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Is there anything you can do to improve pebbledash?

(93 Posts)
PaintingOwls Sun 22-Oct-17 19:39:05

DP and I are looking to buy our first house but for whatever reason a lot of houses in our budget are pebbledashed and I am 'vetoing' those houses because I find it so, so ugly and am at a loss of what we can do about it.

Take this house for example - - it is not the fact that it needs gutting that puts me off, but that hideous exterior.

A similar house down the road which has exposed bricks is about £40-70k more expensive...

Please give me some hope about pebbledash. Ways to make it look better, cover it, reinvent it, anything - inspire me! thlsad

Vitalogy Sun 22-Oct-17 19:44:16

Well, you could expose the brick again or if too damaged, render it.
If the houses in the same road are going for £40-70k more, worth spending the money.

Vitalogy Sun 22-Oct-17 19:46:57

ps, could be worse, fake stone cladding shock

Bubblebubblepop Sun 22-Oct-17 19:51:08

Agree you could change it but a less drastic solution is to paint it. White pebbledash looks fine (pebble dash is a good render despite the way it looks)

Themummy76 Sun 22-Oct-17 19:51:20

A porch and a new front door would make that house look much better...

JamesBlonde1 Sun 22-Oct-17 19:51:27

Completely off topic but £325k OMG!!! I'm glad I live in Up North.

These fashions are a nightmare are they? Think pebbledashing was a 70's thing. I'd look elsewhere or wait for something else in the area.

Bubblebubblepop Sun 22-Oct-17 19:59:51

Btw OP that house is scary!

JT05 Sun 22-Oct-17 20:00:44

Wow, it looks like a big project for a first buy and I’ve gutted several houses. I think I’d look for something else.
Sorry if that’s not helpful.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Sun 22-Oct-17 20:02:00

Just paint it. Sandtex or something. It will look entirely different. From the street view it looks as if others have been painted - whether brick or pebbledash. Sandtex comes in several different colours.

As someone else said, stone cladding is infinitely worse and costs a bomb to take off.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Sun 22-Oct-17 20:12:34

Actually, if there are no structural problems with that house, I'd have thought you might get a good price there, because the state of it will put so many buyers off, and the London market's so flat at the moment, and prices are dropping. Looks as if it could well be a landlord anxious to offload! There's a lot of that about, what with the new tax regime biting soon.

dorislessingscat Sun 22-Oct-17 20:14:20

shock at the price for a wreck of a house a few streets away from a sewage works.

Pebble dash is the least of your worries.

Seriously, as FTBs you can’t afford to be fussy. And you won’t be there forever. Treat it much more like a business transaction.

Vitalogy Sun 22-Oct-17 20:16:05

Completely off topic but £325k OMG!!! I'm glad I live in Up North. Yes! I'm in the Midlands, for that price you could buy 3 houses like that.

Trailedanderror Sun 22-Oct-17 20:16:30

The pebbledash is not what I noticed.

lovecheeseandbiscuits Sun 22-Oct-17 20:17:53

Knock it down?

squishysquirmy Sun 22-Oct-17 20:19:53

I used to think it looked very ugly, until I bought a house with pebble dash. Now I'm used to it, I don't mind it. In my case though all the other houses on the street are pebble dashed, so it would look weird if I changed it and it looks smarter than the one in your link.
I think that how the house looked on the outside is much less important than how it looks on the inside: You don't spend much time looking at the outside of your house! Its spoiling your neighbour's view, not yours. grin

That house needs a fair bit of work done, but I would't rule it out based on the pebble dash alone, and it would be low down my priority list. If your budget doesn't stretch to stripping it back to bare brick, you could get the pebble dashed painted maybe? That can look much nicer than you think.

WildCherryBlossom Sun 22-Oct-17 20:35:43

Not a great fan of pebbledash myself but you can draw attention away from it. As Pp said paint it white then grow climbing roses. I think that house looks like a fun project, but not much space for an upstairs bathroom. I would want to extend the kitchen to incorporate the existing bathroom and move the bathroom upstairs. Would you be prepared to lose a bedroom, or if not, is there potential to convert the loft into a bedroom?

Bearbehind Sun 22-Oct-17 20:39:12

Blimey, the pebble dash is the least of your issues with that house- have you seen the floor boards?!

PigletJohn Sun 22-Oct-17 20:40:33

that house looks like it was added on to the terrace later. It may have been designed to be dashed, and built using low-cost unsightly blocks that were not intended to be seen. Render and pebbledash are usually applied to hide defective or unsightly walls.

You could have it rendered smooth. There are some self-coloured products now that are supposed not to need painting. I forget the name. but plasterers/renderers know it.

