Tag Archives: EWI

Can I Install New Windows after EWI?

Installing windows before or after EWI?

We receive many questions from customers about whether it is possible to install new windows at a later date than their EWI installation.

It’s a tricky question, because in an ideal world it’s best to leave the external wall insulation undisturbed by installing new windows first. However, for some homeowners this just isn’t possible for reasons pertaining to added costs, or simply because their current windows at the time of installation were in a good condition. It is possible to install new windows after your EWI installation, but we would really advise that extra care is taken.

When installing EWI, new windows are often installed before the insulation to ensure that the EWI is fit snug against the window panes. The best kind of windows to install ahead of your EWI installation are windows with trickle vents. This is because with the added insulation, gaps in the windows can be blocked up – which can increase the chances of condensation build up, so trickle vents are fairly necessary to alleviate this.

It does make sense to install new windows before you go ahead with an EWI installation, because it saves you having to bother with carefully removing the windows at a later date – at the risk of damaging the insulation. However, we are aware that often the windows may be perfectly okay at the time of installation, but for varying reasons may not outlive the 25 year life of the external wall insulation.

How do I install windows after EWI?

Unfortunately, replacing your windows after external wall insulation is not the easiest job and you will need to make sure that you choose a highly rated professional to carry out the task in order to avoid as much damage as possible.

If you are very lucky and your windows installer does a perfect job and measures the windows exactly right, then they can be easily fitted into the wall and then sealed up against the insulation. Unfortunately, it is really common for windows to be slightly under or over sized and that means either cutting back some of the insulation or adding insulation to fill out any gaps. In these situations it’s unlikely that you will get away with it without any marking or scarring of the external wall insulation, or having to repair it which is very difficult to do.

As you can imagine, this is all going to add an extra cost to the job. So it’s definitely worth thinking about how old your windows are and whether it’s viable to get them replaced before your external wall insulation installation.

The key thing is to ensure your installer is as careful as possible to not damage the rendering when taking the old windows out. We recommend removing them from the inside of the house to avoid knocking the render on the reveals. If any damage is done to the reveals, this is usually fairly easy and cheap to repair. Unfortunately if any damage is done to the main elevation, this can prove difficult to patch without leaving a scar on the wall. And it may be necessary to re-render the whole elevation.

If you have any further questions, then please comment below or call our technical team! Stay tuned for more content, we upload a new blog post every Tuesday and Thursday all about EWI; from answering customer queries to detailed product information.

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How can I improve the EPC rating of my property?

Can External Wall Insulation Improve your EPC Rating?

A lot of people look to improve the value of their homes in terms of aesthetics – updating the kitchen, bathroom, etc. However, people often overlook how much improving the EPC rating of your property can increase its value. There are many ways you can do this, and installing EWI is one of them.

We often talk about how external wall insulation can increase the value of your home, whether it’s through the improved external appearance or the dramatically increased energy efficiency. In actual fact, by law every property that is built or sold needs to have an EPC rating. This stands for Energy Performance Certificate rating and essentially means that your home is rated on a scale from A to G for how efficiently it performs – A being amazing and G being terrible.

The EPC of your property can have a direct effect upon the value of your property. This is because if someone were to buy your property rated at a G level, then they would have to spend more money on it to improve its energy performance and increase its comfort. On the other side of things, if you were to invest in improving the EPC of your property, then subsequently you could benefit from its increased value.

Higher EPC ratings and property value

Energy prices are going up and up every year, and as a result people are a lot more willing to invest in a property which will cost them less in the long run in terms of energy bills, so improving your EPC rating is a sure-fire way to improve the saleability of your property (it’s also great for the environment by reducing your carbon footprint). The good thing about external wall insulation is that you get to increase the value of your property through improving your EPC, whilst at the same time increasing its appeal due to its improved aesthetics.

We see a lot of people installing EWI onto a whole range of properties with different aesthetics and different EPC ratings looking to get increased energy efficiency with EWI installations. The most common property that we see installing EWI are solid walled properties with really low EPC ratings. EWI can increase your EWI rating by 10-20 points or more. According to the government website, if you are a homeowner in London and you raise your EPC rating from a G to an E, you can allegedly increase your property value by around £41,808 (based upon average sale prices in the region).

Another useful thing about EWI is that you can install the insulation boards in varying thicknesses. This basically means that the thicker the insulation boards you install, the more thermally efficient your house will become. So you can choose the amount of insulation you’d like to install to the exterior of your property based on how much you want to raise your EPC rating by and how much you are willing to spend. You can also install EWI onto just one wall, so if part of your house is solid walled and the rest is cavity insulated then you can certainly externally insulate the solid wall section with EWI.

People whose properties are already fairly high up on the EPC rating scale may just want to just go for a 20mm insulation board. On the other hand, if you are on the opposite end of the scale, rated at a G, then you can install insulation boards up to a thickness of 100mm. 100mm of EPS installed to the exterior walls of your property will more than likely boost your EPC rating dramatically.

Nevertheless, we will say that if your property is really low down on the EPC scale then external wall insulation alone won’t be a one-stop solution to raising your EPC. You will need to have other energy saving methods in place, such as loft insulation, working in conjunction with the EWI. It seems very obvious, but if you install EWI but then leave your loft completely bare of insulation, then it’s essentially the same as wrapping your house up in a coat but leaving the hat off – the heat still has an enormous escape route through the roof and your EWI won’t be as effective. As a result, your home won’t be very energy efficient.

It’s all very variable from case to case, so definitely get your property assessed and see what is recommended for you!

Will EWI make my property compliant with MEES?

There’s a lot of talk about EPC ratings at the moment due the new landlord legislation (MEES) that we talked about in this post. The MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards) legislation basically dictates that from the 1st of April 2018, landlords with tenants who are renewing/beginning a contract after 1st of April will need to ensure that their properties have a minimum EPC rating of an E or above. This has caused quite a stir because a lot of landlords are confused as to how they can improve their EPC ratings to comply with the MEES. As a result, we’ve had quite a few phone calls about whether or not external wall insulation will be able to bring their properties up to an E rating.

