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Screed or screeding, is a word that people usually come into contact with when they embark on undertaking building work. Whether you are planning to do the work yourself, are renovating your own home for the first time, or have a portfolio of several houses that your team have built from scratch – somewhere along the line you will need to screed a floor or two.
What is screed?
Floors are something that we walk across each day and we take it for granted that they are flat and even. For rooms that are newly built (or have underfloor heating) it’s imperative that the surface is level as it allows for a better finish when laying tiles, carpet or tiling. Screed is a specialist concrete mix that ensures a floor is flat and is used to level out a concrete sub base.
Can screed be used on all types of floors?
Screed is a versatile mix that can be used in all types of properties – domestic, commercial and industrial. If the screed is due to be used for heavy footfall/equipment, the mixture can be adapted to withstand the additional weight and traffic.
Is there more than one type of screed?
There are four main types of screed. In addition, it is possible for screeds to be mixed differently to a range of admixtures that will give varying qualities. The different type of screeds are:
By using a specialist bonding agent or primer, bonded screed is applied to a pre-prepared concrete sub-base with the intention of maximising the potential bond. This variety of screed can be used when a thinner screed is needed.
Unbonded screeds are laid onto a damp-proof membrane or polythene sheeting. This separates the final layer of screed from the concrete base substrate. This variety of screed is often applied to older concrete sub-bases.
Underfloor heating screed and floating screed.
Floating screed is laid on to a layer of thermal insulation. The insulation is usually on top of a damp proof membrane which would then be separated by the existing concrete sub-base. The only difference between underfloor heating screed and floating screed, is that it is laid over underfloor heating pipes and not insulating material.
How long does screed take to dry/cure?
The time taken for screed to dry or cure differs and depends on the type of screed and its thickness. It’s best not to walk on freshly laid screed for at least 24 to 48 hours. In some cases, however, with the use of certain additives, drying time could be reduced to 12 hours.
We recommend leaving screed to dry for up to 7 days before moving furniture around etc, although most screeds will reach their fully cured strength after 28 days. So, for best results, be patient and wait for this time to pass before laying tiles or carpet.
AllRound rendering have lay screeds in Romford, Barking and Dagenham, Havering and across South Essex and East London. Contact one of our friendly members of staff to give you a quote for your screed job/project today. We will advise you about which type of screed is most appropriate for your flooring.
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Every year we see the prices of our utility bills increase. Whether it’s for gas, electricity or water, it can feel like we’re constantly paying more for these services, despite receiving a meagre annual increase to our salaries.
According to a report from University College London our electricity and gas bills rose by £2bn in the year after the 2016 referendum result because of the plummeting value of the pound. With Brexit on the horizon, there are valid fears of future energy price hikes.
Trying to keep these bills low for a home, office or building block can be a struggle. There are many types of heating systems (like underfloor heating) that can heat a large surface area for a lower cost compared to traditional radiators.
Whilst this method is concentrated on heating rooms from the inside, External Wall Insulation (EWI) differs, as it works by adding an external layer to a building that holds the heat in. EWI is not a cheap process, but is one that can provide a long term reduction of heating bills.
The process involves adding, to external walls, a material that is insulated. A professional renderer will then apply a protective render in order to make the external walls look clean and modern. Nowadays, decorative coatings and cladding can be used for homes of all styles and periods including, Edwardian, Victorian and Georgian.
Whilst the cost of external insulation can be higher than insulation for internal walls, it has the added advantages of providing insulation against damp and noise pollution. It is also a great way to boost the efficiency and subsequent value of a property.
There’s no getting away from the fact that EWI is a good long term investment that will help reduce your energy consumption as well as saving you money on those bills. Are you ready to have a chat about applying this to the walls of your home? Call us today on 0800 193 7877.
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Has your dream come true recently by having your kitchen extended? Or has your budget allowed you to widen the side and top of your property by building a single or double storey extension to the side and/or back?
If you have answered yes to either of these questions, a year or so down the line you might be asking why cracks have started to appear on the outside wall/s of the new extension.
