This week I’ve had three separate site meetings, all of whom have received conflicting opinions from building contractors relating to the title of this post. Here I hope to offer some clarification.
When purchasing a house which has original plasterwork, or even if you already own a home with original plasterwork, before beginning a big renovation you will often invite a minimum of two building contractors to propose a scope of works. It isn’t uncommon to have a difference of opinion among the potential workers – often reflected in the price, after all, every construction worker will have their own vision - and with this vision they will have their own method of achieving it.
So, who do you listen to? You’re probably looking at an original lath & plaster ceiling with original cornicing and ceiling roses to match, listening to someone telling you to rip it down and install a new plasterboard ceiling. DON’T LISTEN! As previously mentioned, three times this week I’ve visited potential clients who have been told the above, all of whom I’ve instructed not to listen. I will say it simply, when deciding what to do regarding specialist plasterwork, GET A PLASTERWORK SPECIALIST TO HELP YOU.
I can only speak from my personal experience; thus, I would hate to generalise in this post. Too often however, contractors are looking for the simplest, most cost effective method to complete a job. This method is often not the most beneficial to the client. There is no calculation to determine whether a ceiling is safe or unsafe, indeed this is down to the professional opinion of the person you are speaking to. The person you are speaking to, therefore, needs to be someone that can determine whether or not the plasterwork HAS to be removed, or whether it can be restored. Of course, the question after this is decided will be how the cost of restoration compares to the cost of replacing it. This, however, provides more options to the client – which surely is the best outcome, isn’t it?