Three weeks after they started, Pete and Ali put the last plasterboard piece onto the walls last week. So now to fill the gaps. The plasterboard was fastened to the wooden timber frame studs with screws. And although Pete and Ali used a specialist screwdriver which prevented them from over driving the screws, there were inevitably dimples in the plasterboard.
Then there are the places where two plasterboards meet – again, however close you put them, there are always going to be gaps to deal with.
So George and Johnny turned up on Tuesday and got to work making the walls look good.
There are two ways of doing this. Traditionally, a builder would call in a plasterer and cover all the walls and ceilings with a layer of wet plaster. You then leave the walls to dry out before doing anything else to them.
In our house we are opting for a dry lined finish to the walls. This approach deals with the blemishes and leaves the plasterboard alone where it can. Done carefully, it means the walls can be left looking pretty smart and ready for paint in a very short time.
When they were putting the plasterboard up, Pete and Ali used bevelled boards. So at the places where two board met, the join was slightly set back from the line of the wall. This allows George and Johnny to apply thin layers of tape and a special plaster mix to the join and still end up with a perfectly flat wall.
The bevels are deep enough to allow three layers of tape and plaster to be applied and then the plaster is feathered out across the wall. It looks like a very difficult activity – applying the right amount of plaster and feathering the edges requires a finely judged sweep of the trowel.
Then the corners. The tapers apply a layer of plaster to both sides of the corners (internal or external, it works for both). Then they place a folded length of card reinforced by alloy strips down the corner and press it in. Then a layer of plaster on either side turns a ragged plasterboard edge into a beautifully smooth, sharp edged corner.
There’s quite a few of those to do in this house!
It’s a bit difficult photographing white edges of white walls and showing off the quality of the finish. These video walkthroughs give you some idea of how the walls are going to look when it’s all done.
Upstairs starting on the “bridge”
Downstairs going through to the kitchen