Once you’ve finally exchanged contracts on your new home, you may be tempted to down a glass of fizz and get on with moving in. But if you’ve got some time to kill before you have to move out, then it’s worth taking on one potentially messy plaster repair job in your new place. It’ll save the time and hassle of shifting furniture later on or covering it with dustsheets once you’ve hung all your photos on the walls and really made the house your home.
Top 5 plaster repair jobs to do before move-in
1) Repairing cracks
Houses move, whether they are old or new. With that movement comes the possibility that plaster can crack. Minor cracks, of the kind too small to wedge a pound coin into, are usually not something to overly worry about and your survey should have uncovered any issues with subsidence. But these cracks can be unsightly, especially where you have painted rather than papered walls.
Cracks can be filled and made good with a skim of plaster over the top but larger cracks or multiple cracks may need raking out and the plaster in the area replaced so that you have a good flat surface left at the end of it.
2) Taking back space
The way we live in our homes has changed over the years, with open plan living being more convenient than the Victorian idea of having a ‘good room’ or a separate dining room. Many of us have one main living space with two doors leading into it, as the room was previously divided. You will often find this when moving into a new home, where one doorway is just blocked off and forgotten.
You’re talking a door frame possibly needing to come out, batons and plasterboard placed across the gap where the door was, and plastering needing to be done both sides of the doorway to match the walls. Unless you’re experienced, a professional builder and plasterer will be your best friends to leave it in good condition.
3) Uncovering period features
As well as covering things up, good plastering work can also uncover beautiful period features. You may have interesting coving, ceiling roses covered by false ceilings or ornamental mouldings that would benefit from some TLC. A specialist restorer may be needed for the most delicate work, but experienced plasterers can also help you bring yours back to life if you need a helping hand.
4) Covering the damp
As well as cracks, damp patches can easily make their way into our homes, whether that’s due to rising damp or condensation and cold. Assuming the damp has been treated and a damp course renewed before you moved in, you’ll need to replace any plaster that has been impacted by the damp. Salt in the water will have damaged the plaster and if it doesn’t look bumpy or uneven now then it soon will. Removing existing plaster to around 50cm above any visible damp is the best course of action, before laying new plaster and matching it with the smooth walls surrounding it.
5) Doing away with plasterboard woes
Room partitions or additions made from plasterboard are notorious for having been poorly put up or fitted by inexperienced DIY-ers. This can leave you with uneven, lumpy walls with cracking plaster. Repair work might be needed for holes or it might be beyond repair, but a good plasterboard wall should stand as long as the house when installed well.
Need help getting your plaster work in shape? Find a professional plasterer to help on Rated People.