Loft conversion dormer: tile or render?

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We're doing a loft conversion, raising the hip to gable end and building a large dormer on the back (with nearly flat roof). We're slightly stuck, wondering whether to tile or render the dormer. Render seems to look good when it's newly done, but I'm worried it will crack quickly, especially because anything that high is bound to be more exposed to the elements. On the other hand, tile dormers of the size we're planning don't look great -- but presumably will be more durable? Any thoughts welcome...
 
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Buildings far higher than your loft are rendered and they seem to last alright, your fears of render are unfounded.
 
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Have you considered upvc cladding? Don't know the character of building you are working on, but looks good and lasts for years.
 
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Thanks for the replies. I guess the higher the render, the less likely you are to see any cracks in it anyway. :) But in our neighbourhood there are some loft conversions with rather ugly, cracked and old render, which is what makes me ask.

UPVC I hadn't considered, and I don't think the planners would like it! Not that keen on it myself, though thanks for the suggestion.
 
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I second cladding but I wouldn't use standard uPVC. On the last half dozen or so dormers I've done I've used the stuff below. It's quick, easy, reasonably priced and a really classy finish.

http://www.twinson.com/en/face/p9581
 
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The thing about dormer finishings is access and maintenance over the years. When new timber framing begins to shrink, as it will, the render will craze. Anything requiring painting will be in an exposed position.

I hate PVC, but for dormer cheeks, frontage, fascia, barge boards and window frame(s), white PVC is probably the best solution. PVC solves the difficulties associated with the fiddly inside and outside corners.

A flat roof on a dormer can come back to haunt you.

Traditionally, tile-hanging was done, but every tile should be screwed on - loss of a single tile can cause major expense and perhaps knock-on difficulties ie. gaining access or working on the roof causing further damage.
 
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PS. The cladding is also 100% maintenance free. Here's a pic of a finished job.

 
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Have you considered upvc cladding? Don't know the character of building you are working on, but looks good and lasts for years.

PVC cladding looks sh*t.

You could consider doing it in cedar; that weathers quite nicely.

Cheers
Richard
 
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Thats a nice pic jeds, i've not seen the grey(?) pvc cladding in-situ before., it blends in well.

Cedar will weather well and go greyish, but eventually maintenance will have to take place on the roof - corners and detailing are the weak spots.

Anyway, thats my tuppenceworth.
 
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Thats a nice pic jeds, i've not seen the grey(?) pvc cladding in-situ before., it blends in well.

Cedar will weather well and go greyish, but eventually maintenance will have to take place on the roof - corners and detailing are the weak spots.

Anyway, thats my tuppenceworth.

Fair comment, although eventually maintenance will be required on any roof.

Cheers
Richard
 
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Just for clarity, it's not uPVC (although it is a mixture of uPVC and wood) and doesn't look or feel anything like uPVC. It loooks more like bacolite on the back (shiny) but the front is textured with a kind of elongated brushed grain. It's extremely durable but very easy to cut and fix. I think it's rated for 40 years without maintenance but I think it will still be around when the only thing left are cockroaches and VW cars.
 

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