Contemporary Design Options for Balconies with Glass Balustrades

Contemporary Design Options for Balconies with Glass Balustrades

Pinnacle Works loves to combine craftsmanship with exceptional finishes, and here we want to talk about the seamless beauty of balconies with glass balustrades.

Traditional balconies, porches, decks and roof gardens often feature blocky wooden fencing and brick walls, obstructing the view and taking up valuable floor space. Toughened glass makes for an excellent focal point and, blended with stainless steel, can transform how your home looks and feels.

Our focus, as always, is on first-class service, from designing a unique balustrade to match your aesthetic through to finishing off your installation with impeccable attention to detail.

The Benefits of Glass Balustrade Balconies and Decks

Precision-engineered glass, handrails, frames and bases enable us to construct a vast array of glass balustrade designs, with laminated glass that is strong and durable yet with lightweight framing suitable for most roof spaces. As a sophisticated feature, a glass balustrade is also practical, rust-resistant and low maintenance offering multiple benefits that don’t stop with increasing light filtration.

Turning a Flat Roof Into a Focal Point

For many homeowners, a flat roof is wasted space and often a nuisance where felting requires regular repairs or maintenance – but it could be an exciting opportunity to customise your home.

Dreaming of sipping your coffee on a summer morning and watching the world go by or entertaining in the evenings on a beautifully constructed balcony space? The lightweight aluminium or stainless steel frame profile is perfectly suited to even small roof spaces, turning a patch of property that doesn’t serve a purpose into a versatile area.

Adding Value and Appeal to Your Property

Adding a balcony to your home can boost its value by around 12% – and potentially much more if you have a streamlined, modern glass balustrade to amplify the view and surrounding scenery!

The appeal of a balcony space is in its varied uses:

  • Sunbathing and relaxing
  • Entertaining and dining
  • Safe kid’s play space
  • Extra outdoor area
  • Yoga or workout deck
  • Balcony or kitchen gardens
  • Private reading nooks
  • Outdoor office in pleasant weather

Tailoring your balcony to your intended use is part of the fun; perhaps rattan furniture for a classic dining space, suspended hooks for hanging baskets, or waterproof storage units to keep your outdoor cushions dry.

Maximising Panoramic Views

We often work with clients with a balcony that tends to be overlooked, with brick walls, thick fencing or unsightly barriers incorporated as a safety feature. Glass overcomes those limitations by replacing solid walls with an equally robust and secure material that will not block the light. Natural light flows freely into your home, making your rooms feel more open and airy.

Expanding Your Usable Spaces

The simplicity of crystal clear glass conceals a considerable amount of technology that goes into manufacturing incredibly safe, strong glazing. Glass balustrades are as tough and durable as any other balcony material. It would require significant structural pressure to cause the glass to crack or break (it’s a similar strength to steel!).

For families, the extension into a balcony is a chance to create new outdoor spaces with plenty of fresh air and sunlight without any safety risks – even if the glass were exposed to huge amounts of weight, tempered glass does not break into sharp shards.

Featuring Ultra-Modern Frameless Glass

Frameless glass is the most modern design possible and means that your balustrade appears to be floating, creating an ethereal and striking statement. The natural illusion is one of greater space, like an infinity pool where there are no harsh lines to break up your lines of sight.

Stainless Steel Handrails for Safety and Style

The sharp contrast between sheer glass and stainless steel is a great way to maximise the impact of your glass balustrade. Stainless steel won’t crumble, chip, bend, fade or warp and has a few added environmental benefits.

Using bright stainless steel ensures your balustrade is better visible to birds and wildlife, making it safe for local ecosystems. It is also 100% recyclable, ideal for eco-friendly homes and conscious living spaces.

Incorporating Statement Architectural Steel

High-quality architectural steels are an excellent choice for outdoor balconies, walkways and platforms, providing stability and a polished appearance with a wealth of fabrication options to suit your desired appearance. Custom architectural steel can create a clean, modern design or a more ornate styling, with railheads and embellishments to reflect the period of your home.

Choosing a Balustrade Design for Your Balcony

There are countless options when designing a glass balustrade – if you need any support, the Pinnacle Works team is here to help.

As a summary of some of the most popular finishes and construction methods, we have run through a few of the alternative designs you might select below.

