silica paint decoration on the cottage.

External lime rendering and cob wall repairs, Mid Devon

The stone buttress has been re-pointed with a lime mortar, with a locally sourced red sand from a quarry just three miles away in Uffculme. The pointing will aid in preserving the stone work. This lime mortar is an NHL 2 hydraulic lime mortar, which is suitable for the soft Heavitree stone of which the buttress is constructed.Lime render on thatch cottage with silica paint decoration, Mid Devon

The final photograph below gives a closer look at the rough scat finish of the lime render. You can also see that the new windows have been fitted with oak timber sills. Below the chimney you can see the lead apron; on this occasion the lead work was done by Lewis Lumsdon, who we work with regularly.

New lime render on a thatched cottage in Mid Devon

Our customers were kind enough to write us a lovely review on our Google page. We have also posted it on our Customer Testimonials page for you to read.

For more information about our building restoration and conservation projects, please see our Blog posts. If you would like to discuss your own project please Contact Us.