The plasterer commeth....

Simon R


In my last blog entry we had done the majority of first fix and were about to tackle the lighting circuits. We had intended to do this in the conventional ring and switch runs. Reading up on our options it soon became obvious this was not the best option and that running radial circuits made much more sense. A radial approach will let us install led drivers and any automation in a central area for ease of maintenance and to allow us too upgrade with wi-fi switches at some point in the future. Initially we are installing RF controlled relays with switches that look like fairly conventional switches stuck on the walls at appropriate places. There are a couple of of lighting circuits where having Shelly controlled switches will be beneficial as we can programme them to come on at sunset for a couple of hours.


All has gone reasonably well, our council building controls visited and gave us a clean bill of health and said they didn’t need to come back before completion. They’ve been really good to us drawing our attention to possible problems, so getting the news was a nice vote of confidence. It’s been hard work and we’ve been on site most days, so when it came to the 14th I did little to help my cause by buying Pat a new set of overalls 🙂 … we both had a laugh about it.




Our plans were to get the plaster-boarding done by mid March, which is when the plasterer was scheduled to finish a large job. This schedule gave us plenty of time to fit service battens on the vaulted ceiling and get everything as true as we can to give us a nice flat ceiling. Not having plaster-boarded before we decided it was prudent to call in the plasterer to take a look at what we had done and point out anything we needed to do differently. So when Shaun our plasterer came on Tuesday last week and told us it all looked good and the big job he had been due to start had been delayed as the electricians had failed to come on site. Quick discussion and we decided to break our plastering into two pieces of work and start on the 25th a full three weeks before we had planned. It was an all hands to the pumps week to meet the schedule.


Our house has a two story stair case in a 1.8M by 2.4M void so when working on the ceiling over the void it looks like a very long drop...a good 8 meters. The boarding above the void is in full view, so we wanted to get a nice straight line on the intersection on the apex. We set up staging in the void on the second floor. Well supported but still knee quaking. Getting the board lifter into the work area was also a problem. Just to help the wall on one side of the area was not true so getting a 2.4M board lined up and fixed true proved a bit of a mission. In the end it took four attempts and some use of packing shims to get it right. Not a good start as it had taken the best part of a day to do a comparatively small area.




Our kitchen ceiling is vaulted and we had bought a board lifter and an extension arm to allow us to do it. This extension arm allows the boards to be raised to 4.6M plenty we thought. It turned out to be just 800mm less than we needed so we ended up putting the lifter on blocks to get the additional height. In the end it worked out fairly well with minimal trauma. Can’t imagine how people do it without a lifter.




Progress picked up well from this point and we put up the last few sheets with a little time to spare. Plasterer arrived on schedule and got to work fast. Such a transformation.










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Went halfs with my mate on on of those kind of lifters recently. Don't you find them flimsy? Might just be the way he put it together. I've defintley used better. What gun you using for the screws I got one of the dewalt ones good for the money. 

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11 hours ago, Oz07 said:

Went halfs with my mate on on of those kind of lifters recently. Don't you find them flimsy? Might just be the way he put it together. I've defintley used better. What gun you using for the screws I got one of the dewalt ones good for the money. 

The board lifter is not the best engineered bit of kit in the world, but very serviceable and excellent value for money. It lifted 29KG 2.7 boards with no problem, The wheel locks worked well and held the lifter in position well. It was better than I thought it would be.

For the collated gun I used the other end of the spectrum, a corded Hilti. I did take a look at a cordless option, but I could get a "like new" driver gun on ebay for £30 and bought the collated head new for £100. Beautifully made and will last a life time, total overkill but I'll probably recoup that cost when I sell it at the end of the build.

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How high can those lifters go? 



Oops didn't see the 4.8m!!!


Edited by Moonshine

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2 minutes ago, Moonshine said:

How high can those lifters go?

The extension arm takes it to 4.6M. The standard arm is in the region of 3.4M.

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Going to have a very similar vaulted ceiling and challenge with heights. How did you find boarding in general, and how much additional time do you think it has taken you compared to the professionals (and are you happy that the additional time, any wastage etc was worth the saving)?

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11 hours ago, eandg said:

are you happy that the additional time, any wastage etc was worth the saving

Good question, now it's done and there has been a fair elapse time to let the wounds heal...

It took us four weeks to put up 177 sheets. Yes, it did take us longer than a professional, but you can take more time. We ended up putting shims under some of the battening to take out differences in the roof timbers something I doubt a professional would have bothered to do. Paying more attention to getting the boarding good also means your plasterer can concentrate on the finish rather than fixing the boarding. I don't think we had more wastage, maybe less as we thought about the best way to split sheets etc.

It's not a job I would have attempted on my own, fortunately my wife and are happy to take on new challenges😂


So, yes, I think it was worth it. Our plastering cost £3200 including materials, we didn't get a quote for boarding.

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