  • Handrails, risers or bannisters made from wood, metal or stone.
  • Clear, opaque or patterned glass, with numerous texture, framing, and colour choices.
  • Juliet balcony spaces, opening windows and doors, post and rail (vertical bars with a fixed handrail), or frameless glass balustrades.
  • Subtle spigot glass systems with steel clamps to secure the glass panels.

The right glass balustrade balcony will normally depend on the age of your property, the size of the balcony space, and the overall effect you’d like to achieve – whether a flawless finish to avoid detracting from heritage stonework or a highly modernised glass and steel extension.

It’s also possible to use glass balustrades in inventive ways, to segregate seating areas in your garden, add a safety element beside swimming pools, or create optimal lighting within a stairwell. One of the key advantages to glass balcony balustrades is that the bulk of the work is completed off-site, with panels engineered to fit your specific sizing and then installed in minimal time to avoid unnecessary disruption.

For more inspiration about the diverse ways to incorporate a glass balustrade within your balcony design or property, please contact the Pinnacle Works team for guidance and advice from the home improvement professionals.



Design Ideas for Bespoke Media Units

Design Ideas for Bespoke Media Units

As a central part of our homes, living rooms and kitchens are places where we gather, spend time and connect with our friends and families – sometimes around a movie, or warming our feet on a beautifully cosy fire.

One of the in-demand projects for the Pinnacle Works team this season has been designing bespoke media units, incorporating quality carpentry and exceptional finishes to bring a unique design feature to your most-used spaces.

Let us present some of the popular designs we’ve worked on and explore the advantages of making the most of your space with an attractive centrepiece that is highly functional.

The Benefits of Commissioning a Bespoke Media Unit

TV screens are slimmer, bigger and more technologically advanced than ever – but many of our clients don’t find their appliances the most aesthetic of units to hang on the wall.

A tailored media unit is a fantastic way to:

  • Construct a sophisticated system that incorporates shelving, storage, your TV unit, gaming consoles, routers, and streaming boxes.
  • Hide unsightly cables with in-built plug ports and invisible wiring.
  • Create the perfect ambience with niche lighting embedded into nooks and recesses in your media unit.

Whether you’re keen on a realistic electric fireplace or wish to reconfigure a dated mantelpiece, a range of modern materials, stunning hardwood timbers, and skilled carpentry can achieve any style aspiration.

Design Inspiration for Media Centres and Built-in Fires

There are countless options from sleek, Scandinavian pale wood, gloss finishes, textured shelving or ultra-modern lighting systems. Pinnacle projects have involved creating statement entertainment walls as a home cinema system or building slimline cabinets to free up extra floor space.

Some of our favourite media centre concepts include:

  • Scandi designs using bright finishes, minimalistic white and cream shades for simplicity and functionality.
  • Repurposing false chimney breasts to create dedicated entertainment units with built-in electric fires using a previously empty part of the wall.
  • Refined fireplaces, with a faux or electrical fire encased in traditional timbers, in a period style to replicate the heritage appeal of an older property.

Many contemporary TV units are wall-mounted, but the trailing wires, bulky edges and contrasting plastic can look out of place in an otherwise elegantly decorated room.

With a vast range of colours, designs and styles, your media centre can incorporate sharp edges and clean lines, sweeping curves and classic wood, or be a style statement in crisp metallics and subtle LED lighting.

Selecting Materials and Finishes for Your Home Entertainment Centre

As a team of capable carpenters and joiners, we delight in creating fitted furniture with only the finest quality materials, always finished and installed by our professional craftspeople. The materials we use follow a consultation, where you can select from any aesthetic you would like, be that solid varnished wood or a painted pop of colour.

Finishes are just as important as the durability of the underlying material, with options to hand paint your units with outstanding interior paint, spray coat, or apply hard lacquer to ensure your bespoke furniture is suitable for a lifetime of use. Bespoke units are made to your precise specifications, in tune with your decor and architecture, utilising an existing chimney or building a media centre against a blank canvas.

Incorporating a Fireplace Into a Media Unit

Why combine a fireplace and TV within a media wall unit? The key is to ensure you have a combined focal point, adding dimension and character to an otherwise plain living space.

Both fireplaces and TVs tend to form central areas around which we position our furniture and furnishings, so combining both into one bespoke unit makes a living room feel organised and decluttered. Stud wall frameworks or false chimney frontages can conceal all of your cables and wiring while making a display piece from a contemporary electric fire, all within one streamlined unit.