If you need to raise your EPC rating and you’re concerned about how you can do this, then solid wall insulation is a great way to go because it acts as a thermal envelope for your entire property. We really recommend that before you go ahead with installing external wall insulation you hire a surveyor to check out your property in order to give you the green light to go ahead with EWI in time for the MEES.

Once you’ve had the property checked and approved and are looking to move forward with your installation, then give us a call! Here at EWI Store we have a large team of approved installers all over the country who we can put you in touch with and who will be able to advise you on what thickness of insulation to go for and which coloured renders to choose. Installing external wall insulation is a really great investment and is likely to draw more tenants in for the future. This is because if your property is cheap to run then it will attract more tenants.

The good thing about EWI is that it takes a really minimal amount of time to install (two weeks depending upon the weather). It also causes no disruption to the inside of the property because all of the work is done to the exterior, so if you have current tenants living in the property there shouldn’t be a massive disturbance. If your property is situated along a busy road, this may be something that is considered to be undesirable from a tenants point of view. Our Mineral Wool insulation system vastly improves the acoustics of a property and reduces the amount of sound entering your property.

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External Wall Insulation and Verge Trim

What is Verge Trim?

A Verge Trim is a thin strip of plastic or metal that sits at the top of the wall where the insulation meets the either the roofline or the window sill. Our Verge Trim are made from 1mm powder coated aluminium, and each come in various widths to house different thicknesses of insulation. Verge Trim is suitable for most situations where the external wall insulation requires capping, whether around window sills or at the top of the system to extend the roof line. Its main purpose is to redirect water away from the EWI system and prevent any moisture penetrating behind the insulation boards.

As we know, water ingress can be extremely detrimental to an EWI system. Water has a direct effect on the insulating properties of the external wall insulation, because water reduces the ability of the insulation to slow heat transfer. Water ingress can also be really dangerous for the structural integrity of the EWI system; continuous water ingress will eventually wear away the adhesive which holds the insulation boards to the wall. This will eventually cause the insulation boards to become insecure and even fall off the wall, potentially causing injury. This is why technical design is so important – at EWI Store, we always stress that installations need to be done properly by fully trained installers such as those that we have trained ourselves.

UK properties tend to vary depending upon the type of roofs they have. Some roofs have a wide enough soffit to allow the insulation to sit underneath, and so in this case good quality beading will be sufficient to create a seal with the soffit board – water ingress should never be a problem here because the water will simply run off the side of the roof. However, not all roofs have a wide enough soffit to accommodate the insulation, so in these cases a Verge Trim will be required.

Verge Trim – Creating a Waterproof Seal for EWI

Where there is a fascia board, it is possible to tuck the Verge Trim behind it or up under the roof line. Here at EWI Store, we offer different types of Verge Trim for a range of areas, so no matter the project we’ve got everything you need! 

Over-Sill Verge Trim:

The Over-Sill is intended to extend the length of an existing window sill. The idea is to ensure that the extended window sill overhangs the insulation so that water runs straight off.

over-sill verge trim

Dropdown Verge Trim:

For use when fixing from below, the Dropdown fits under sills and soffit boards and effectively ensures that water falls away from the system while also minimising the need for expanding foam tape and other sealants.

dropdown verge trim

Upstand Verge Trim:

When fixing from above, the Upstand is ideal. Used in areas such as the connection to a flat roof or where the Upstand can slide up behind the fascia board, the Upstand creates a waterproof seal which again minimises the need for foam tape.

upstand verge trim

Additional Items…

Verge Trim Connectors and End Caps:

Verge Trim Connectors are used to secure the joint where continuous lengths of Verge Trim are installed, while End Caps come in pairs and are designed to create an aesthetically pleasing finish. Both the connectors and the end caps ensure effective waterproofing around all joints.

verge trim connectorsverge trim end caps

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using foam tape, tape adhesive with EWI, expanding foam sealant tape

Using Expanding Foam Tape in an EWI System

Having recently started stocking Expanding Foam Tape as a part of our EWI materials line-up, we’ve been speaking to a lot of installers and customers about the benefits of using Expanding Foam Tape as a sealant within an external wall insulation system.

If you are a regular reader, or you’re familiar with external wall insulation, then you will know that moisture and water vapour can be detrimental to the way that the EWI system performs. The presence of water can decrease the insulation system’s ability to insulate by a shocking 50%. As well as this, water can enter the system and freeze causing damage to the render and the insulation boards. Therefore, ensuring that your EWI system is totally sealed (especially at weak junctures) is really important.

So, in what instances can I use Expanding Foam Tape when installing EWI? We wanted to explain a couple of situations where Expanding Foam Tape can play a really useful and important role as part of an external wall insulation system.

Using Expanding Foam Tape for EWI and Window Joints

A good example of when you may need to use Expanding Foam Tape in an EWI system is around windows – particularly window sills. For example, if you are installing EPS onto a building then you are going to need to install the EPS so that it tucks right up underneath the window sills.

Areas where the EPS terminates against other building components (e.g. window sills) will need sealing with tape. As we know, buildings expand and contract during heating and cooling. Therefore, during this expansion/contraction, areas where the EPS is in direct contact with the window sill can form exposed cracks where the weather can penetrate, and moisture can build up.

Installing Expanding Foam Tape in an EWI system as a joint sealant is a very effective way of preventing moisture build-up, as the foam will accommodate the impact of the continual minute movements of the building by expanding and contracting with the building components, therefore providing a waterproof seal.

Using Expanding Foam Tape for EWI and Verge Trim

Verge trims are great for capping over the top of your insulation system where the roof line does not fully extend out enough to cover the EWI system and protect it from the elements. Verge trim is installed over the top of the insulation, redirecting water down the water-proofed side of the external wall insulation. When installing verge trims, you would need to apply the Expanding Foam Tape to the top edge of the insulation material (e.g. EPS) in order for it to expand and fill the gap in between where the insulation meets the underside of the verge trim.