If this crack appears like a thin line it is most likely to be a hairline crack. This can occur for various reasons. One answer is that, sometimes, if the plaster is no longer making contact with the wall the plaster could have blown. This can be confirmed by tapping on the plaster and hearing a hollow sound.
The image on the left shows a hairline crack on a newly built kitchen extension. The image on the right reveals the depth of the damage underneath the render.
One reason why your plaster may have blown is due to salt being present in the walls. If there has been a previous problem with damp, the salt from the moisture can work its way to the surface as the moisture starts to dissolve. To ensure that future plaster sticks to the walls properly, a special salt treatment can be applied to ensure that this problem does not reoccur.
New builds and new extensions often get cracks due to settlement. This is literally a period needed by the property to ‘settle down’. Cracks can appear between the ceiling and wall or around doors and windows. All very annoying when you’ve just spent a fortune and your new home doesn’t look very new anymore.
So, what’s the answer? Let your property settle for a couple of years and then get in touch with the team at AllRound Rendering. We will plaster your cracks and make your extension look like brand new again. If you can’t wait and would like advice now - call 0800 193 7877.
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If you’ve come into some money, been saving for ages or have bitten the bullet and decided to take out a loan to get your renovation project started – then keep reading for some top tips on how you can add value to your home.
Remodelling your home need not cost the earth, but you want to make sure that the changes you do make add value to your home. It’s nice to know that the money you put in to updating your home, you’ll get back when you’re ready to sell.
Even if you have no intention of selling your home for the next 20 years, it’s still worth considering which changes will improve your current living conditions. Installing a downstairs toilet, converting the loft or extending the kitchen are structural changes that can add immediate value and help to sell your property when the time is right.
Top tip 1 – fix existing problems
Consider making changes to parts of the house that already exist. Don’t be lazy and let things fester, as it can often mean that the problems can worsen and ultimately cost more to fix. Go through each room with a checklist that includes:
Top tip 2 – update your windows
The value of your property can increase if you change your windows to ones that are double-glazed.
This is often an important ‘must have’ for buyers when looking for a property.
It may set you back a few thousand, but it is worth investing in good quality windows that meet with current building regulations.
Top tip 3 – clean up your garden
Adding value to your property means reviewing the areas both inside and outside of your home. The garden can often be overlooked as it takes regular maintenance. However, an attractive, well designed garden will not only bring harmony to your home, but will also get those looking to buy, signing on the dotted line.
If hiring a landscape designer in is out of your budget then it’s time to get your hands dirty. You don’t have to be Alan Titchmarsh to create improvements. There are ample resources out there to help you understand gardening basics – from searching online, to accessing your local library. Charity shops are also a great source of cheap literature.
What you can start doing is: pulling up weeds, planting some annuals, repairing and painting fences, creating distinct areas (for eating/storage/play), adding decking/patio area for entertaining, feeding and repairing the lawn.
Top tip 4 – review each room
Getting rooms in order and looking their most optimum, takes some organising, but is a great action to tick off your list. It’s also something that, in part, you can take care of yourself if you feel confident doing so.
Look through each room and declutter non-essential items. Take them to the charity shop, give them away or sell them on ebay – anything other than letting them sit there gathering dust and taking up valuable space!
Also review whether or not the following problems exist:
• are there any cracks/mould on your walls or ceilings?
• is the paint work in tact or peeling?
• are windows, doors and handles working properly? Do they squeak, creak or stick?
• in what condition is the grouting/sealants in your kitchen and bathroom?
• are the taps leaking/dripping?
• is the edging of your carpets frayed or are broken tiles/lino apparent?
None of these are expensive to repair, but it can make such a difference to your home.
Top tip 5 – adding kerb appeal
The outside of your home is the first thing that people see and as the saying goes – first impressions count! If you have a front garden, review tip 3 and make sure it’s clean, tidy and weed free. Buy storage units or large bins for your weekly rubbish and weed the drive when the car is not on the drive. Wipe down windows, paint/repair the fence if needed and replace/update the signage or house number.