If you’re unsure where you would like your media wall or how to integrate your fire, consider:

  • The size of your TV screen and where you’d like it positioned. This factor is important, so it’s best to test different angles where the screen is visible from every seating area without craning your neck.
  • Whether you’d like your unit built into a recessed wall – often with the TV fitted flush with the outside of your furniture and a pull-out bracket to move the screen outwards into a comfortable viewing position.
  • Additional devices include games consoles, speaker systems, and set-top boxes. These can be incorporated into hidden shelving, behind soft-touch doors or built into drawer systems for easy access, but without being on display.

Finally, we can showcase a range of gorgeous electrical fires with incredible warmth and ambience, yet as a safe heating appliance that you can incorporate into your media unit without a fire hazard.

Popular options include creating a smooth, white chimney breast with the TV screen and fire frontage flush with the wall as an individual unit that looks highly cultivated.

Create Your Bespoke Media Unit and Fireplace With Expert Craftsmanship From Pinnacle Works

Every unit we construct is built to your exact requirements, with our in-house team of talented craftspeople, installers and carpenters. We love the challenge of bringing a concept to life and working on a wide array of media centres, from classic hardwoods for heritage homes to contemporary finishes for updated renovations.

Many of our clients prefer to conceal media equipment and fireplaces to improve the feel of their living spaces, bring the family together, and keep wiring out of sight – and out of the reach of curious fingers and pets, as an added way to childproof your property. The benefit of built-in furniture is that it’s made specifically to fit your home, with exacting attention to detail. Every angle, join, curve and handle fit perfectly, combining the best style and functionality.

Please get in touch for any further information about the possibilities for your bespoke media centre or to access our gallery of past projects for some valuable design inspiration.



Silicone-Based Exterior Render Systems: Functional and Attractive

Silicone-Based Exterior Render Systems: Functional and Attractive

Rendering involves applying a coat to your external walls, creating a smooth or textured finish that provides a seamless appearance. This process protects your brickwork from the weather and damage, and you can opt to render every aspect of your home or use a mixture of brickwork and render, depending on the aesthetic you would like.

One of the most advanced exterior render systems is made with a silicone base as an alternative to conventional sand and cement.

We’ll explain the benefits shortly, but silicone may be the ideal option if you would like a durable, flawless finish and a high-performance render.

What is Exterior Rendering?

There are two key reasons to add render to the outside of your property:

  • To prevent moisture and dampness from penetrating your walls.
  • Providing an attractive, uniform finish.

Traditional render is made from a sand and cement mixture, which can be the cheapest solution since the materials are widely available. It can also be patched if the render breaks down or cracks over time. You’ll likely be familiar with some of the finishes applied, such as pebbledash.

The issue with cement render is that it isn’t the most durable material. You’ll often need to regularly paint the outside of your property since exposed render isn’t appealing to most homeowners.

How Do Silicone-Based Exterior Render Systems Work?

Pinnacle Works offers an alternative exterior render system, using silicone render, which is water-resistant and can be coloured as you wish – removing the time and cost of painting.

Silicone-based render systems have superior performance qualities compared even with other newer systems, including acrylic, providing greater breathability and lasting longer. While it may be slightly more expensive to apply, silicone render lasts an average of 25 to 30 years, so it is an investment that pays dividends over the long term. This top of the range render is easy to apply and is inherently hydrophobic, with excellent water repellent qualities that avoid dirt and moisture from accumulating on your property.

We can render most properties with a spray machine and the application process takes very little time if the external walls are carefully prepared.

Rendering requires just one coat of a thin application, although we’ll usually advise using a basecoat to create a stable, level and strong surface. Once the basecoat is dry, the silicone is applied, usually across each elevation in one go, to avoid any lines or patches between adjoining render.

The Advantages of Exterior Render Systems

Silicone-based external render systems have a range of compelling benefits!

Some of the most important include:

  • Waterproofing your property from the outside in – mitigating any potential issues around leaks, staining, damp and mould.
  • Improving the thermal value of your property. Incorporating insulation boards can make your home significantly more energy-efficient.
  • Silicone render can be applied directly onto an existing finish, provided it is in reasonable condition, reducing the application timescale and costs.
  • The uniform render looks stunning once dried, without any need to paint your external walls or touch up paintwork over the years.
  • This render is self-cleaning and gives a contemporary, fresh appearance to properties of any age.

Once your rendering is complete, it is highly unlikely that the silicone-based finish will crack, extending its useful life, and remaining in perfect condition for up to around 30 years.