The top edge of the insulation is a very vulnerable area in terms of being exposed to the elements. The verge trim therefore acts as a shield so that water will run off the side of the EPS, rather than seeping down the back. However, it’s important to ensure that no moisture can build up in between the two components as this would eventually cause damage and detriment to the system, so therefore sealing the area with Expanding Foam Tape is really important.

Top tips for installing Expanding Foam Tape in an EWI system

  • Ensure that the area of application is clean, dry and dust free so as to allow for optimal adhesion.
  • When installing in hard to reach places, use a spatula to press down on and secure the tape.
  • The joint will close as the foam expands, however in colder temperatures this will be significantly slower.
  • Never install around a corner – instead form a butt joint and overlap the tape at both ends.
  • When starting a new strip of tape mid-way along a joint, overlap the strips from end to end.
  • Always cut off extra tape (around 10mm per metre) to allow for any recovery of stretching that may have occurred during installation.
  • For best results, ensure that level changes of cracks/joints are as small as possible.
  • For joints of changing width, use tape of different widths and overlap the ends.


What is Mineral Render? EWI Pro Coloured Renders

So, you’re looking to re-render your property, and whilst looking at our selection of renders you are unsure as to which render is the right choice for you. Well, this is understandable because all of our renders have different properties and therefore can offer you different things at different price points. Allow us to help you by shedding some light on the wonders of our Mineral render

Mineral render is a popular render choice for EWI and render-only systems that are going to be installed in colder climates. It’s a dry-mix finish and is our fastest drying render – therefore it’s a better choice for you if you live somewhere blessed with cold and rain every other day (Scotland, Wales… we’re looking at you). As long as the temperatures are above freezing, you can still go ahead with installing your mineral render without problems – which reduces so many complications for both the installer and the homeowner.

Mineral render comes in a variety of different grain sizes – so it’s great if you want a more customisable render finish to suit your tastes. If you are familiar with our silicone render  (you can read our blog post all about silicone render) then it can basically give you the same result as this (except without the silicone, and it’s cheaper), because Mineral render is a thin-coat render, so it still allows for breathability, flexibility and resistance to cracks. The breathability of Mineral render is also great for if you are installing a Mineral Wool external wall insulation system, because Rockwool is highly breathable as well.

Mineral Render and Silicone Render Paint

However, a lot of people can be put off by the fact that the Mineral render needs painting after it has been applied to the substrate. This does rack up the price – although mineral render is less expensive in the first place, so it can balance out somewhat.

Mineral render needs painting with a render paint because when it has been left unsealed it is susceptible to lime bloom (otherwise known as efflorescence). This is because Mineral render contains Portland cement. Lime bloom occurs in white patches and discolouration where “lime” (calcium hydroxide) settles on the surface of the render due to a chemical reaction. This can cause the formation of crystals on your render which can damage the system.

To combat this, we recommend that once dry, you immediately seal your mineral render with our EWI-005 Silicone paint, because silicone offers hydrophobic properties which will further protect your render finish. This also means that the external finish of your property will be more low maintenance, because silicone resists organic growth – so you won’t have to keep washing the property.

Although having to paint the render after installation can be more time consuming, it can actually be a good thing because silicone paint can be layered. Therefore, if you wanted to brighten up the property or change the colour of your external finish further down the line, then you can easily just paint over it again.

How to apply Mineral Render

Because mineral render comes as a dry mix, it needs combining with water before application. You can do this using a mechanical mixture or manually with a paddle mix. The render is then applied to the substrate using a Notched trowel. Usually, you’d apply your render to the same thickness as the grain size – so if you went for a 3mm grain size you’d apply the render at a thickness of 3mm.

So, once you’ve applied the mineral render it should take roughly 12 hours to dry (depending upon the conditions). After that, you are free to use the Silicone paint to seal it! You can apply our silicone paint with a spray machine, a roller or simply by using a paint brush.

Why Choose EWI Renders?

Here at EWI Store, we prioritise providing our customers with the best quality products on the market. We are confident in the abilities of our renders to deliver fantastic results, so you can be sure that they will meet your expectations!

Do I need Planning Permission for Solid Wall Insulation?

Undertaking an EWI installation can be a difficult process. From finding the right installers, choosing the EWI system that suits you and your home, and accommodating the work on the house, there is a lot to think about. An extremely important factor to consider before you go ahead with EWI is whether or not you will need planning permission for it.

It’s always best to seek advice if you are unsure about this. To do this, you can call your local council and planning authority – it’s important to be one hundred percent certain before you go ahead with any projects, especially as in certain cases (i.e. for listed buildings) it can be a criminal offence with a penalty of two years in prison or an unlimited fine if you undertake a project such as EWI without consent.

Every EWI installation is different, and your EWI installer/surveyor will most likely know the ins and outs of the circumstances where you will need to get planning permission, but we thought we would give you a brief overview of when you are likely to require planning permission for a solid wall insulation installation.

Firstly, external wall insulation does not count as an extension or enlargement, and wall cladding is considered Permitted Development on the grounds that the new cladding will be similar in appearance to the existing cladding and structure. So, the new cladding does not have to be made of the exact same material as the older cladding, so long as it mimics the look of it!

One reason why an EWI installation may not be allowed would be if the EWI crossed over the boundary line and onto your neighbour’s property. Boundary lines can be a very contentious issue for some neighbours and it’s often really unclear as to where the boundary line actually is. In this instance, you may be able to negotiate with your neighbour whether they are happy with where the EWI will be installed. Also, bear in mind that if your external wall insulation is physically close to another property, to comply with building regulations it will need to be fire resistant to prevent fires spreading from building to building. (Our Rockwool insulation (link) is the best fire-retardant insulation material on the market).

In what instances do I need planning permission for solid wall insulation?