If your external walls are looking tired and dated, you might also want to consider rendering the walls. This will immediately add a modern, new look and scratch render can be applied in bright, modern colours.
Whilst many of these top tips are jobs that can be done be done by you, AllRound Rendering are here to help! We plaster cracks, skim walls, apply dry lining and render external walls. Give us a call today if you want your plastering and rendering jobs done scheduled in.
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When planning your plastering project here are a few important elements to factor into your planning/budget:
What does it cost to plaster a wall or room? How much should you expect to pay?
Depending on where you are in the UK, prices will vary for plastering work.
The bottom line is that you get what you pay for. Going for the cheapest quote is not always the best option and may not get you the finished look that you require. Any good plasterer will have a portfolio of their work that they can share with you, so that you can see the work that they have previously undertaken.
Also consider what it is that you need doing. Are you looking to patch up part of your wall and therefore need a repair? Or do you need one wall plastered or are you looking to have a whole room skimmed?
Patch repair vs skimming a wall
If you are planning to paint a wall and need a small patch of wall repaired, you may get a better finish by skimming over the whole wall. Patch repairs can leave the patch with a different texture, which would be noticeable through the paint. But if you plan to wallpaper your room, a patch repair would suffice.
How long does it take to plaster a wall?
For a small repair, usually couple of hours for small repair.
For a whole wall allow half a day.
How long does it take for plaster to dry?
Plaster will normally be dry within a week but may take longer in the colder weather. If you want to paint the walls, you should leave it for around 10 days - you will be able to see when the plaster is completely dry as the colour will lighten in shade.
How much does a plasterer cost?
Most plasterers wouldn’t take on a job for less than £150.00 - even for a patch repair. It's not only the cost of the materials, but it is their time, fuel costs, as well as tax and National Insurance.
Are you looking to get a price for plastering your wall? We can help! Get in touch today on 0800 193 7877.
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Are you planning to decorate an internal wall?
Would you like to know if it's possible to to plaster over paint?
This is something that you could leave for your plasterer to take care of, or if you wanted to save some of your budget, you could do some preparation before the plastering professionals arrive.
What is plastering? Why should I plaster first?
If your walls are uneven or rough, if you want a perfect finish to your walls, we recommend plastering or skimming. Plastering is usually done on walls and ceilings. As well as providing a smooth finish, plastering can provide structural support to the wall or ceiling too.
Can I plaster over painted walls?
The answer is yes! Plastering over paint is a possibility, but it's essential that you ask yourself the following questions first:
1 Are the walls free from damages and cracks?
2 Has the existing paint peeled at all?
If you have replied yes to either of these questions, then additional preparation will be needed before the plaster can be applied.
Should I hire a professional plasterer?
Whilst you may be an avid DIYer there are some jobs that are not worth risking. The investment in professional services will pay itself off in the long run. After all, you don't want to sit back and stare at uneven walls for the foreseeable future.
Plastering is a highly technical skill. Hiring a professional plasterer, will guarantee that your walls will be perfectly smooth once the plaster has been applied. What's more is that when you go to paint it afterwards that the paint will bond properly.
Preparing the room for your plasterer
Before your plasterer starts, it is essential to clear the room out or cover anything that can’t be taken out of the room. Plastering is a messy job - regardless of who does it. If you are planning on keeping your existing flooring, make sure that it is properly covered up. We recommend a professional carpet protector that has a sticky back, as dust sheets will move and don't ensure complete protection.
Your plasterer will need access to a water supply - make sure that the route to the water supply is protected too.
Should I remove old skirting boards?
This depends on whether you want to keep them or not. If you want new ones, then removing them beforehand will save your plasterer having to do it.
Most plasterers will find it easier (and prefer) to plaster down to an inch or two above the floor rather than to skim down to the top of skirting.
If you want to keep your skirting boards in place, then any good plasterers will be able to skim down to the existing skirting boards. Note that this is more time consuming and will increase the cost of the job.
If you would like to know more about what is required for your renovation, give us a call today.