Can I Choose a Coloured Silicone-Based Render?

Render can be tailored to your style and design aspiration in any colour you wish. A pigment can be blended with the render before application or we can offer a range of pre-coloured renders, creating a far more durable, coloured finish than any external paintwork.

Coloured render lasts considerably longer than paint and provides a beautiful, smooth finish.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Using a Silicone Render System?

The only real downside to silicone render is that it is more costly than acrylic or sand and cement render. Still, it is more durable, water repellent, maintenance-free and self-cleaning, easily offsetting the usual maintenance expenses involved with property upkeep.

Choosing Between Traditional and Modern Rendering

There are pros and cons to both traditional and modern rendering, and the systems operate very differently.

Silicone render is self-coloured, which is one of the popular advantages, and excels above and beyond conventional render, incorporating silicone to make the render more flexible and thus less prone to cracking or damage. Breathability is also important; balancing the trade-off between water resistance ensures the brickwork remains in good condition underneath.

Listed buildings and period homes may have a lime render system used on most properties built before the 1930s. Lime mortar was generally used in construction and matched with a lime render. Issues commonly arise because these older render systems are:

  • Not particularly water-resistant, which can cause untold damage to external walls, and problems with dampness, water damage and rot.
  • Of a basic finish. Silicone render can be applied to properly prepared walls with a base coat to ensure adequate adhesion. A bad quality render may need to be removed if there is any risk of falling away from the wall.
  • Old render usually needs to be painted once every four years (on average) since the colour will fade and stain, and paintwork will chip and crack over time.
  • Lime render cracks as the property moves and settles, which is natural. Cracks must then be patched over or the property re-rendered.

Much depends on your home, budget, and the finish you wish to achieve.

Expert Advice Choosing a Render System for Your Home

If you’re unsure which type of rendering would suit your property and provide the right finish, please contact the Pinnacle Works team.

Properties with underlying challenges such as damp or cracked render may require remedial work beforehand to ensure your external walls are ready for the new render application and provide a perfectly smooth appearance. It’s advisable to seek guidance before investing in a render system that may not last as long as you expect.

Our experienced professionals can discuss the various types of render and suggest the right solutions to fit your requirements.






Smart Home, Smart Choice

Smart Home, Smart Choice

Innovative home technology offers incredible ways to improve security, manage your utilities remotely, and make life more comfortable. These intelligent systems rely on inter-connectivity, so you can monitor and control devices wherever you happen to be.

Home automation means the same thing – it’s all about energy efficiency, convenience, and ensuring your property runs smoothly. Here we’ll explain more about what a smart home is, why it’s worth having, and how you can make your property work a little harder!

What is a Smart Home?

A smart house often uses a central hub, such as Amazon Echo, Samsung SmartThings, or Google Home, to operate many appliances, settings, and functions.

Need to ramp up the heating before you wake up each morning, set the alarm to let you know when someone rings your doorbell, or make sure the cooker is preheating as soon as you leave the office? Smart homes can make all those things happen and much more.

One of the joys of a smart home is that it mitigates tonnes of manual actions, such as switching on lights when it gets dim, locking or unlocking doors, or turning on the radio to keep your pets company. These applications are brilliant for busy families and those who want to improve their energy efficiency or have mobility restrictions that make everyday chores a challenge.

Typical Assets You’ll Find in a Modern Smart Home

Let’s run through some of the appliances you might choose to include in your clever home design.

Home Media Centres

Entertainment is a big part of family life, and a home media centre with home automation can make it easy to:

  • Watch, pause, record and rewind live TV.
  • Check your emails or messages from any device.
  • Control your home systems from your remote.
  • Use your phone app rather than a physical remote.
  • Instruct your TV to record your favourite show through your app.

Apps command everything, so you don’t need to flick on a light, use a wall touchpad, or move from your spot. Many systems also incorporate a range of voice activations.

Smart Heating and Lighting

Intelligent heating systems work by operating your thermostats, lights and boiler through your smart device. You can turn the heat up or down, activate air conditioning, ask the lights to be switched on according to weather conditions, or pre-set instructions.

Smart home systems can be automated to turn off the heating and lights when you leave the house, so you’ll immediately start to conserve energy when there’s nobody home.

Smart Home Security

Alarm systems have come a long way from a simple motion detector and include brands such as Ring alarms and doorbells.