PaintingOwls Sun 22-Oct-17 20:44:31


I used to think it looked very ugly, until I bought a house with pebble dash.

I might sound a bit melodramatic, but I think it's the fact that it'd a boxy, boring structure with pebbledash.

I could probably cope with a house like this, but that's because the Victorian features and contours kind of distract you from the pebbledash - whereas with the house I posted there is nothing else to look at, is there?


shock at the price for a wreck of a house a few streets away from a sewage works.

DP works at St Helier Hospital and hasn't noticed any bad smells etc so I'm not particularly worried.

£325k for a 3 bedroom h o u s e in London is an utter bargain.

We are open to other areas if anyone has any hidden gems. We are in Surbiton/Kingston currently and would love to stay but we can't afford anything more than a one bed flat here...

WildCherryBlossom Sun 22-Oct-17 20:50:24

Yes, this second one is much more appealing. Looks like it probably has lovely high ceilings inside.

dorislessingscat Sun 22-Oct-17 20:59:35

Of course the house that’s 40k + more expensive is more appealing but if you can’t afford it then it might as well be Buckingham Palace. You need to be much more business like about property.

How long are you planning to live there? Do you have the time and skills to take on a project? What’s the market doing?

Buying characteristic cottages with roses round the door is for lottery winners and wealthy retirees.

And like people it’s what’s inside that matters smile

GoodMorning1 Sun 22-Oct-17 21:02:24

I lived in a pebbledashed house. Front had been painted white and it took me a few years to realise it was pebble dashed! Maybe I'm unobservant. Back had not been painted and it was much more obvious. We had the whole lot repainted at one point (only cos it hadn't been done for ages and the paintwork was starting to look grubby) and it wasn't as expensive as I'd anticipated.

MiaowTheCat Sun 22-Oct-17 21:02:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WildCherryBlossom Sun 22-Oct-17 21:03:26

Ok, I’ve done some googling and found a pretty, period house (late Georgian / early Victorian at a guess). It’s coming up for Auction through Barnard Marcus with a guide price of £310k. Sorry, I realise that is heading in the wrong direction for your DPs work but Middlesex hospital nearby if job is at all transferable.)

WildCherryBlossom Sun 22-Oct-17 21:09:46

Dorislessingscat we live in a characteristic cottage with roses over the door. Neither retired nor lottery winners. It didn’t come with the roses, or much else to be honest (no heating for example). Was in a fairly shocking state but the bare bones were old and pretty. We basically camped out in it for several years with 2 small children to get it into the condition it’s now in. It was worth it.

HoneyWheeler Sun 22-Oct-17 21:18:16

We’re in a Victorian terrace with pebble dash and honestly I hated it. But we had it painted nearly three years ago, and I completely fell in love with it. Every time I come home I feel so lucky to have this as my house! I don’t even think about the pebble dash any more - as much as I love brick terraces, I just still love ours so much!

Not a great photo but you get the idea

PaintingOwls Sun 22-Oct-17 21:21:09

Oooh, that is gorgeous, WildCherryBlossom but it's for auction and I feel like it might go for a bot more.

We hadn't considered Isleworth though, thanks for this!

AccrualIntentions Sun 22-Oct-17 21:22:02

I really hate pebbledash and it was on our deal-breaker list, until our perfect house turned up which was pebbledashed.

We had big plans to do something about it but 4 years on haven't done any of it...I've kind of forgotten that it bothered me. How often are you really looking at the outside of your house?

SilverSpot Sun 22-Oct-17 21:22:31

Yikes if money is tight and neither of you are in the building trade I wouldn’t touch that house with a barge pole.

So much work, so many additional costs.

SilverSpot Sun 22-Oct-17 21:23:05

BUT white painted pebble dash looks fine I think.

PaintingOwls Sun 22-Oct-17 21:30:39


Yikes if money is tight and neither of you are in the building trade I wouldn’t touch that house with a barge pole.

My dad is and I suspect he would be able to pull in a couple of favours for some of the bigger/nastier parts of the job.

ThoughACandleBurnsNoOnesHome Sun 22-Oct-17 21:32:57

Not a fan of pebbledash either but there are a few houses like it where we are and as others have said they’ve been done in a cream/white paint and reptiles in red tiles ad they look great

ThoughACandleBurnsNoOnesHome Sun 22-Oct-17 21:33:34

Obviously not reptiles lol but new tiles 😂

Fadingmemory Sun 22-Oct-17 21:35:20

Paint it white

dorislessingscat Sun 22-Oct-17 21:50:50

@WildCherryBlossom it sounds lovely. The point I was making is that as cash strapped FTBs you can’t afford to be too fussy about cosmetics. It’s all about making a safe, sensible decision on that first rung of the ladder - which is pretty damn high in the SE! My first three properties added together were worth about what the OP is planning to spend.

