Our company deals with renovation projects and specialises in damp remedial works, but what happens when friends ask you if you would do their plastering?
With my Damp Sam hat on I solve peoples damp problems but where it started for me was as an apprentice plasterer back in the 80s.
I learnt my trade before the EU stepped in and made the bags of materials smaller. The size of a bag of plaster and cement was 50kg, that is double what they are now so for a 16 year old it was a bit of a shock to the system.
It was pre-health and safety when you went to work in your old clothes. Many were the time you would see old men wearing suits on site with their the tools. A lot of the time I would just be staring in amazement at some of the outfits thinking bleeding hell he used to actually wear that to go out in.
I worked with lots of different top plasterers over the years and took a little bit of knowledge from each of them, but the underlying theme was keeping things clean, tools especially. A clean job is a happy job.
So I have done more than my 10,000 hours which they say you should have done to call yourself an expert. I think this should be changed to miles for plastering. In my own personal opinion I was in the top 1% of plasterers in the country and this was based on speed, finish and cleaning. I once applied to the guiness book of world records because I had skimmed the world’s largest ceiling in one drag. They sent a note back saying it was not going to recognise it because it was not in the public’s interest. Their loss but i’m still claiming it though.
2 of my friends asked a favor and like busses they came at the same time. They wanted me to do them some plastering work and came to me 1 because I had done work for them in the past 2 because they wanted a spotless job doing.
One of the friends had just had a kitchen fitted. Not just any old kitchen, but a £40k kitchen with new windows and a new tiled floor with under floor heating.
There were 3 walls left to plaster all with reveals so the degree of difficulty was compounded with keeping everything spotless and not dropping anything heavy.
We started by putting down hard floor protector on all the relevant surfaces. Then we put down brand new dust sheets. onto the kitchen units went temporary plastic sheeting (TPS), on top of the dust sheets we laid hardboard drop boards. The sheeting up took half a day.
While we were working at the property we had the bad snow so this made it worst
The owners were in and had the floor heating on. im sure i saw some parrots flying around and a couple of fat blokes with white towels around them as the conditions were that tropical.
The finished room looks fantastic and this homeowner had no cleaning up of plaster to do and this is why we were asked to carry out the work. Its a top 1% job.
On the second job we did this was not a £40k room but they had just had new patio windows fitted and the same remit was to keep the new windows and rest of the job clean.
We had to scrape down the artex ceiling and we had tested for asbestos previously in a H&S manor. The beads were put on and patches for extra sockets filled along with the PVA being applied.
We did not cover the window or the glass even though we have the glass protector because being in the top 1% i had the ability to keep the windows spotless.
So the room took 2 days to complete from the prep to the cleaning up and the owner of the property were as happy as larry.
They may have paid a little extra than the bog standard plasterers who cake up all the paths, windows, sockets and floors.
But what would you choose if it were your property?
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