Options include:

  • Arming or disarming alarms through an app on your mobile.
  • Receiving instant notifications if an alarm or doorbell is triggered.
  • Automatic surveillance recording when motion is detected.

If you opt for a smart home security package with dual communication channels, it’ll keep working even if the Wi-Fi is down.

Smart Home Efficiency

The average smart home is a whopping 30-40% more efficient than a regular house. Even though always-on speakers or connected cameras tend to use a little energy, the outflow is usually much less with better utility management. Your smart home metres will ensure you know how much you’ve spent, where your energy is going and allow you to keep firm control of your utility budgets.

Monitoring water leaks, closing and locking gates and doors, automating sprinklers or checking whether or not you locked the garage door is all possible through a smart home hub.

Popular Smart Home Entertainment Apps or Services

The best smart home system for you depends on how you want to use it, but we’ll take a brief look at some of the most popular options:

  • Logitech Harmony Home Hub controls up to eight home entertainment or automation devices through a smartphone app, interacting with lights, thermostats and other home essentials.
  • Amazon Echo is designed to respond to your voice with total hands-free operation. It can play music and control devices from lighting to heaters, and anything electrical plugged in (whether it is an intelligent appliance or not).
  • Samsung SmartThings is a hub that connects wirelessly with various devices, controlled via an app on a smartphone or tablet.
  • iRule is an app rather than hardware and turns a mobile into a universal control, directly managing TV streaming apps or electronics.
  • Google Home is another app to handle Google Nest or Google Home speakers and compatible lights, cameras and calendars.

Benefits of Having a Smart Home

Of the many benefits of intelligent home automation, the most significant is that you can manage all devices from one place. It is usually straightforward to add new appliances or update your app as new versions are released. You can integrate with existing systems rather than needing to update every switch and socket in your home.

Smart homes have maximised security, with options such as automated locking, motion detection and instant video surveillance, all streamed to your app to keep an eye on things from anywhere in the world.

Remote control functions ensure you don’t use unnecessary electricity or gas and can tap into insights into how your home works, how you consume energy, and ways to cut down on your utility bills.

Options to Make Your Property Smarter

Making your home smarter can save you a massively on costs in the long run! Here are some simple steps to optimise your home intelligence systems:

  1. Invest in a smart home assistant – you can choose from some of the options and brands we’ve mentioned above, or get in touch for more recommendations.
  2. Choose smart lighting – that can include rewiring, bulb replacements or plugging in a relay box.
  3. Replacing wall sockets – smart plugs convert a standard socket into a smart one, whereby you can turn on the TV, lamps or the kettle on your app or activate electric heaters from your phone.
  4. Upgrade to intelligent security – indoor security cameras usually come with pedestals with no wall mounting, including environmental sensors and linking with smart doorbell cams for added safety.
  5. Adding smart central heating – a connected boiler system will allow you to either instruct your temperature to adjust automatically to the weather or respond to manual controls in your app.

Homes of the future will be more efficient, easier to operate, streamlined, and connected so that every homeowner can control their property from entertainment to security, lighting to water temperature, all with a couple of clicks in an app.

If you’re interested in making your home a smart home, please contact the Pinnacle Works team for more information about any of the options discussed here.



Benefits of Investing in Your Property Instead of Moving

Benefits of Investing in Your Property Instead of Moving

When you’ve outgrown your living space or feel like your home isn’t meeting your requirements, choosing whether to move or remodel is a big decision.

There are many compelling reasons to look at opportunities to upgrade your property, expand the number of bedrooms, or go for a loft conversion or extension, particularly if you love where you live.

Let us explain the benefits of home improvements and provide some suggestions from decades of successful renovation projects to solve your property dilemmas. If you’d like tailored advice about the options available within your home, please give us a call, and we’ll be happy to make some recommendations.

Reconfiguring Your Home Rather Than Relocating

One of the most significant challenges, if you’re considering selling up, is that a lot rides on the property market, which is notoriously turbulent. Currently, we’re seeing volatile demand, with peaks in some areas and dips in others.

Selling while the market is flat will undoubtedly mean either:

  • Accepting a lower offer than you’d like.
  • The stress of waiting for months for a buyer.
  • Breaking a property chain if you are unable to sell.

Another issue is around mortgage rates. Interest base rates are expected to rise steeply in 2022, which means that mortgages will become more expensive, in addition to the need to raise a large deposit, usually of at least 10% of the new property value.