  • When it ‘overhangs’ land that is not considered to be in ownership of the property owner,
  • If the external cladding is of a different appearance to the current cladding/building appearance,
  • If you live in a listed building (you can check if your house is a listed building here https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/)
  • A flat or an apartment (usually these are lease-hold only, so any major changes will need to be approved by the freeholder)
  • a Conservation Area,
  • a National Park,
  • an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,
  • or the Broads.

Outside of any of the above restricted areas, you may carry out your EWI installation without the need of planning permission! The good news is that it’s actually a small percentage of people who would need this permission. However, as we mentioned before, it’s always best to check with your local authority.

After getting planning permission for solid wall insulation

So you’ve sorted out your planning permission (whether it’s required or not) and you have the green light to go ahead with your EWI installation, what next? Well, your EWI installation does need to comply with building regulations. It is your installers responsibility to be able to certify this for you.

In brief, to comply with building regulations your EWI installation needs to have a damp proof course to resist moisture from the ground, and it must be totally watertight so as to endure the effects of the weather. The materials used also need to be fire resistant. This is all in the interest of health and safety, because a poorly installed EWI system can present the risk of falling off the wall and potentially causing injury. Materials which aren’t approved and without adequate fire resistance can also dramatically contribute to the spread of fire.

Our materials here at EWI Store are all BBA approved, which means that they are rigorously tested for any chemical or fire safety risks. We can also put you in touch with our approved installers who are all experienced in installing externally insulated render systems, and  have undertaken our specialist training course to ensure the safe and proper installation of our EWI system.

Are you looking for an EWI installer? Simply give us a call or an email and we would be delighted to put you through to one of our installers!

applying render to timber frame property

Applying Render to a Timber Frame Property

Timber frame properties and EWI

Timber-frame properties are constructed of heavy-weight timbers which are used to form the building shape and are then fitted together to create joints. This building method is most prominent in cold climates and has been around for thousands of years. An added bonus of timber construction is that as long as trees are planted in place of the used ones, timber construction can be very green and environmentally friendly. So, pair this with an EWI system and you can count yourself as doing your bit towards the environment!

Timber frame structures are built to be tightly sealed against water and moisture and are built as part of a dry construction process where once weather-tight, the timber needs to dry out before the walls are further constructed.

Timber frame houses, however, do heat up and cool down much faster and aren’t as naturally energy efficient, so insulation is very necessary. These days, timber frame houses are constructed with wall boards backed with aluminium foil, but this is difficult to do if you live in an already-built, older property. Insulation is also vital to timber frame properties because damp and mould can be detrimental to the structural integrity of the building.

External wall insulation is perfect for timber frame houses, as cavity wall insulation is an immediate no-go zone when it comes to timber frames. Read on to find out how you would insulate and render a timber frame house!

EWI and render for a timber frame property

When externally insulating a timber frame property, the EWI system that you want to choose ideally consists of the most breathable materials. For example, the Wood Fibre insulation with our Silicone Render system.

Wood Fibre is a great option for timber frame properties because it is made from waste timber shavings. It is highly breathable and vapour permeable, so water vapour can escape through the material (which is what you want with timber frames to avoid excessive build-up of moisture). Timber is slow burning and Wood Fibre insulation actually chars rather than fully burning away, which smothers the flames and thus slows down the spread of fire.  

We also recommend that during installation you use the DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb® Housewrap which will add an extra layer of fire protection and vapour permeability!

Your choice of render on timber frame properties is especially important as well. You maybe wouldn’t want to go for acrylic render, for example, because this is the least breathable. Technology has greatly improved the breathability of renders. We know that coloured renders are extremely popular these days but breathability is something that cannot be sacrificed when it comes to a timber frame property, so we recommend the use of Silicone render. This is a high tech, thin-coat render with vapour permeability and breathability. Silicone render is also perfect for timber frame properties as it will resist organic growth such as algae and mould – further protecting your timber frames!

We recommend that with timber frame properties, you use our EWI-225 Premium Adhesive because again it is breathable, high strength, water-resistant and has high elasticity.  

How is external wall insulation installed onto a timber frame property?

So how is this all applied to the timber frame? Well, ideally with a Wood Fibre EWI system: the DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb® Housewrap will be stapled onto the OSB board, then Wood Fibre will be laid over the top using stainless steel wood screws to secure it. After this, the Premium Adhesive is used as a basecoat on top of the Wood Fibre, and then finally primed and finished with a Silicone render. 

Looking to compare all of the insulation options for your property? Our complete guide to our range of insulation materials is one click away.

Will EWI on a timber frame property take away from its appearance?

Many people think that if they install EWI onto their property then it will take away from the unique characteristics of the property. In fact, this just simply isn’t the case, because unique elements of your property can be recreated using materials which mimic the previous look of the property.

For example, on timber frame properties you may have exposed beams. This can be recreated using our wood panels which are made using a wood effect render, created with a silicone mold and then painted the equivalent colour. Brick patterns can also be recreated using our brick slips which come in a variety of different shades. You can also recreate pebbledash using the EWI-235 Dash Receiver (although not many people are that keen on it – check out our blog on how to replace pebbledash with coloured render!).

If you are a timber frame homeowner and EWI is of interest to you, then do get in touch with us here at EWI Store. We can put you in touch with an installer local to you and we can give you an estimated quote for materials. We are also always happy to give technical advice!

Applying render to a range of substrates…

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pebbledash coloured render

Replacing Pebbledash with Coloured Render?

What is Pebbledash?

Pebbledash is perceived by many as an outdated look for a property. This is because it was frequently used during the post-WW1 housing crisis as a means of covering up quickly-built, slap-dash properties. If you live in the UK, you are most likely to have come across a pebbledash building, and while it’s a durable building method, it’s definitely an acquired taste.

