It is generally more expensive, but it is worth it.
People decide to use lime products on their property mainly to combat damp problems. Lime products have been traditionally used on buildings for hundreds, even thousands, of years. Before purchasing an older property you may want to consider the work you may need to have done if there are damp problems. Once cement render has been removed it is never advisable to replace it like for like.
If you own or are considering buying an older property, you may want to read this article: Thinking of Buying an Older Building?
Using lime products
The reason that lime rendering and plastering is more expensive is that the process of application takes much longer than a cement render would; more coats have to be applied and left to dry, meaning the overall process takes longer. This is a specialist traditional craft and the detailed work is shaped by hand without the aid of metal beads.
Lime products are considerably more expensive to buy than a cement render and the mix ratio of aggregate to lime is approximately 3 times greater than that of cement and gypsum.
Whilst initially there is a greater cost involved than if you were to use a cement render, the benefit of a dry house far outweighs this in the long run. There is less need for extensive work caused by the damp problems commonly found with a cement render and you can be more certain that the integrity of your structure is being preserved. You can read more about this on our Traditional Lime Work page.