Facade renovation

Façade renovation job of an existing building,may consist of many items such as replacement of glass, plaster, canopies, screens, waterproofing, stone or tile application, entire new curtain wall systems, even the exterior studs or bricks that hold the facade materials. Facade renovation is important because it increases the value of the property, it provides better insulation, decrease maintenance costs, and simply will achieve a better look in almost all cases.

In the most general sense, all surfaces must be cleaned to bare bottom, before application of any new materials. In some cases, as we mentinoed, this may even involve replacement of the exterior skeleton itself, it is is determined that it will be structurally weak.

For plastering jobs, the success of application of plaster to an existing surface can vary greatly. In most cases a trial patch of an area of at least 3×3 feet is advisable. If you make it to a smaller area, you may not see the effects of application to a large surface area. Usually you need to use mesh and attach it mechanically to the existing surface, otherwise there is a great risk of your new plaster layer not adhering sufficiently to the existing surface. It is best practice to involve a person who is expert at the façade renovation as early as possible. Although you will pay him, this will most probably save you time and money down the road.

When doing the design drawings for a facade renovation project, the existing condition of the surfaces must be thoroughly identified. Especially for older buildings, the application of facade items differ a lot from today and there might be surprises on the way. For instance on one of the author’s projects, the architect identified exterior stucco to be removed from exterior however when the contractor got to the work they found out that there was a totally different material used, which was much harder to remove. This lead to a whole lot of waiting and cost increase.

The cost and access problems that any scaffold will create must also be taken into account, when budgeting and scheduling exterior facade jobs. In some cases, temporary passageways must be constructed, to allow pedestrians to continue to safely walk near the building.

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