My house got a peel.

What a change. I guess Stuart just couldn’t stand the sight of all that spalling, decrepit render, so he took it off. I got a call one day. “We’re just going to chip it off. It will be cleaner.” Well, he says a lot of things and chip, it sounds like no big deal. Who can object to clean? I said sure, sounds good Stuart, and went back to playing Crime City. But this, this may be the single biggest visual change of the whole project.

The question is whether I keep it that way or replace the render. I have noticed that a few houses in the village have been left with exposed stones, like this. Sometimes they limewash the facade, which adds a kind of finish but still leaves the stones. It is pretty expensive to cover it all back up again. I have to think about whether I like the look or would prefer the more formal appearance of a smooth finish. I don’t know. Back when the house was built, it would never have been left this way. What do you think?

12 thoughts on “My house got a peel.

  1. Mmmm, good question. We know there were periods historically when stone houses were designed to be left that way, and your period when they weren’t. Most non French buyers would go for stripping render and leaving the stone apparent regardless of whether it suits because, for many, exposed stone epitomises “French” style;
    I am so glad you are actually thinking about what to do here
    What does JY think?
    An obvious option is leaving the stone around windows and doors exposed, but that look is for rustic farmhouse and cottages, not beautiful symmetrical classical facades like yours
    I have looked and looked at this photos and my gut is saying ..beautiful and immaculate smooth render in a colour that you love with just the corner stone exposed- as originally intended;
    but I am sure many others will scream at me !NO,NO,NO! to cover that would be a crime”.

    1. That’s the way I’m leaning. The irregular stone courses are at odds with the symmetrical facade design. For now the bank account will win and the stone will remain exposed. Over time, who knows?

    1. Is it that he just likes stone or is there another reason? Does the fact that the bid for the render is 65 K affect your thinking at all?

  2. Sometimes in those old houses, the render wan’t purely decorative but helped keep the house dry and insulated – some kinds of stone are more porous than others, and prone to erosion by the weather. I’d check out whether your house was rendered as extra protection, just in case the stone suffers from being exposed.

    1. Yes, absolutely. I am not concerned about the insulation but I do worry about the stone eroding. I’ll be heading back down there in a couple of days. I definitely need to find out. The house will get through one winter but two? Five?

  3. We had exactly the same problem with the house we first bought ( the one on the other side of the lane that has nearly exactly the same front view as yours) and rendered it in the end. It cost, but it was worth it. I think it would look very elegant with tender…the beautiful slate roof doesn’t lend itself to “rustic”:)

    1. Yes, the more I think about it, the more I agree. I had a similar situation in the entry. The guys were cleaning up and uncovered these stunning huge blocks of stone. After weeks of thought — there is an advantage to the slow pace of work, after all — I asked them to replaster them. I left the blocks exposed in the utility room. People can see the structure but the exposed stones are out of the way, too. It’s crazy expensive, though, Roger. That’s going to have to be a job for next year.

  4. 65K? Wow!! Please make sure you take plenty of pics of the whole process. I am sure you are right to re-render but what lovely bone structure it has!

    1. Well thank you. I think the basic design and structure were what got me into this, that and a serious felt need for a project. I’d say that’s what I get for being an architect but I think it goes back farther than that. More likely it’s what I get for going to work with my dad, who was a contractor. I walked into a house which was then bones and not much else and fell for it immediately.

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