The pebbledash effect is created by applying a layer of mortar (usually sand and cement) to the external wall, and literally throwing pebbles at it to allow them to stick. Pebbledash houses are still dotted all over towns and cities in the UK and can often have a somewhat dilapidated look. As well as this, over time the pebbles can drop, which leaves the mortar exposed to the weather and therefore vulnerable to absorbing water and creating problems with damp. Due to its unpopularity, pebbledash can also reduce the value of a property purely for its lack of aesthetic appeal. This is why coloured render is vastly more popular because it’s nice to look at. Our coloured renders are available in thousands of different colours and can be ordered online or by phone!

We’re not hating on pebbledash (much), but many people want to know how to remove it in order to replace it with a coloured render. For those who have recently moved into a new home, or who are looking to update the look of their property, re-rendering is a popular consideration. However, there is a definite gap in the public knowledge over whether you can apply the render on top of pebbledash, and this is something that we are frequently asked here at EWI Store. So, we thought we would tackle the question for all the pebbledash homeowners out there.

The short answer is that unfortunately, you cannot replace pebbledash with coloured render by applying coloured render directly on top of the pebbledash. However, not all hope is lost, because there are a few ways around this that you may want to consider, which we will elaborate on in this blog post…

Ways to replace pebbledash with coloured render

So, as you may have realised, pebbledash is incredibly difficult to get rid of. You basically have three options when considering how to remove pebbledash…

Option one: removing the pebbledash

The first option is to attempt to hack the pebbledash off, at risk of the brickwork underneath and with no guarantee that you will be able to achieve a smooth finish. If you do decide to go for this option be really careful about who you hire to do this and make sure they are experienced in removing pebbledash. If your pebbledash is forcibly removed by a builder, this can really damage the underlying substrate and can invalidate your house insurance. Even after all of this, you still wouldn’t be free to apply coloured render directly over the wall. Building regulations stipulate that if you strip it right back to the original brick then you’ll need to insulate before rendering with a coloured render.

Option two: One Coat Dash Cover (OCDC) to cover up pebbledash

The second method is to use the OCDC to completely smooth over and cover up the pebbledash to achieve a clean slate. This product is specifically designed to be applied on top of Pebbledash, and it can then be painted or rendered to achieve a modern, updated appearance. The good thing about the One Coat Dash Cover is that it is breathable, so it will help any trapped moisture within the underlying pebbledash to escape.  It can also be applied up to 20mm in one pass (up to a maximum of 50mm), so it’s gruaranteed to smooth over the pebbledash nicely!

Option three: insulate then render over pebbledash

A beneficial way of ridding yourself of the pebbledash look is by installing 20mm (or thicker, but the thicker you go the more expensive) external wall insulation boards over the top of your pebbledash. This is actually a great option because the EWI will give you added insulation which can save you money on bills in the long run.

By installing EWI boards, you will also save time and money because hacking off the pebbledash won’t be necessary. This is because you can simply secure insulation boards over the top of the pebbledash using adhesive and mechanical fixings. Once you have done this, you can apply the render of your choice over the top of the insulation boards and achieve a far more pleasing outcome.

Which coloured render can I use to replace my pebbledash?

There are so many options out there for replacing your pebbledash with coloured render that it can be quite overwhelming. We wanted to give you a clear idea of what each coloured render can offer you so that you can make the right choice to suit the needs of your property and your own personal tastes.

Thin Coat Coloured Renders to Replace Pebbledash:

Thin coat render is a great option to go for when removing your pebbledash and replacing it with a coloured render. Because they are thin-coat, they offer a level of flexibility that ensures that your coloured render finish stays crack-proof for years to come. Thin coat coloured renders are also highly breathable, so they will help to prevent problems with damp and mould on your walls.

They also come in different grain sizes, which determines the textural finish that the coloured render will offer you – the bigger the grain size the more textured the finish that you’ll achieve. If you have simply removed your pebbledash, then you may want to go for a larger grain size because this makes any imperfections in the basecoat less noticeable. Read our blog ‘coloured render cost per m2’ for an idea of pricing!

There are three options that you can choose for thin coat coloured renders:

  • Silicone render/Silicone Silicate render: Silicone Coloured Render is a premium, modern technology coloured render – which is available in hundreds of different colours. Silicone is a very popular choice because it offers hydrophobic properties, which means that it repels water, dirt and organic growth – so it probably requires about the same maintenance as pebbledash (very little). Silicone render is also super easy to apply because it comes ready to use, so you just apply it straight out the box. (Read more about Silicone Render here).


  • Acrylic render: Acrylic Coloured render is very similar to silicone, except for it doesn’t provide the same hydrophobic properties. It’s a solid middle-ground thin coat render because it still provides the same flexibility, but it’s also great at holding onto colour pigment. This is a fantastic choice if you are looking to replace pebbledash with a coloured render. (Read more about Acrylic Render here).


  • Mineral render: Mineral Coloured render is a dry-mix, thin coat render. This is a very popular choice if you live in a cold or rainy climate (as many pebbledash homeowners do – Scotland, coastal homes!) because mineral render is extremely fast drying (you can’t apply other renders in cold/rainy temperatures because they take longer to dry). The only thing about this render is that you need to paint it afterwards with silicone paint to seal it in. This is because if it’s left exposed to the elements it can develop lime bloom due to the presence of Portland cement. (read more about Mineral Render here)

Thick Coat Coloured Renders to replace pebbledash:

Thick coat renders are far more traditional but, as the name suggests, they do lack flexibility and breathability because they are applied in a much thicker layer. Once you’ve removed your pebbledash you can use our Monocouche Scratch Render. Note: thick coat renders aren’t suitable for application on top of insulation boards.

  • Monocouche scratch render: Monocouche scratch render is a thick coat, through-coloured render. It is more traditional but does require extra work to install it. This is because the Monocouche needs to be applied in two passes for extra strength and cannot be applied in wet or humid conditions. Monocouche render then needs fibreglass mesh embedded within it to provide extra strength and flexibility (which means it will resist cracking), and then once it’s dried it needs scratching back to achieve the desired texture. Read our blog ‘monocouche scratch render cost per m2′ for an idea of pricing!

