dodgy plasterer?


To all you professional plasters out there I need an opinion please. I am just starting to have my extension plastered out, it's day 1 1/2 and I'm a bit worried about the work so far and need advice. The hard coat roughing has gone onto 3 blockwork walls and there are a lot more walls to go. Some of the blockwork was out of true apparently so there was a fair bit of filling out to do in some areas with up to 3 layers. I would have thought that at this stage the surface should be true, level and without hollows. This is not the case as by putting a 6' batten across there appear to be a lot of unevenness with up to 3/8 hollows and highs. Am I right in thinking that no way is this a ground for multi finish as I always thought that the roughing coat should be used to give a level reasonably smooth surface which can the be skimmed over with 3mm or so of finish plaster.
He works alone but with a labourer. Does this sound right or is it normal for plasters to work in pairs? Also he didn't batten the wall out in bays but just gone freehand. Is that right? If things are not right I want to stop now rather than continue in the hope that he will sort it all out.
Any help would be very welcome as the plaster is the finish and we want it to look perfect.
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Did you hire the plasterer straight out of the Yellow Pages, or did you use and the basis of someones recommendation.
If the latter one, maybe you can contact them to get an opinion?

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he advertised in a local directory, we went to see some work he had done but it was not actually smooth plastering but sponged finish. The people were quite happy with him but then the opinion of 2 people about plastering can be different.
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might be worth a posting here http://www.diydoctor.org.uk/forums/viewforum.php?f 5&sidÜca37af3af16ed400ee293c0bb184a2
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"AJH" wrote:

Might be worth asking here: http://www.plasterersforum.co.uk/
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Your concerns sound valid.
The plasterer is supposed to correct for unevenness of the underlying wall, but I do wonder if in this case it's just that it's taken him 3 coats to get something he considers flat and true (even if it isn't).

Correct.
Both are normal (as is alone without a labourer).

Battening a wall is DIY. I would be worried if I saw a professional doing that, but that's because they should be able to get it flat without doing so.

I think you need to find someone else to finish it off, based on what you've said. Are you employing him directly, or is he a subcontractor for your builder? If the latter, tell the builder to sort it out. Otherwise you are going to have to do so.
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Andrew Gabriel
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The ceiling should be boarded and skimmed first.
The windows and doors should then be framed with angle bead. This should be set out using a spirit level and must be straight after it is nailed to the blockwork. Parallel beads can be checked by eyeing them in, meaning to look across them at an acute angle to determine any discrepancies. Setting out the beads is crucial.
When the rendering is applied it should be 'ruled' off, ie a straight batten of a suitable length is gently 'sawn' across the work to remove high points and identify low points.
This render coat should be flat. It is not the job of the fine coat plaster (multifinish) to level out bumps and hollows.
If your plasterer is a young'un you've no chance. Older ones will have probably served some sort of apprenticeship and know how to do it properly.
mark
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