Plastering and Rendering

A Guide to Plastering and Rendering

Plastering and rendering is an essential process for providing high-quality finishes to internal and external walls that will then be ready for decoration. There is a real art behind plastering and rendering, and it is something that is best left to a professional if you want great results. Many builders in Surrey will be able to offer plastering and rendering, but it is best to use one that understands your needs.

Although plastering and rendering is fairly similar there is one main difference. Plastering is usually carried out on internal walls, whilst rendering is for external walls. Plaster contains a compound known as gypsum, which cannot deal with the moisture to which these walls will be exposed. Rendering, on the other hand, is usually carried out using sand, cement & Lime, and can incorporate water proofers or adhesives that allow it be exposed to harsh conditions.

Many DIY enthusiasts will consider multi-purpose plasters in order to save time and money, but in a large majority of cases ends up being time consuming, stressful, expensive, and ultimately ends up offering a poorer solution.

That is why if you want to see the best possible results it is best to consider a professional for any plastering needs that you may have or at the very least consider home maintenance advice. An experienced plasterer or building contractor will avoid the use of these all purpose plasters, and instead will employ a more technical procedure that ensures a silky smooth, professional finish.

To do this, start with an undercoat plaster, this acts as the first layer between the structural materials (i.e. brick or block work). This is then followed by two coats of finish plaster. As the name suggests the finishing coat is the final layer that needs to be applied. The process of applying this layer is sometimes referred to as skimming. Any professional will tell you that in order to skim correctly you need a lot of experience.

At first glance, rendering and plastering may seem to be a relatively easy procedure that many DIY enthusiasts will feel tempted to take on. However, this is far from the truth, and all too often not consulting a construction company for construction advice leads to people wasting their time and money. Plastering and rendering are both tricky procedures that employ a number of variations and techniques to ensure a quality professional finish. This is why people train in this trade for years. As mentioned, DIY enthusiasts will usually opt for using an all-in-one plaster as these are readily available from DIY stores, but these are not easy to use. A Tradesman will use a number of stages that provide an expert end product.

When plastering internal masonry walls a float or undercoat is applied. This can be either sand and cement or more commonly a pre bagged plaster like Hard wall. The undercoat plaster is applied in continuous layers and ruled off with a straight edge until a flat and true level substrate is achieved. Next a finishing plaster like Multi Finish is applied in two coats. As the name suggests, this layer is the final layer that provides a smooth texture and a high-quality finish.

These three stages that have been outlined are crucial if you want to see a professional result, and if you are in need of either plastering or rendering it is advisable to ask a building contractor if they employ these stages. This is the sign of a true professional and is something that should be noted before making any commitments. Combine this information with their references and you will soon be able to distinguish between a quality tradesman and one that should be avoided.

Plastering and rendering is definitely something that should be carried out be an experienced professional as internal and external walls are an extremely visible part of your property. An amateur job will not only look embarrassing, but past this it could affect your chances of selling your property in the future. This is a good enough reason alone to consult an experienced building contractor.

This wall is ready to be plastered

This wall is ready to be plastered

Types of Internal Plastering

Dry lining is perhaps the easier option as it uses tapered edged plasterboards that are fixed to the timber substrate. They can also be bonded to masonry with a purpose made adhesive. In Commercial work, a purpose metal stud work is usually used to construct the dividing walls. The joints are Taped and then filled and sanded in preparation for decorating.

Wet plastering is a difficult technique to master as it involves applying freshly mixed plaster to exposed materials like brick or block work. In short, it is a lot untidier and more time consuming. However, regardless of the plastering method used, the final coat will only be successful if the undercoat has been applied properly. Arguably, this is the hardest and most important part of plastering as it requires a fine layer of plaster to be applied evenly. This requires a smooth and flat end product which is essential if you want to achieve a high-end luxury finish. It is possible to overlay existing walls and ceilings with a new finish, but this is not an exact science and should involve the use of a bonding agent to ensure adhesion to the substrate.