Remortgaging to extend your current home loan or even short-term finance may be far cheaper than taking out a brand new mortgage on a different property. As lenders increase mortgage interest charges, it can also mean that homeowners cannot pass stricter affordability assessments to raise enough finance to purchase a larger home.

Costs aside, there are lots of other reasons to explore the renovation opportunities you have and rethink how you use your home to make it better fit your family.

The Best Home Improvement Projects for Investment Returns

Investing in home improvements does more than enhance your living standards – you can drive up the market value of your property if you later decide to move and retain a bricks and mortar asset that will likely grow in value in the meantime.

Some home investments deliver exceptionally high returns, depending on your region. A good example is off-road parking, which can cause no end of hassle for families in busy urban areas struggling to find parking spaces close by. Fitting a driveway or constructing a garage solves the problem while making your home appealing to prospective buyers in the future, and you don’t need to budget for the cost of moving.

While these are averages, the statistics below reflect how you can often double the value of your investment in a home improvement project:

Home improvement Average UK cost Average return on investment
Extending into loft space £21,000 – £44,000 170%
Adding a bedroom £15,000 – £40,000 115%
Building a single story extension £30,000 – £48,000 108%
Outdoor landscaping £100 – £125 per m2 100%
Installing a new bathroom £6,500 – £7,000 93.2%
Installing a new kitchen £5,000 – £14,000 91%
Replacing entrance doors £850 – £1,500 90.7%
Adding a deck, patio or porch £15 – £80 per m2 90.3%
Converting a basement £800 – £1,500 per m2 90.1%
Replacing windows £500 – £3,200 per window 89.6%

In comparison, moving from a three-bedroom house to a four-bed to acquire an extra bedroom will typically cost an average of:

  • £142,400 in the property value
  • £1,700 in removal costs
  • £11,300 in Stamp Duty
  • £800 – £1,500 in legal fees

Unless there is a tangible benefit in selling your home and moving to a larger property, it is hugely more cost-effective to expand or reconfigure your existing home. Eco-friendly improvements, such as replacing an old boiler, will also mean that your utility bills drop and your home achieves a better energy efficiency rating if you choose to put the property on the market at a later date.

Benefits of a Home Improvement Project

There are countless ways to change your property, from a complete remodel, removing internal doors, repositioning walls and building extensions. If you have an existing space that isn’t used, for example, an empty attic or a redundant side return, this space is perfect for extending into.

An experienced contractor, such as Pinnacle Works, is helpful since we can recommend the best solutions based on your existing home and the key aims you have for your home improvement, for example:

  • A rear single-storey extension doesn’t usually require planning permission. It could enable you to create a new living room, playroom, home office, sunroom, or increase the size of your ground floor.
  • If that might eat into your outdoor garden space, a side return extension is often a great option for semi-detached or detached properties.
  • Standalone home offices are ideal for professionals needing a dedicated working space but without the capacity to build extra rooms within their property layout. A separate office at the end of the garden can be fitted with complete plumbing and heating or used as a home gym or studio.
  • If you want to improve natural light, you could contemplate replacing old windows with energy-efficient double or triple glazing, installing roof lights or a dormer window.
  • Rooms that feel cold and draughty can be easily updated with a suspended ceiling.

Modern materials and efficient installations often mean your renovation or extension will be finished in a matter of weeks, creating a new way of living in your house with minimal disruption and heavily reduced costs.

Making your home a home and one that is suited to your tastes and preferences will ensure you feel truly comfortable in your property, with custom-designed spaces aligned with your family’s needs.

If you’d like more inspiration for ways to modernise your home, please get in touch with Pinnacle Works, and we’ll discuss some ideas to improve your living standards – and property value – for the long term.


The Benefits of a Professional Plastering Contractor for your Interiors

The Benefits of a Professional Plastering Contractor for your Interiors

There are many home maintenance and decoration tasks you can do yourself, and DIY can be a great way to express your creativity and learn new skills. However, DIY plastering often ends in disaster and is far more skilled and intricate than many other general jobs.

At Pinnacle Works we offer a complete plastering service, whether you require a razor-sharp, smooth edge or a more detailed plaster effect to restore a period property feature.

In this article we share some guidance to explain the importance of using an accomplished plastering contractor and some of the common pitfalls we see following a DIY plaster disaster!

What is Plastering?

You’ll likely find plaster throughout your home, on the walls and ceilings. In essence, this finish protects your interior and provides a smooth surface to paint or hang wallpaper.