To conclude…

If you are a pebbledash homeowner, looking to re-render or potentially even install external solid wall insulation, then we have everything you will need. Check out our materials calculator or get in touch with us directly and we can point you in the direction of one of our fantastic approved installers!

Are you a fan of Pebbledash? Leave a comment below…

We want to strike up a bit of a debate: pebbledash or no pebbledash? Leave a comment below with your opinion, is pebbledash outdated and ugly, or is it a relic from our past that we should preserve for traditional purposes? For those in favour of the pebble-dashed look, we might have something just for you. Check out our blog ‘Pebbledashing: Dash Receiver or Cement Mix?’

We upload a new blog post every Tuesday so stay tuned for more external wall insulation installation advice, tips for homeowners and product information!

Can I install EWI onto my flat?

There seems to be a bit of a gap in information out there about whether it is possible to install external wall insulation (EWI) onto a flat, so we wanted to answer this question for you and provide as much information as possible for any flat-owners who are considering EWI!

In most cases the answer is yes, you can install EWI onto a flat. However, usually the insulated render system is sealed at the top where it meets the soffit of the roof. So, on a groundfloor flat the insulation must be sealed at the top by other methods. This is because if it isn’t sealed, the exposed edges of the insulation can allow for water to seep behind the back of the insulation boards which can in turn effect the integrity of the EWI system, and water can then also enter the property through the walls causing problems with damp and mould.

We would recommend that EWI is most ideal for people who own a ground floor flat. This way, the EWI is at least sealed at the base so to prevent too much heat loss and water ingress, and the EWI will most likely be less noticeable.

So how do you install external wall insulation onto a flat?

Installing external wall insulation onto a flat is a slightly different process than with a normal house. This is because if the top of the insulation is exposed, i.e. does not meet the soffit of the roof, then certain actions will have to be taken to ensure that the EWI on your flat is water-tight.

There are a few options to consider in order to achieve a water-tight finish:

With the upper ledge of your insulated render system exposed, you will always need to use a verge trim to protect the EWI from water exposure. One option is using a basic verge trim which screws into the wall above the EWI. However, this is not entirely water tight because the top of the verge trim is not sealed, so you will need to use a sealant along the upper edge of the external insulation to prevent water running down its back.

The second option is using a Grind-in verge trim. As the name suggests, this is a verge trim with the length of its upper edge inserted into the wall surface. However, you have to first damage the surface of the existing wall to insert the verge trim, and the result is that it’s still not completely watertight. This method is therefore still a bit risky.

We suggest that the best option is to use lead flashing with a normal verge trim. This doubles up the waterproofing so that the lead flashing protects the verge trim, and the verge trim protects the top of the EWI.

As for the base of the external solid wall insulation, if it’s exposed (because your flat is not on the ground floor), then we recommend the use of white PVC so that it will look nicer for your neighbours below to look up at.

Pro’s of installing external wall insulation onto your flat

EWI is a great way to save energy on your heating bills. Most flats have electric heating, which is far more expensive than gas heating. This means that heat loss through the external walls of a flat is much more problematic for you as the homeowner, because you then need to spend even more money on re-heating the flat. EWI can dramatically reduce the amount of heat being transferred through the walls of your flat and save you a lot of money on energy bills every year.

As well as this, people who live in flats are often in a more built up area which suggests more noise from road traffic. For people living on ground-floor flats this is potentially more of an issue and can be exceedingly unpleasant, so installing insulated render can greatly improve the amount of noise that enters your home.

People living in flats are also the most likely candidates to be struggling for space. EWI takes up absolutely none of the internal floor space, which means that your property will not lose any value due to a decrease in the size of its rooms and you will still have plenty of moving around space!

Cons of installing EWI onto your flat

If you install external wall insulation onto your flat, depending upon the thickness of the insulation boards, it could mean that the external walls of your flat will physically stand out from the rest of the building and the necessary verge trim may not be a particularly attractive feature to look at. Also, depending upon the external walls of the rest of your building, you might need to spend more to ensure that your render matches the overall look of the building. There are a number of ways you can do this, for example we offer a variety of very realistic looking brick slips which could work really well at blending the EWI on your flat in.

Most flats are lease-hold only, so you would likely need to ask for permission to install EWI, which is potentially a long and difficult process. It can be an expensive job for a small property and is not guaranteed to be as energy efficient as if you were to insulate an entire house, for example. Also, you will have increased scaffolding costs if your flat is on an upper level.

People who live flats live in very close quarters with their neighbours, so any work being done to your flat is likely to be more disruptive. Upset neighbours may therefore complain about any disruption during installation time, and may not be all too pleased with the finished look.

The best thing to do when considering an EWI installation is to seek professional advice. We recommend that you hire a surveyor to discuss the feasibility of installing EWI onto your flat. Our staff are all extremely knowledgeable about EWI, and are always happy to help in any way. For any enquiries, please do not hesitate to call us here at EWI Store.

Will EWI keep homes warm in 2018?

With the recent launch of the government’s 25-year environment plan, the rising awareness of climate change and the plan to gradually switch to electric cars, 2018 has been kick-started with the hot topic of energy efficiency. Here at EWI Store, energy efficiency is something that we deal with on a daily basis. So, let’s look into the crystal ball to see what 2018 might bring for the popularity of external wall insulation?

Will new Landlord EPC Regulation bring about more external wall insulation installs in 2018?

If you hadn’t heard of it, the new legislation basically dictates that from the 1st of April 2018, both private domestic and commercial rental properties will need to have an energy performance rating of E.

If you are newly renting out a property or renewing/extending a rental contract after April 2018, then the rental property must have an energy performance certificate of E. For all other landlords with existing tenancies, then the energy efficiency rating will need to be at E by the 1st of April 2020 (for domestic properties only). Any landlord in breach of this will face a penalty fine of up to £4,000. There are however some exceptions to the rule, so more information about the new legislation can be found here.

