Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

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messy messy humid and messy

Yesterday was all plastering...

Even with dust sheets, plaster gets everywhere and needed scraping off the carpet and the water from the plaster has to go somewhere so it goes into the air. It's warm enough to dry out quickly, but the air in the house was very humid yesterday, and the render on the soil pipe in the bathroom is taking a while to dry and smells rather stagnant and pungent. I was glad to escape out to look at carpet for the bathroom (and decide on bamboo flooring instead! it's kiln dried and steamed and lacquered and looks rather lovely, plus it's the same colour tone as the oak we're putting on the bathroom floor). I'm still trying to sort out getting the hall ceiling replastered where it fell down so I talked to a plaster mould maker, went in to the plumbers merchant to pick a toilet and decide that £150 is too much for a basin tap, even if it does perfectly match the handles on the sink cupboard.

So in the evening (having nipped into town for a briefing with Linksys who are always fun to talk to and have really neat home wireless gadgets like a media adapter that takes photos and music to your TV, plus a wireless webcam) we drove to Ikea to get cheap taps and meatballs. Towels rails at Screwfix Direct are much cheaper than in Wickes, so we put in the order when we got home. That should arrive tomorrow along with the shower cubicle, riser rail and handset and we finally have the whole bathroom ensuite suite! Er, apart from a tiler of course...

The plaster, messy and intrusive and messy as it was (you can't get to any room without going through the hall and if you go barefoot plaster sticks to your feet, otherwise to your shoes, and the dustsheets are slippy to run up and downstairs on when the doorbell rings every half hour; it's also full of bookcases with knickknacks on and normally pictures and piles of books so everything had to be moved or covered) looks pretty good. Not as many curves as the nice curved corners as in the bedroom, but smooth walls pretty much all the way up. He couldn't plaster one huge gap though, because he couldn't get the tools into the gap at the top of the bookcase. I want to try and fill that in myself, because I can see it, and because it'll let dust into the hall. I guess polyfilla on a scraper tied to a long stick?

It also seems that the side walls are 'live' - they move around as the house wiggles and shudders and breathes - so we get little holes between the new plaster and the old. The old plaster has also 'blown' - come away from the lathe underneath, so 'the only thing holding it up is the wallpaper'. So I won't be stripping that off any time soon! I guess, nice as the plaster looks in the new rooms that I'm less satisfied with the plastering than with any of the rest of the work; I'm used to the Daves explaining everything and being chatty and friendly and full of suggestions and improvements, whereas the plasterer (yes, one of the plasterers really was called Dave and the other was Brett) was pretty busy puffing and panting and plastering away. It was much messier than everything else - worse than the ceiling being taken down - with chunks of plaster ending up all over the toilet floor and down the loo, and several books got stuck together with plaster that had seeped down from the upstairs work which was done before they put any dustsheets in the hall (the holes were it came through are plastered up now, of course, but there are still a couple of Folio Editions that I wish weren't covered in spots of plaster). I'd have liked more warning so we could have covered up more, but hey, if that's the worst problem we have this time round, I guess I can save my stress and worrying for the hall ceiling and the person who anonymously called the health and safety to complain about the scaffolding; I say anonymous, but HSE told the builders who it was and yes, it's who I thought it would be and he's a right pain in the neck!

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