WildCherryBlossom Sun 22-Oct-17 21:59:30

Yes Dorislessingscat I do appreciate that. SE property prices are brutal! Hopefully the OP can find something she likes and make it look and feel like her home.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 23-Oct-17 01:52:44

I was going to say that you can't see the pebble dash from inside. Then I saw the inside of that house shockshock

Is there someone living in a shack at the bottom of the garden? Complete with cooker?!

EddChinasMangina Mon 23-Oct-17 02:19:46

I wanna know what the spray paint says 😂

Quodlibet Mon 23-Oct-17 02:38:45

I think the bodged extension at the back with the 'kitchen' in it is way, way scarier than the pebble dash! That could cost a fortune to sort out - my fear with a house like that is that every tiny little thing will have been done cheaply, badly and non-compliantly, so every job you start escalates into a horror show.

Re pebble dash, it actually bothers me far less on a 1950s semi like that than on a Victorian house. It's bad for the brickwork on Victorian houses as damp gets underneath it and can't get out. Saying that, I live in a Victorian flat with a horrible rendered front but couldn't give a monkeys 99.99% of the time.

Out2pasture Mon 23-Oct-17 03:05:39

please OP if you do buy it can you update on MN a room by room please?

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Mon 23-Oct-17 07:03:46

The house looks to me like a 1950s ex LA, and they were usually well built. A dd recently bought one similar (different area though similar price) and though it had been well cared for, evidently loved and is liveable it is terribly dated (probate sale) and will still need everything done eventually, almost certainly re-wiring, new boiler, windows, all the walls skimmed, kitchen and bathroom, etc.
But if budgets are tight such houses can be a very good buy IMO, and usually more spacious than (usually) much more expensive newbuilds.

BTW I would put money on that house being an ex rental, LL anxious to get shot.

Humptynumpty02 Mon 23-Oct-17 07:20:34

You could have it rendered smooth. There are some self-coloured products now that are supposed not to need painting. I forget the name. but plasterers/renderers know it.

K Rend?

yomellamoHelly Mon 23-Oct-17 07:46:21

Some people round here have re-rendered their houses with a smooth finish. Personally I think half of what makes those houses look so much better after is the fact that they've had some tlc. Am sure painting it would achieve a lot of the same effect. Also think pebbledash is quite common on a lot of estates, so it won't detract from the value either as there's so little other choice.

WildCherryBlossom Mon 23-Oct-17 08:51:07

This one in Mitcham is probably too expensive but I think it could be lovely with some TLC (ok, I’m also swayed by the street name - who wouldn’t want to live in Love Lane?)

PigletJohn Mon 23-Oct-17 10:40:58

"K Rend?"

yes, that's it.

CaptainsCat Mon 23-Oct-17 10:43:49

The price of that house!! You could get a 4/5 bed detached in good condition for that price round here! shock

Crackednips Mon 23-Oct-17 10:50:31

My first house 25 years ago was PD. I hated it and remember having quotes to hack it off, re-point and restore bricks [because they make quite a mess of the existing bricks when hacking PD off apparently] The quotes cam to the equivalent to about 8K now.

So we painted the house and it was fine..

HTKB Mon 23-Oct-17 10:52:23
Any good?

Seems to be loads of 3 bed houses within 3 miles of st helier for under 350...... mainly in Carshalton, Wallington, a few in Epsom, and Croydon. Have heard good things about Carshalton and wAllington.

squishysquirmy Mon 23-Oct-17 10:53:49

Yes Captains but presumably op and her dh could earn a lot less, or not do their jobs at all if they moved way across the country. And they would have less access to family help with renovations, etc.
House prices vary massively across the UK, but it is not arbitrary.

HTKB Mon 23-Oct-17 10:54:23

SoupDragon Mon 23-Oct-17 11:01:35

Had to wait all the way to post no. 5 for the shock at prices in the London area. MN must be slipping.

OP, The problem with that first house is that it is a ugly wreck, not that it has pebbledash!

CaptainsCat Mon 23-Oct-17 11:02:57

I know that, I think it's pretty bad that a house in that condition can be considered to be worth that amount, it's ludicrous, and unfair.

Bubblebubblepop Mon 23-Oct-17 12:43:34

I wouldn't call that London. MN thinks everything south of Oxford and north of Southampton is London

Bubblebubblepop Mon 23-Oct-17 12:44:27

SORRY posted too soon. Maybe greater London

SoupDragon Mon 23-Oct-17 13:51:53

Yes, it's Greater London and hence the London area. Which is what I said.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 23-Oct-17 14:00:30

It's in a London borough ffs. How much more London do you want it to be Bubble?

