Monday, 2 November 2015

Getting plastered...

Last Saturday, I got plastered.

And before you tell me it's my own fault, shouldn't drink so much, ought to know better, etc, etc...I'm talking about getting plastered in the building sense of the word.

Y'see, Maison Squidge has had another bout of TLC. A few weeks ago it had the end wall (the one that a few years ago was bowing out and had to be screwed back into the joists) re-pointed on the outside, (and some new concrete in the yard to encourage water to go down the drain rather than into the foundations) and all the internal plaster on the same wall chipped away, in readiness for insulating plasterboard to be installed.

The kids quite liked the bare brick look - it looked like a trendy restaurant, apparently. But the inside walls of houses aren't made very prettily if they're going to be plastered over, so we had some sticky-out bricks and channels for rewiring visible. Plus - as you might expect - it was cold! Our walls are solid brick, so I'm thankful that apart from a couple of colder days, October has been a mild month.

Anyway, after putting him off over half term week, the plasterer turned up at 8am (far too early for a Saturday!) ready to begin. However, he didn't get started for a while because he'd never seen our kind of boards before and because of the paper they were finished with, wasn't sure that they'd stick to the brick. (You can stick plasterboard to the walls or screw it to battens, but the latter means you lose an extra half-inch or so on your stairway. We'd bought the stick-on kind...) After a quick search of the internet and a view of a handy little video to confirm that yes, you could stick this board with its shiny finish, the plasterer began.

Poor guy. The wall looked like a jigsaw puzzle by the time he'd finished the sticking phase; there are a few curvy bits so it wasn't all plain sailing. But by 4.30, all the joins had disappeared and we had a beautifully plastered wall, already drying out.

The jigsaw begins...

(By the way, is it odd that I love the feel of fresh, dry plaster? All velvety smooth and cool to the touch. I keep stroking it... Almost a shame to cover it all up with paper and paint.)

Look at that lovely smooth plaster...

Already, we're reaping the benefit of the insulation - the last couple of nights have been decidedly nippy (and very foggy), but the heating kept turning itself off and we're not aware of the temperature dropping on the way down from the loft to the kitchen in the mornings. (Add to that the unintentional insulating properties of the woodpile against the kitchen wall, and I'm almost wishing we could have a REALLY cold snap so we can get the stove fired up and see how warm we really are.) Even with lots of windows open during the daytime to dry the inevitable condensation on the windows, I'm sitting at the computer right now, on a grey and cool day - without a cardi on.

After over twenty years here, I have a warm house!

And in the other sense of getting plastered - I'll drink to that!

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