Many landlords can up their energy efficiency rating with just a few tweaks to their properties, such as draught-proofing, pipework insulation or hot water cylinder insulation. However, others may need to consider more extreme measures.  External wall insulation could be an option for landlords because it will dramatically improve your EPC rating. EWI will also save you/your tenant hundreds on energy bills every year and improve the external appearance of your property, which overall increases how appealing your property might be to potential tenants.

Since the new legislation, we have had a lot of phone calls from both worried and motivated landlords showing an interest in EWI. The good news is that depending upon the weather, EWI can only take two weeks to install so if you’re in a panic about running out of time to get your EPC rating up before April, then EWI could work.

So how is this all going to be enforced? The downside is that local authorities are going to be in charge of enforcing these regulations. If you are suspected to be noncompliant with the regulations when basically you should be, then your local council can request from you more information about your property and the EPC rating/measures you have taken to ensure you are compliant with the regulations, and if you are found to be within breach you will be fined.

However, there are doubts about whether local councils will actually have the time and the money to invest in ensuring that this is upheld. The question is which departments will this workload be put onto will be responsible for this?

 Fire risks of Cladding and External Wall Insulation in 2018

This is a very exciting time for taking a step towards environmental awareness, however tragic events in our recent past have definitely altered the public opinion towards retrofitting and cladding. The Grenfell Tower disaster has impacted the public and governmental awareness of fire safety and hazards associated with cladding. Going forward in 2018, we suspect that there will understandably be a huge amount of public confusion as to which external wall materials present a fire safety risk, and the performance of cladding when exposed to fire has therefore become a key concern for homeowners who are considering EWI.

When it comes to the Grenfell tower tragedy, the cladding installed onto Grenfell Tower was called Rainscreen cladding, or ventilated cavity cladding, and was installed as a means of waterproofing with an inner layer that also offered some thermal insulation. The plastic core of the first waterproof layer of the cladding was suspected of being flammable and therefore allegedly provoked the spread of fire, whilst the air cavity between the two layers of the cladding (waterproof layer and thermal insulation layer) further fuelled the fire (according to current reporting).

External wall insulation is fitted onto a property tightly to the wall (it’s basically glued on) with no cavities in between the materials on a standard masonry property (main property type in the UK). Therefore, there is very little risk of large-scale air circulation in between the materials, which would contribute to a fire. It is also made up of fire-resistant, non-combustible insulation boards such as Rockwool in some systems. If used with the EPS (expanded polystyrene), the EPS – like the Rockwool – is encased with a plaster-based adhesive both on the internal and the external sides of the boards, mitigating the risk of surface fire spread.

External wall insulation materials are manufactured and tested according to rigorous building regulations and standards. If you are using BBA (British Board of Agrément) approved products, and they are installed with the correct system specifications, then fire risk of these systems should be at a minimum.

We wanted to highlight these risks to potential end users and/or the improvers (e.g. landlords, funders, etc), and once they are understood, we have seen that this shouldn’t wane the appetite for EWI improvements to properties. The industry will wait on any updates, and will apply the suggested practices that come out as a result.

The Green Deal funding in 2018, may lead to a surge in EWI installations

As of 2017, the government are soft-launching the previously unsuccessful Green Deal scheme again. What this means is that people can get grants for home improvements which would improve the energy efficiency of their homes. A nice summary of the Green Deal 2017, was written by TheGreenAge. Click here for more details.

But what this means is that there may be a window of opportunity for homeowners to get low interest finance for energy saving improvements such as external wall insulation. The basics of how the funding works is that you can get your property assessed by an approved Green Deal Provider, and for any recommendations on home improvements that they give you then you can get funding for the installation of them (note: there are several ways that you can choose to pay for the work).

Say, for example, you were recommended a new boiler. You would then be able to set up a finance plan and re-pay the borrowing with the approximate money you are saving on energy. The money is repaid by being charged to your electricity bills.

The downside to this is that the approved Green Deal adviser would have to recommend that you require something like external wall insulation (EWI), so properties with solid walls may be more likely to get the funding for it.

So, if the Green Deal scheme has been improved since the last time, then the opportunity for people to get EWI could be greater – which is fantastic for improving levels of energy consumption in homes.

Our thoughts on 2018, External Wall Insulation Growth

Despite the negative headlines for the industry in 2017, there is a lot to be optimistic about in 2018. Here at EWI Store, we have spoken to some very enthusiastic installers and customers about what they want to do with External Wall Insulation in 2018. We are finding that many people are really worried about the potential rises in energy bill prices, and with EWI being such a great measure for reducing heating consumption, it makes it the perfect thing to do. Read our blog post on the future of EWI for more about our thoughts on the matter.

Alternatively, we expect many people not to be motivated by incentives over energy consumption, and future energy prices, but are motivated by the aesthetic improvements that can be achieved of installing a rendered or a decorative finish.

If you are looking for a local installer who can provide you with competitive quotes for external wall insulation, then do give us a shout as we can point you in the right direction!

EWI installers in the Midlands

Finding EWI installers in the Midlands

Finding an EWI Installer for a proper EWI installation is vital to ensuring that your EWI and render will last for years to come. Choosing which company to use for your EWI installation can be a daunting and overwhelming process. Who can you trust to ensure that they will do a good job and not waste your hard-earned money on poor quality materials and sub-par installation?

At EWI Store, we have a list of approved EWI installers who we are proud to have representing us, and who are ready and waiting to assist our customers with any of their EWI installation needs. We ensure that all our installers are fully trained in the appropriate methods of EWI installation, and we regularly quality-check their work. If you are a home-owner based in the Midlands area, looking to install EWI onto your property, then read on!

We wanted to introduce to you one of our fantastic installers based in the Midlands who we couldn’t recommend more,  Kooka Developments headed by Bobby Cook!

Kooka Developments are a highly trained, reliable company who specialise in external rendering and EWI. Working in the trade for 8 years, Kooka Developments have a wealth of experience and knowledge to make your EWI installation a smooth and stress-free process. Kooka developments work closely with EWI Store, using our BBA (British Board of Agrément) approved products to ensure that all of your EWI expectations are met.