Bubblebubblepop Mon 23-Oct-17 14:04:30

hmm yes. Like the London borough of Hillingdon for example 😭

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 23-Oct-17 14:07:35

Well that borough has two tube lines, London buses and votes in mayoral elections for London Mayor... am I missing something? confused

WildCherryBlossom Mon 23-Oct-17 14:12:09

There are so many other threads addressing what is and isn’t London.... and yes the house prices in the part of the country the OP wants / needs to live in are extortionate. How about going back to the issue of how to style a pebble dash house or find one that is affordable without pebbledash.

Bubblebubblepop Mon 23-Oct-17 14:17:50

I've already helped with that wildcherry

I'm not arguing with you movingon I've noticed there is no point with the suburbanites who want to think they live in London 😂

(That was tongue in cheek)

SoupDragon Mon 23-Oct-17 15:48:49


MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 23-Oct-17 15:52:48

hmm Damn thread police

LuluJakey1 Mon 23-Oct-17 16:07:59

This is what you can get for less than that house in Northumberland. Admittedly Blyth would not be everyone's choice, although this bit looks nice, but you can see why we get shocked by house prices in the south east.

LuluJakey1 Mon 23-Oct-17 16:19:18

These are all within half a mile from us and about 4 miles from Blyth. I doubt this much money would buy much in Morden but this is as expensive as it gets up here unless you are buying mansions with estates. What price range would these be in in Morden?

WildCherryBlossom Mon 23-Oct-17 16:20:20

Lulujakey the fridge / freezer in that house is bigger than the flat you could buy in central London for £299k 😂

OverinaFlash Mon 23-Oct-17 16:22:21

Definitely try Wallington or Carshalton, no offence meant to anyone but the area around St Helier hospital is not great.

LuluJakey1 Mon 23-Oct-17 16:35:21

wildcherry so you can see why we are always astonished up here by threads about house prices in the south-east.
This might be an equivalent up here and look at the price difference.

LuluJakey1 Mon 23-Oct-17 16:49:51

Or this
It is another world down there. Mind you people earn less up here on the whole.

ArbitraryName Mon 23-Oct-17 17:08:46

That house in Elswick! The holes in the wall and the window...

SilverSpot Mon 23-Oct-17 18:06:17

WOW, no one ever knew that property prices are cheaper outside of London. Thanks for that illuminating revelation.

PaintingOwls Mon 23-Oct-17 20:39:18

Jesus Christ, I am not moving to the fucking North, thank you.

Cheers OverinaFlash Wallington and Carshalton is a good shout.

Can I ask what's wrong with St Helier? I have never been, it would be good to hear some insider knowledge.

PaintingOwls Mon 23-Oct-17 20:50:37

Would a door like this work with a white pebble-dashed house?

I am just trying to build up ideas of what we could do to make 'ugly' houses work so that I can be a bit more open-minded. Interiors can be painted and decorated quite easily imo, but I am at a loss when it comes to exteriors. If anyone has any resources for transformations of house facades please send them over.

The Victorian pebble dash house was off Google as an example, unfortunately we've not come across anything like that.

The wreck in my OP appeals because of the larger rooms, our tight budget and the potential to extend into the attic, even if it's to add an office or play area rather than a bedroom. I am tempted to book a viewing, even if it's just to see if it's as bad as some of you fear it may be! thlgrin

The house we buy will be for the next 10 years or so, unless my salary suddenly quadruples or we win the lottery, as DP's salary isn't really going to change drastically with the NHS (although he is considering agency work /dons hard hat).

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 23-Oct-17 21:14:05

Don't wear nice shoes if you do go to view.

Maybe a hazmat suit and wellies?

squishysquirmy Mon 23-Oct-17 21:18:28

I do understand why you don't like pebble dash, especially when on a boxy looking house like that.

But imagine that photo of the front with the pebble dash painted a crisp white, the untidy wires trailing across the front gone, the door replaced and the garden beautifully tidied. Will it look like your dream house? No. But, could you live with it? (remember you normally spend less than 2 mins a day looking at the front of your house) You know the answer to that better than us, but if I was in your position I would not rule out houses based on ugly looking pebble dashed exteriors. That house may not be the one for you (it would take quite a bit of wok to do up the interior) but you might miss out on a different lovely house if you prioritise the exterior too much.

