External residential walls can be done with a wide range of materials, different wall finishes and wall finish techniques, writes Aaron Kulindi.
When finishing the external wall of a residential house, many factors come into play such as cost of maintenance, cost of
materials used, durability and aesthetics among others. In Uganda, the commonest types of wall finishes for residential houses are plaster, mamoran, rendering and roughcast.
One of the commonest finishes is roughcast. One of the reasons this is usually preferred is that it is relatively cheaper than
other wall finishes. Once installed, there are hardly any maintenance costs. It is durable and lasts long, eliminates the need for frequent repairs and periodic reinstallation of a new finish. It is also easy to install, the work takes a short amount of time and does not require very skilled labour.
Rendering and painting
Rendering comprises of cement and sand mixed in the ratio 1:4 applied to either brick or block work externally and finished with weather guard painting. The maintenance costs are high and it is also relatively expensive.
These can be used as a finish for external walls but these are usually placed in selected sections of the wall and not necessarily the entire walling structure, majorly as a design technique to enhance beauty. Facing bricks are put on the wall after plastering has been done and generally finished by pointing. Pointing can be done by a skilled person but it not as costly when considered separately.
This type of finish (right) takes long to get stained or accumulate dirt, especially when the house is located in a dusty area which makes it easy to maintain, especially when it comes to cleaning. Facing bricks are also strong, hence not easily susceptible to cracking if properly installed.
This is a relatively rare type of wall finish but probably the most expensive. It requires highly skilled labour to mix the mamoran paste. It also requires very good workmanship to bring out a good finish of substantial quality. This type of wall finish lasts longer than the others.
Aesthetically, it gives the house a beautiful finish and can be used to bring out various design patterns for a house. In general, the estimated size of a wall for a standard residential house is about 96 square metres approximately.
This is considering the average height of the wall at three metres and the house having three bedrooms, a dining room, sitting room, kitchen, toilet and bathroom. The overall cost can be estimated as seen in the table.
The writer is a quantity surveyor