Typical plasters are blended from gypsum, cement or lime, which come in a dry powder and are mixed carefully with an accurate water measurement to develop a paste ready for application.

The Plastering Process

Let’s run through a basic explanation of what’s involved:

1. Surface Preparation

First, we assess the condition of the surface and prepare it for plastering. You must address any issues with damp, mould, rust or other deterioration before plastering takes place.

2. Plaster Mixing

Next, our plastering team prepares the plaster. There are multiple different application types, and heritage properties may require a specific blend of materials to comply with Listed Building requirements.

3. Plaster Application

Watching a skilled plasterer can be mesmerising. The process involves using firm upward strokes with an angled trowel and flattening the tool at the end of each motion to perfectly smooth the plaster.

4. Drying Time

Finally, your plaster needs to dry, and then your selected decoration is applied. Correctly applied plaster will dry relatively quickly and can be primed ready for painting.

Getting the blend and the application right is vital for appearance and ensuring the surface maintains fire-proof qualities for household safety.

Skimming vs Plastering Explained

The exact work you require will depend on the nature of your project. Skimming and plastering are often interchanged, but to a contractor are two different tasks.

Skimming, or skim plastering, means that a thin coat of plaster is applied to an existing wall on top of the current layer. This work is usually necessary when the surface area isn’t smooth and can be a restorative task for period properties to ensure the walls can be painted and kept in good condition.

A skimming project may sound simpler than plastering a bare wall. Still, it’s often a more difficult job, whereby the finish must be precise, absolutely smooth, and provide a perfect surface that you can paint or decorate.

Why Is Quality Plastering Important?

Pinnacle Works plasterers have years of training and vast experience in achieving outstanding finishes in a minimal application time.

The quality of your plastering work will have a significant impact on the aesthetic of your completed room and on the overall cost you need to budget for:

  • Poor plastering will crack or produce lumps and unsightly bubbles.
  • Inconsistent finishes make it very tricky to hang wallpaper and will be highlighted when applying paint.
  • Improper technique means that tight corners and edges will usually crumble or show gaps and uneven edges.
  • The wrong type of plaster can be catastrophic! Interior plaster used outdoors, for example, can fall away from the wall or collapse entirely.
  • A badly plastered wall will need to be removed and replaced from scratch, costing considerably more than a capable plastering contractor.
  • Substandard interiors will often impact the saleable value of your property.
  • Too much or too little plaster applied unequally will mean an uneven, wobbly wall.

While many DIY videos make plastering look effortless, don’t be mistaken in that it’s easy to get right without training.

One of the most severe issues is that any task involving wet materials, ladders and potentially handling live wiring requires a competent contractor to ensure all the work is compliant with health and safety regulations.

DIY Plastering or Professional Plastering Contractor?

Before you’re tempted to give plastering a go, we’d advise taking a look at some of the frequent mistakes we come across.

One of the common problems with DIY plaster is that the type of plaster isn’t appropriate. There isn’t one universal plaster mix suited for indoor and outdoor sites or rooms with higher damp concentrations, so the wrong plaster mix will inevitably need to be replaced.

Home improvements can be an exciting opportunity to get hands-on, but the exacting nature of plastering and the delicate blend to achieve an optimal plaster mix isn’t usually something you can achieve without practice.

Benefits of Using a Plastering Contractor

As we’ve explained, it’s highly advisable you use a qualified plastering contractor to ensure you get the quality and look you’re after.

There are many benefits to using an experienced professional:

  • Detail is crucial. Plastering with gaps and bubbles is impossible to disguise, so attention to the finish is vital.
  • Skilled plastering contractors work fast. Our teams are efficient and provide all the necessary equipment to complete your job from start to end – meaning you can move on to the next phase promptly.
  • Properly applied plaster is durable and will last for decades. Poorly applied plaster, conversely, will often require replacement in just a few short months.

Plaster might be a rigid material, but mistakes at the application stage can be costly and cause irreparable damage to your walls. Particularly when looking at plaster coving, ceiling roses or cornices, the level of detail is impossible to achieve without using a contractor with ample experience in similarly complex projects.

Pinnacle Works is a full-service building contractor working with clients across Sussex and beyond. We hope this brief guide to plastering helps identify the right way to achieve the quality and appearance you expect! If you need any assistance with a plastering project or a plastering problem, please get in touch for friendly advice from the plastering professionals.