With more and more renovations taking place, there has been an increased demand for plastering. Builders in Surrey and the Home Counties have been exposed to this increase in demand, in particular, due to the close proximity of London, which is constantly expanding. Enlisting the help of a professional contractor in your local area is a good place to start if you require the services of a plasterer who will be able to make a real difference.

Wet Plastering vs. Dry Lining on Walls

Plastering is an essential aspect of building work for many reasons. If carried out properly it can provide a smooth flat surface, which provides a number of functional uses. Furthermore, many people think that smooth and flat surfaces look much better. A high-quality plastering job can contribute to the insulation of the home, whilst also making painting and wallpapering easier. A professional finish will always be free of bulges and deviations, which are extremely undesirable as they can make the whole job look unprofessional.

There is a great deal of skill involved in plastering. Therefore, it is usually recommended to enlist the help of a professional contractor or at the very least seeking home maintenance advice from a professional. By doing this you can be sure of a high-quality finish to all of your interior walls. While many people are aware of this, they will typically be given one of two options by their plasterer; wet plastering or dry lining.

Wet plastering

Wet plastering

Dry lining is usually cheaper and faster option. This is because plasterboards are used for the final layer. This almost guarantees a smooth finish as the plasterboards are perfectly flat, but this does not necessarily mean that wet plastering should be overlooked. This type of plastering has a number of advantages. Typically, it is more expensive, but you gain walls that are more ‘solid’ and are more likely to avoid any issues. Furthermore, some believe that they look much better. So from this perspective it could be argued that wet plastering is more beneficial, even though it is more time-consuming and more expensive. Due to the differences in quality and cost, it is sensible to seek help from a professional and ask them for planning advice. If you are planning on selling your home or you can’t live with a less than perfect job you should look at hiring a professional. In any case, you really need to consider the benefits of hiring one.

Dry lining

Dry lining

If you are still having doubts about the best solution for your needs, ask for building advice from your local builder. They will be able to provide you with a quote and offer advice, and, at the same time, you can choose if getting it done professionally is a viable solution.

How to Find a Good Plasterer

Now you are aware of why a professional is needed to carry out this skilful procedure you may want to find one, but where do you start? With so many options available, it may be hard to distinguish between a good plasterer and somebody who has very little interest in doing a professional job and is more focused on the finishing time and the pay cheque. To ensure that you get the best deal, you should short-list three companies that are local to you and follow the steps below.

Getting in a professional plasterer could save you a lot of hassle.

Getting in a professional plasterer could save you a lot of hassle.

Most reputable building contractors in surrey will have a good plasterer as part of their work force.

Your first step should be to contact plastering companies to ask them for references. Once you have these references you will be able to gain an insight into the level of craftsmanship that you can expect. If there are no references available, then it is advisable to insist on seeing a portfolio of local work, which will allow you to see their level of experience. Another indicator you can use to find out if a company/individual is professional is to see if they are registered with the “Federation of Plastering and Dry Walling Contractors” (FPDC). If they are registered you can be sure that they are going to provide you with a quality service. However, it is worth noting that there will be a number of other building contractors in Surrey that do not have this qualification, but can still carry out work to the highest of standards.

So by now you will have explored at least three possible options and compared their qualifications, references and experience. This is a good start, but to get the best deal you are going to need to compare the quotes that you are offered alongside the time it will take them to complete the work that you need.

Comparing the quotes you have been offered is perhaps the most obvious way see how much money will be needed to complete the job, and to ensure that you have an accurate quote that covers materials, labour and of course VAT. It is vital that the quote details that the company is responsible for all on-site rubbish. Plastering is a messy job, so you need to make sure they have also mentioned about covering up the carpets and furniture.

By doing a small amount of research you will be able to save yourself a lot of time and money in the long run. By following the steps that have been outlined above you will be on the right path to gaining an experienced and reliable plasterer.

So to recap those factors needed to gain a decent plasterer in your local area, you will need to see:

  • References
  • A portfolio of previous work
  • Insurance details
  • A permanent address or an address for an office
  • If they have any qualifications

These highlighted points should be applied to most building contractors because generally speaking, if they match all of these points, it is likely that they will be able to provide you with a quality service.