I've no idea about diy so after some advice!
Have a small two bed victorian terrace house with pebble dashed front.
The stuff is in good condition - but I hate the stuff.
I would prefer the original bricks underneath, but have read this
might not be possible, so would be happy with a rendered front.
How much (roughly) would it cost to remove the stuff? Could I do it
myself? (For an expert) would it be an easy enough job?
It's mortar with gravel embedded in the surface. If it's well attached
it's a pig to get off with a hammer and bolster, fairly easy with an SDS
drill and chisel bit, say 40mm wide. But the drill will be heavy and not
particularly comfortable to use from up a ladder. A tower scaffold might
be better. The SDS will probably leave a rough finish so re-rendering or
some form of cladding or facing would be necessary. Although rendering
at ground level is not that hard to learn, a large area over a house
front is not the best way to start learning and I would not recommend
Remember that peebledashing is usually put on for a reason rather than as a
fashion statement. Generally there is something to hide under the dashing,
maybe the bricks are crumbling, or there have been unsightly repairs in
non-matching bricks (common in repairs to bomb damage post war). It may just
have been that it needed re-pointing and to dash was cheaper than repointing
(still is). It may have been to try and cure a rain penetration problem in a
non cavity wall.
To ensure dashing sticks, a good 'key' is required, and although this is
sometimes just done by raking out the mortar joints, often the wall is
hacked with a pointed hammer to makes lots of key areas with no regard to
the visual impact on the bricks, as they are about to be covered up.
When dashing is removed it is common that chunks of brickwork also come
away, and certainly unsightly bits around the mortar joints will damaged.
A house not too far from me had dashing hacked off to reveal an absolutely
horrendous scarred surface. Not only did the owners have to have the walls
repointed, they had to have extensive areas cut out and replaced. The
finished job doesn't look too bad at a distance, but close examination shows
that to conceal the extensive damage to the brick near the mortar joints
they have had to repoint with a very odd style where the entire joint sits
proud of the face, and no doubt this will lead to water problems as each
course is effectively a little ledge for the rain to sit on and penetrate.
On 14 Feb 2004, Grouch wrote
re: removing pebbledash-
Painting pebbledash is certainly one answer to brightening it up, but
so far on my own house I've decided not to do that.
Granted, grey pebbledash isn't nearly as pleasant-looking as a nice,
cleanly-painted facade -- but once it's painted it's painted, and then
it'll need....periodical repainting.
I'd recommend giving it a long bit of nuisance-vs-benefit thought
before introducing a previously-unnecessary maintenance cycle to a
property; might be worth it, but might not.
On 14 Feb 2004 10:44:38 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (jonathon)
Pebble dash was usually put on single brick houses to keep the rain
out - no pebble dash = wet rooms.
Yes, equally an infinite number of monkeys on typewriters will
eventually reproduce Hamlet. It's a very long job if the stuff is in
No, hence the bill you can expect. Whatever you do avoid the "wall
treatment" "specialists" who are neither but charge several thousand
pound for their ministrations.
If its not in brilliant condition it should come off, but theres a lot
of brick clean up to do afterwards, and it may well have been rendered
because the wall looked so bad unrendered. Its not unusual to remove
render only to find the brick wall has been patched under all the
windows with odd lightweight blocks, often broken ones at that, making
leaving it on display not a happy option. Or it may be the bricks are
in a bad way, and rendering is practically necessary.
So you dont know what youll find, but probably can remove it. DIY?
Sure, if you dont mind hard work. Just accept the results are a
Just one caveat; if you have 4" walls you probably need the render for
strength, if so dont remove it. Some smaller Victorians have 4" walls.
Having been there and done that I'd think twice before resorting to
painting... it's an absolute sod to do; you need to stipple paint on
to get it between all the highs and lows on the surface. Paint
rollers are ineffective. Takes forever to do, and is bloody hard
work. Once you've painted it once there's no going back, as Harvey
says; although admittedly subsequent repainting isn't half as bad on
But as someone who's name escapes me pointed out, "They used to say
that an infinite number of monkeys sitting at an infinite number of
typewriters would eventually reproduce the works of Shakespeare. Now
we have the internet, we know that's not true."
Rubbish. The Internet has only been available to the general public
(the monkeys) for less than about 10 years - prior to that it was
pretty much the domain of military and academic circles.
Be patient. One day our league of monkeys will come out with something
My published email address probably won't work. If
you need to contact me please submit your comments
via the web form at
apologise for the additional effort, however the
level of unsolicited email I receive makes it
impossible to advertise my real email address!
| >But as someone who's name escapes me pointed out, "They used to say
| >that an infinite number of monkeys sitting at an infinite number of
| >typewriters would eventually reproduce the works of Shakespeare.
| >Now we have the internet, we know that's not true."
| Rubbish. The Internet has only been available to the general public
| (the monkeys) for less than about 10 years - prior to that it was
| pretty much the domain of military and academic circles.
| Be patient. One day our league of monkeys will come out with something
| remotely useful.
But by then our education system will be so poor, will anyone recognise it