So what services do Kooka Developments offer?

• Silicone Thin Coat Through Coloured Render
• Pebble Dashing
• Insulation Works
• Plastering
• Fascias, Soffits and Gutters
• External Dormer Renovation

According to Kooka, the most popular render type with their customers is the 1mm Silicone system, because it looks smooth from a distance. Below you can see some pictures of an installation, and read an EWI installation review from one of their many happy customers.

You can contact Kooka Developments by phone or email on: 07490968499 info@kookadevelopments.co.uk

Kooka Developments EWI Installation review

”I would like to express my satisfaction with the standard of work carried out by Bobby from Kooka Developments at our house in Leicester.

We had a lot of building work carried out at our house over the last several years and the end result was that we had various different colours of bricks. The best way to have a uniform look rather than an unsightly appearance due to bricks laid over varying periods of time was to render the brick work.

We were very fortunate to have somebody of the calibre of Bobby to carry out the work.

Bobby was very clear about the number of visits that would be required to complete the work and what work would be done at each of the visits -prep, first coat etc.

He was punctual and very methodical in the way the project was carried out.

Despite some hiccups due to the weather conditions, it was very reassuring to know from him the reasons why it was best not to work on days when the conditions were not ideal to render – the work at my house was carried out during a rather cold period of time when it is critical for optimum conditions for the render to hold.

Bobby’s professionalism and value for money turned out to be a very worthwhile investment for us and I would have no hesitation in recommending him for any work that entails rendering where a high quality and durable finish is required.”

For more company reviews, take a look at their page on checkatrade.

Professional EWI Installations in the Midlands

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you will probably already know the many benefits of EWI to your home. If not, then EWI involves securing special insulation boards to the exterior of your property, and then applying render over the top to create a fresh, clean finish. EWI is suitable for many different types of properties and is a great option for achieving a number of things:

• Improving the thermal comfort of your home: keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer
• Saving money on energy bills by reducing heat loss through your external walls
• Reducing the amount of noise that enters your home from outside.
• Saving space: EWI is all external and does not reduce your internal floor space.
• Improving the external appearance of your property and therefore upping its value.
• No disruption to the inside of your house during installation!

EWI isn’t an inexpensive job, but when it’s done correctly by the right installer you can save yourself hundreds every year on your energy bills and achieve a fantastic looking property from the exterior. EWI is appealing to many people who live in older style houses with solid brick walls, as it is possible to recreate characteristics and features of the property, thereby maintaining the traditional look of the property and keeping energy costs down at the same time!

Our EWI products are long-lasting, top quality and highly reliable – so be sure to contact one of our approved installers if you are interested!



Single wall EWI

Can I install EWI onto just one or two walls?

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive here at EWI Store is whether it is possible to install External Wall Insulation (EWI) on just one or two walls, or half the house, rather than the whole property.

The answer is, yes! You can install EWI onto just one or two walls, however, EWI needs to be installed on the whole of the wall from top to bottom, not just on one elevation.

EWI is a great way to insulate your property against heat loss, all without losing internal floor space. By slowing the rate of heat transfer through the walls, EWI keeps your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and prevents issues such as condensation and damp.

When EWI is installed onto the whole building, you can save hundreds on your annual heating bill.

Is it cost-effective to install EWI onto just one wall?

EWI isn’t an inexpensive job, and installing it onto just one wall may not be entirely cost effective as you won’t achieve all of the benefits, particularly insulation against heat transfer and noise pollution.

In general, when looking to get the most for your money when installing EWI, the general rule is that the more of your house that you insulate and the thicker the insulation, the more money you will save on energy bills.

Also, in most cases the more of your property that you insulate with EWI the less you pay per Sq metre, so since you are paying for installers to come out in the first place, you may as well get the whole job done at once.

So really, it’s a larger upfront cost, but it would essentially pay for itself in the long term.

A downside to installing EWI onto half your house

Another thing you may need to consider when installing EWI onto just one wall is whether or not you will need to re-render the whole property to achieve a seamless finish.

When installing EWI, the insulation boards are covered over by a render of your choice. Depending upon your property and its current render situation, installing EWI onto just one wall could have the effect of creating a visible imbalance to the external appearance of your property.

What this means is that just one wall with EWI – a visible, newly rendered wall could exacerbate the appearance of issues on other external walls such as organic growth, weathering and cracking. This creates a sharp contrast between the old and new walls, and you therefore may end up spending even more money re-rendering your entire property to address the imbalance. Re-rendering your whole property will create a much more pleasing appearance to your home, but does rack up the total cost of solving the problems of just one wall.

Damp on one wall, will EWI resolve it?

Finally, some homeowners look to install EWI onto just one wall due to a greater level of damp and mould building up on certain external walls.
EWI could be a solution for preventing problems with damp on these walls in the future, but any direct causes of the damp must first be ascertained and resolved.
So why is there damp on your walls? Below we have listed a few of the possible causes of damp in your home, and we would recommend that before going ahead with EWI you hire a professional surveyor to check for any of these issues:

• Your DPC (Damp Proof Course) is broken, bridged, or you simply do not have one.
• The surface of your external wall is cracked and broken, allowing moisture to seep inside.
• Your property has a lack of light on certain walls
• Your property has poor drainage
• Your property has poor ventilation

In some cases, however, damp is just a recurring issue and cannot be easily fixed. Take for example a house with an external wall positioned very close to another house, thereby creating an alleyway with little light. In these situations, EWI could provide a long-term solution.

We suggest that when installing EWI onto walls susceptible to damp, you consider breathable materials such as our Silicone render systems. These allow any water vapor to travel across the surface, ensuring that the building can breathe.

If EWI is something you are considering for your home, we always advise that you seek expert advice. Here at EWI Store, we can offer the best materials on the market for the job – you can get a free quote on materials by using our EWI Calculator. We are always happy to answer any enquiries from our customers, so give us a call or drop us an email!

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