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.

Revamp Your Lifestyle Without Moving House – Redesign Your Home Interior

Revamp Your Lifestyle Without Moving House – Redesign Your Home Interior

Walking into a fresh, perfectly laid out space or a room that makes you instantly feel at home and relaxed is always the ideal. Pinnacle Works provides a wide range of services to our clients that can transform the atmosphere, usage and design of any home interior – making your property bespoke to your lifestyle without needing to pack a single bag.

The challenge for so many homeowners is that it can be difficult to see beyond your existing interior and imagine what you could achieve with creative craftsmanship, contemporary materials, and a little reconfiguration.

Here we’ll run through some of the concepts we have worked on with our clients that have made a profound change to how their home flows, the amount of functional space on offer, and as a compelling way to remain in the property you love, making it work for you.

Open Plan Property Reconfigurations

One of the most sought-after home reconfigurations is to create a light, airy, open plan living space. This aspiration is extremely popular in family homes and properties where it is essential to maximise natural light and ensure there is sufficient space and storage for busy families.

Many period homes and traditional properties contain multiple separated living spaces. For example, a ground floor layout might be split into a utility space, kitchen, dining room, conservatory, hallway and lounge. While separated living can work for some homeowners, it can have several downsides:

  • Smaller rooms can be dark, cramped, and rarely used.
  • Family members in different parts of the property become isolated.
  • It is less sociable, with designated spaces often not large enough for entertaining.
  • There is reduced capacity for larger pieces of furniture due to narrow doorways and wall space.

One of the reasons for this separated living style is that older homes didn’t benefit from the building materials and resources now available. For example, a closed off living room might have been cosier and less draughty and retain heat from a fireplace without it spreading throughout unoccupied spaces.

However, today’s homeowners have a vast array of options, from underfloor heating to triple glazed windows, panoramic Bi-fold doors and recessed lighting solutions, rendering those practicalities far less of a factor than having a light, spacious and appealing home.

Redesigning Your Home Interior

The kitchen is always a focal point in a home where meals are cooked, and people gather to talk about their day. Hence, it is no surprise that we often manage projects focusing on expanding this space and incorporating a generous kitchen/diner into what was a boxy, stuffy room.

Converting a kitchen can be a relatively simple job, with maximum impact on how you use your property. Some clients opt to retain their existing appliances and cabinets with a floor layout change to ensure the room feels wide open and attractive.

For example:

  • Separate kitchens can quickly become hot, steamy and damp without enough space for the heat caused by cooking to disperse – whereas reconfiguring this can revamp it into an entertaining area, with large windows, vents and plenty of light.
  • Galley kitchens can be tiny, with sufficient space for only one person at a time. Kitchen diners are more social and allow the person cooking to converse and chat with others in the dining space, or perhaps for them to lend a hand!

If you’re considering reconfiguring your ground floor to allow for an impressive kitchen/diner, it’s unlikely you’re keen to move. However, a fresh new kitchen can add around 10% to the value of your property. Large, open-plan kitchens are also one of the most desirable qualities on a buyer’s wish list.

Removing Redundant Walls

The next redesign project we work on regularly is in knocking down unnecessary walls. The amount of space you can gain by opening up an interior is astonishing.

Remember that a wall inside your property isn’t just a layer of bricks but includes plaster, insulation, and fittings. We often hear that clients are amazed by the change in space and how much valuable capacity a simple wall had taken up.

There are two scenarios here, depending on whether the walls you’d like to remove are load bearing or not. Non-structural walls can be knocked through quickly, with work required to make good the walls and flooring where the previous structure had been. This might be to:

  • Create a larger bathroom.
  • Open up a conservatory or sunroom to extend your living space.
  • Convert two small bedrooms into one generous room.
  • Knock through an unused box room to make it more usable.

Load-bearing walls (or support walls) are more complex but can still be removed if you want to increase the space, light and airflow in your property. This type of wall is part of the property’s structure and holds the weight above it through the foundations.

Even if you have a sizeable load-bearing wall running smack bang through the middle of your property, this can be removed and reinforcement built in to ensure the weight of the floor or roof above remains correctly supported. This usually involves creating a temporary support wall for the removal project and fitting a structural beam to carry the load. We can also add structural steelwork frames connected through robust bolting systems to ensure the new, more expansive space is structurally sound.

Note that it is essential to use a professional contractor to remove any structural walls. If they are removed incorrectly or the weight is not correctly supported, it can lead to disastrous consequences, including collapsed ceilings.

We regularly work on these types of reconfigurations and can provide professional advice about the best solutions to suit your property and intended use of your new open-plan space.

Architectural Property Redesign

We love the opportunity to work on exciting and innovative home reconfigurations – and to see the potential of properties with outdated layouts or tired interiors take on a whole new life.

We have specific architectural and structural steelwork experience, which is a fundamental component of any successful redesign where integral parts of the structure need to be changed, moved or removed. Led by our Director, Dave, who has 18 years of professional architectural steelwork expertise, the Pinnacle team has the know-how to advise on a wide range of property redesign projects, including help with reimagining your internal space and the range of layouts available within your property.

Please contact the Pinnacle Works team for more assistance with your home improvement project, whether you need initial design inspiration or are keen to get to work!