The finish on the exterior
of a building is extremely
important. For many
who are not in the know,
beauty is only skin-deep,
and some clients will
judge whether their builder has done a
good job just on the finish. A building’s
exterior also has to be finished
properly to comply with the Building
Regulations, as poor workmanship
could lead to a reduction in energyefficiency
and water ingress.
Tip 1: Check planning
This is imperative as, while many small
cosmetic changes will fall under permitted
development, in some areas, planning laws
will mean the exterior of a building will have
to match other buildings around it. Whatever
the outcome, consulting with your builder is
important and they should be able to offer
advice on products and features that will add
value, increase comfort and look great on your
house. This could include replacing concrete
tiles with slate tiles, upgrading windows or
adding Velux-style loft windows.
Tip 2: Get the pipework sorted
Pipework can be really ugly if not finished
properly, especially where it comes out of the
wall, and that is part of the reason we invented
PipeSnug. We wanted a product that took away
all that messy mortar or silicone and instead
provides a neat finish to the exterior pipework. It
can be installed in all weathers on any plumbing
or construction project, including newbuilds,
extensions, loft conversions and kitchen,
bathroom and boiler installations.
The product’s snug fit also means that it
helps to maintain the energy-efficiency of the
property, by tightly filling in any gaps where heat
would otherwise escape. This helps installers to
comply with Part L of the Building Regulations
and keeps the risk of heat escaping from a
building to a minimum. It will also
hold your pipework in place and in the
position you want, freeing up both your
hands to safely fix the clips.
Tip 3: Choose your roof tiles, bricks or
Roof tiling can make a vast difference
to the look of a property. Concrete tiles
have a clean and smooth finish and are
the choice for the majority of buildings,
but clay tiles, for instance, can really
enhance a property with their different
hues and colour variations.
In conservation areas, you can
expect to see clay tiles specified. Either way, if
you’re replacing tiles, neither concrete nor clay
tiles will truly match the ones lost from an old
original roof. If your budget won’t stretch to new
tiles, then removing any moss or lichen from
the tiles can transform the overall look of the
For those homes with mismatched bricks
or dated cladding (like stone cladding) the
surface can be renovated in a variety of ways.
Updating the colour of a brick can work
wonders for kerb appeal and bricks can be
either painted or stained. The main difference
is that painting requires maintenance, while a
stain is completely absorbed by a brick and is a
If the condition of the
bricks is too rundown,
render or cladding
can improve the
appearance and include
many options. PVCu or
laminate cladding is
easy to maintain and
clean, stone tiles are
lightweight and can
offer a traditional look,
while brick slips look
like solid brick but are
tiles made from clay to
create a brick effect.
If the overall look of
the building is being
consent may be required.
Tip 4: Windows
Windows are crucial to the appearance of a
property, both in terms of size and aesthetics.
Check planning rules and look at the type
of brick before specifying the colour of the
windows. They definitely don’t have to be the
traditional white these days. They can look
fantastic in a wide range of colours from dark
green to grey or even black.
Do you want a specific window to be a key
feature e.g. a porthole style which illuminates
an upper extension gallery, or bi-folds which
open onto a garden? The options are numerous
but important. Lantern rooflight windows have
seen a huge rise in popularity and look great too.
Thanks to the amount of natural light they bring
to the room.
Tip 5: Light it!
Lighting the exterior of a building, and the
garden, used to be the domain of large,
expensive houses, but that’s just not the case
anymore. Exterior lighting can add security
and enhance the look of a building quite costeffectively.
Lighting placed either side of the
front door gives a great feeling of symmetry.
If the house has a front garden, subtle lighting
hidden in undergrowth can look fantastic. Up/
down lighting has been a recent trend and
motion sensors can be utilised around the
property to help the owner on dark nights, while
still augmenting the overall image of a buildingjob