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External Render Finishes & Types

external render finishes & types

First impressions count when it comes to property. And of all the upgrades you can make, a new external render is one of the most valuable. Whether you want to enhance the kerb appeal of your home, address a structural issue or improve performance metrics like energy efficiency and sound insulation, an external render can make all the difference.

That said, it’s important to do your research and choose the right external render finish types for the job. With so many options out there, it can feel like a daunting task. This is why we’ve put together an easy-to-digest guide packed with information on the main types of external render finishes, highlighting their pros and cons.

Spoiler alert – we’ve got a soft spot for silicone, EWI and cork render – and we think you will too!

Silicone render


Durable and flexible: Silicone is like the Swiss Army knife of render finish types. It’s highly durable and flexible, which means it’s less likely to crack when exposed to temperature fluctuations over time. This makes it ideal for the Yorkshire climate, which can bring everything from snowstorms to weeks of sunshine.

Breathable: This type of render allows moisture to escape from your walls – a characteristic that helps to prevent issues like damp and mould growth inside your home.

Low maintenance: Silicone render is self-cleaning which means you don’t have to worry about regular maintenance.


Cost: Quality comes at a price which means silicone render is generally more expensive than other external render finishes / types. But think of it as an investment in your home and yourself. Increased durability means you’ll enjoy savings in the long run and free up time for pursuits other than home maintenance.

Application: Silicone renders should be applied by a skilled professional, meaning DIY jobs are off the cards.

External Wall Insulation (EWI)


Energy efficient: EWI is like wrapping your home in a cosy blanket. The technology drastically improves thermal insulation, reduces heat loss and helps to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. You won’t just be comfortable – you’ll be thrilled when you see the savings on your energy bill.

Sound insulation: Live within spitting distance of the A1 or near a lively pub in Doncaster? EWI can help keep the noise out and contribute to a quieter and more peaceful living environment.

Protects structural integrity: By protecting the underlying walls from the elements, EWI is one of those high-performance render finish types that can extend the life of your home’s structure.


Cost and installation time: EWI can be more expensive and time-consuming to install. However, for many Yorkshire homeowners, the long-term energy savings and improved comfort often outweigh these initial costs.

Cork render


Eco-friendly: Of all the external render finishes & types currently available in the UK, cork render is one of the greenest. It’s made from sustainable materials which makes it a no-brainer for eco-conscious homeowners.

Thermal and acoustic insulation: Cork is a natural insulator and provides excellent thermal and sound protection. This means your home will stay warm, quiet and comfortable, no matter what’s going on outside.

Flexible and breathable: Similar to silicone render, cork is both flexible and breathable. This reduces the risk of cracks and prevents issues like damp and mould.

25-year guarantee: Cork render is so durable that manufacturers like CorkSol back their product with a 25-year guarantee, when installed by an approved applicator like Total Trades. It’s rare to find render types with a quarter of a century’s worth of guaranteed performance!


Cost: As with most eco-friendly external render finishes and types, cork render can be pricier. However, its benefits in insulation and sustainability make it a worthwhile investment for legions of Yorkshire homeowners.

Cement render


Affordable: Cement is one of the most cost-effective render options out there. If you’re on a tight budget, it could be a solid choice.

Durable: Tough and durable, cement can withstand a lot of wear and tear.


Cracking: Cement is one of those render finish types that can be prone to cracking over time.

Higher maintenance: Unlike other render finishes, cement isn’t self-cleaning and can require more maintenance to keep it looking fresh.

Acrylic render


Wide range of colours: Acrylic renders come in a rainbow of colours which makes it easy to achieve a customised look.

Flexible: More flexible than cement, acrylic renders are less likely to crack.


Not as breathable: Acrylic doesn’t allow as much moisture to escape, which can potentially lead to damp problems.

Cost: It’s generally more expensive than cement but doesn’t offer the same high-performance benefits as cork or silicone.

Why we love silicone, EWI and cork renders

While each of the mentioned external render finishes / types has its perks, nothing beats the performance of silicone, EWI and cork renders. At Total Trades, we have more than 20 years of experience applying external renders in Doncaster and the surrounding areas, so we know our stuff!

Here’s a quick recap:

  • Silicone is durable and easy to maintain, making it the perfect external render for busy homeowners who don’t want to worry about constant upkeep.
  • EWI stands out for its energy efficiency and sound insulation. It’s ideal for those looking to create cosy, quiet living spaces.
  • Cork render, with its eco-friendly credentials and excellent insulation properties, is a terrific all-rounder.

The bottom line on render finishes

Like most home improvement decisions, choosing between render finish types is all about balancing cost, performance and aesthetics. This is where expert guidance comes in handy.

Total Trades is here to help you make the best choice for your home. Whether you’re improving a detached family home in Doncaster, a period farmhouse in Hatfield or a modern build in Rotherham, we’ve got you covered. As well as personalised advice and professional application, we see our service through with top-notch aftercare.

Call Total Trades on 0333 5771139 today to discuss external render solutions that not only look fantastic but will stand up to whatever Yorkshire weather throws their way.

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