CaptainsCat Mon 23-Oct-17 21:20:48

Google says that pebble dash CAN be removed, but as it was often used to cover cheap/poor quality brickwork, the wall underneath can crumble away. Rendering over the top can apparently cause stress to the structure of the house, and would only be done by cowboy builders! I think you may be looking at painting it and making do.

CaptainsCat Mon 23-Oct-17 21:22:42

As PP said, painting it white and repainting it when it gets grubby (often in London? wink) would look the best I think.

ArbitraryName Mon 23-Oct-17 21:27:45

Jesus Christ, I am not moving to the fucking North, thank you.

I can’t think why you’re not tempted by gems like that lovely terrace in elswick. Sure, there’d by a 6 or so hour commute each way, but that’s nothing!

(Note for anyone tempted to take this seriously: I’m not actually serious about this).

Painted pebbledash looks fine. In fact, I’m pretty confident that a bit of paint, possibly a new door, a nice fence and some gardening and you could make that house look pretty nice from the street. The totally botched extension at the back would be another story entirely.

Ploppie4 Mon 23-Oct-17 21:30:11

All our houses have been like the one you’re looking at. Each housevhad it’s own merit but we are very lucky to now live in a stunning area.

Visualise off white painted pebbledash. Contemporary door. Mature garden. Contemporary Swedish Cornwall feel internally. Wooden floors.

GoodMorning1 Mon 23-Oct-17 21:33:50

Jesus Christ, I am not moving to the fucking North, thank you.

Good, cos with that attitude we don't want you!

callmeadoctor Mon 23-Oct-17 21:36:46

Paint it, paint it :-)

OverinaFlash Mon 23-Oct-17 21:46:15

@PaintingOwls I've pmed you.

Liara Mon 23-Oct-17 21:54:07

There was a site which was linked to on here a few times for someone who did the most amazing transformations of the outside of houses, I'll see if I can find it (or does anyone else know what I"m talking about?)

Liara Mon 23-Oct-17 22:00:45

PaintingOwls Mon 23-Oct-17 22:20:01

Ooooh thank you Laira!

FrankiesKnuckle Mon 23-Oct-17 22:34:37

*Who wouldn’t want to live in love lane?
Er, me. Mitcham is a hole.

The St Helier estate isn’t that bad. A real mix of people, generally a bit rough around the edges.
I still wouldn’t touch the OP first house with a barge pole, keep looking.

FrankiesKnuckle Mon 23-Oct-17 22:37:39

Very typical house for St Helier estate. Less than a mile from the hospital.

FrankiesKnuckle Mon 23-Oct-17 22:41:51

LuluJakey1 Wed 25-Oct-17 01:47:27

Stay in the fucking South OP and pay over £300,000 for a slum- we don't want you in the North. No one was suggesting you move here.

BordersMumNow123 Wed 25-Oct-17 09:13:36

In Scotland it's still quite common to pebbledash/roughcaste houses, particularly timber frame ones. But it doesn't seem to look so bad on a house in rural Scotland.

I also thought pebbledash was done for durability? It's pretty tough stuff and put on lots of the old cottages up here to protect them from the elements, however I expect that's probably not so much of an issue in London.

Anyway, even in London when I used to live there I remember seeing well maintained/painted white pebbledash and it looked fine.

SilverSpot Wed 25-Oct-17 09:14:34

@FrankiesKnuckle those are WAY nicer and better value than the crack-den wreck!

squishysquirmy Wed 25-Oct-17 11:25:15

BordersMumNow123 I'm in North East Scotland, and since moving here I have warmed to pebble dashing! Even some of the castles/stately homes round Aberdeenshire are pebble dashed, and lots of the naice suburban new builds which have gone up recently are pebble dashed (in grey contemporary colours).

I think some of the reactions to op saying she doesn't want to move North have been pretty harsh. She wasn't being offensive, she just wants a house in the part of the country where her job and roots are - what is the point in showing her houses hundreds of miles away, no matter how cheap and beautiful they are?

Plus, if every Londoner moved to the same, cheap, lovely Northern town you would see house prices there rocket!

BordersMumNow123 Wed 25-Oct-17 11:47:44

squishysquirmy exactly it's everywhere up here and doesn't look awful maybe I am just getting TOO accustomed to it grin

I don't mind the OPs reaction to moving up north, I feel the same about moving back down south tbh thlgrin

WildCherryBlossom Wed 25-Oct-17 12:07:58

You do become accustomed to pebble dash living in Scotland. I always thought it must help with insulating or something. It’s everywhere! There’s a woman near me (down south) who included the removal of pebbledash in her planning application. It was refused. She was allowed to make loads of changes to her house, but not to remove the pebbledash. It’s painted white now, and you don’t really notice it.

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