What to Look for in Your Render Contractor

By Jamie Orr
Date 15/04/2021
what to look for in your render contractor

Rendering your walls is no mean feat. It’s a highly important job for your house, with a significant impact on your walls’ performance and appearance. With that in mind, you don’t want just anyone working on your render.

So how do you separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak? Read on as we list six things to look for in your render contractor.

1. Render contractor experience

While it’s difficult to name one specific factor that’s the most important for a render contractor, experience is definitely up there. Having plenty of experience rendering walls means contractors will have spent years perfecting their craft.

It’s also a sign that they’re good at what they do, because it’s almost impossible to stick around for so long if you’re not doing a good job. Word of mouth spreads quickly, after all.

Check the website of each render contractor to see how long they’ve been operating. This could be when their company was set up as well as industry experience more broadly. To make sure, you can check for examples of their previous work or look for case studies on their website, which should date back a few years to match their claims.

2. Reviews for contractors

Even if a contractor is experienced, how do you know for sure that the work they’ve done over the years is up to scratch? That’s where reviews and testimonials come in. With the advent of online reviews, it’s easier than ever to see what other people have to say about contractors.

Facebook and Google are a good place to start, along with dedicated review sites like Trustpilot. However, there are a few things to bear in mind:

  • It’s natural to be drawn to bad reviews and let them shape your opinion of a company. Even if most are five stars, the one you remember will be the essay about late arrivals and shoddy workmanship. Don’t ignore it, but just bear in mind that no company can please everyone, and people often like to emphasise any problems they encounter.
  • If you’re a render contractor just starting up, you’re likely to ask your family and friends to leave a five-star review to bump up your rating. It’s common practice, but it can be misleading for potential customers. Go beyond the average rating and look for total number of reviews and what they’re actually saying – sometimes the giveaway is as simple as a shared surname!
  • Finally, some people review a little too soon. Their rating is based on a friendly face and render that looks good after a week. Ask them five years down the line and they might have changed their mind completely. This is just something to bear in mind – and if you can find any buildings a render contractor has worked on in the past, they might give you a better idea in terms of longevity.

3. Render products

Being very good at rendering counts for nothing if you’re using cheap, substandard products. Even the best render jobs will fail to stand the test of time if corners are cut when it comes to materials.

Here’s a brief rundown of the different types of render contractors can use:

  • Cement – Basic, cheap and lacking durability and weather resistance.
  • Lime – An upgrade on cement but still not particularly durable.
  • Pebble dash –Basic render with pebbles (or similar) added for a traditional look.
  • Silicone – Improved water-resistance and flexibility at a cost to the environment.
  • Acrylic – Similar to silicone but also non-breathable.
  • Sprayed cork – A high-performance render that’s sustainable and breathable.

Make sure you ask contractors what products they use on their rendering jobs, or check their website for more information. Ideally, they should be able to name recognised brands and products, like SprayCork, which reflect their rendering knowledge and the quality of their work. You can then do your own research into their products of choice to make a more informed decision.

4. Qualifications & training

Rendering is not a job for a jack of all trades or have a go hero. It requires specific skills and know-how, which are usually acquired through professional training. NVQ courses in External Render, recognised by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), are a good way to confirm that a contractor is up to the job.

As well as general render training, the best contractors will have training for specific products. At CorkSol, for example, all our Approved Applicators have been fully trained to achieve the highest standards using our products.

Finally, there’s the health and safety aspect. A render contractor will need to work at height to cover all parts of your wall. Without the right training, they could harm themselves, damage your property or at the very least compromise the appearance and longevity of the render they’re applying.

What to Look for in Your Render Contractor

5. Are they certified and accredited?

Even with the right skills, training and products, how do you know you can really rely on any given contractor? Fortunately, there are a number of organisations dedicated to helping consumers find contractors they can trust, including:

These groups assess contractors before granting them accreditation, certification or membership, so you can trust that they’re safe, compliant and work to the highest standards. As with training, you can also look for more specialist accreditations, like CorkSol’s Approved Applicator Scheme.

6.   Local render contractors

It’s not advisable to choose render contractors – or any tradesperson – based solely on their location. However, there are various benefits to working with a local contractor, if you’re choosing between a few reputable options.

Local contractors are sometimes cheaper, as they won’t need to factor in travel time and costs when pricing up your job. They’ll also understand local building regulations or planning requirements. On top of all that, they will be nearby should you need any further assistance, providing that much-needed peace of mind after the job is complete.

Find an expert render contractor near you

At CorkSol, we aim to take the hassle out of finding a render contractor you can trust. With our Network of Approved Applicators, you can easily find a contractor that’s trained and experienced with the best rendering products. All contractors in our network have been fully trained using our products – and products are exclusively available through them as a result.

Ready to get started? Find an Approved Applicator near you today for a free, no obligation quote.

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