Case Study 1 – Ceilings/ Plastering


Our case study home is now at fit out stage, meaning construction has moved inside the home with particularly stunning results. Ceilings have been installed (sanding yet to happen) and the walls have been floated and set.

The home is locked up and the fixing carpenter has moved inside to start with the doors, shelving etc. and the cabinetmakers have commenced installation of the kitchen, laundry and bathroom cabinets.

It is an exciting time, with every day, a little more progress becoming apparent.

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The front elevation of the home has now received its’ flourishes, including the Scyon Linear boards lining the front gable, and the feature render areas to the front of the bedroom and the porch pier.

Inside the true majesty of the 40cse ceilings in the living area have become apparent, along with the dropped kitchen bulkhead. In the Theatre room the recessed ceiling has been lined and flushed, and the raking ceilings on the alfresco are in place. Note the lining to the Alfresco area is gyprock, not fibre cement boards with ugly plastic strips between them.

The french doors have been hung to the Theatre and the front passage, and the front door is installed.

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See the change in cornice for the bathrooms in the last photo above. It is called a Jazz cornice, and the reason we are using it in the bathrooms is that there is full height tiling in some areas (behind the vanity, and in the shower recess) but not in other areas. The Jazz cornice has a larger bottom return than the standard cove cornice elsewhere in the house, and this means the tiles will look right and not lip over the cornice. We could have put the cornice on over the tiles at a later stage, but to do this, there would be a 20mm kick in the cornice where it transitioned from plaster to tiles. It is these sorts of small details that make Coastline Homes so good at what we do.

Underneath the verandah we have boxed in the exposed hip timber (not left it ugly and exposed) and will cornice around the brickwork ends, another small detail that makes so much difference to the finished product.

In the Theatre room the cornice in the vaulted ceiling is a smaller 50mm cornice. This reduces the impact on the eye and accentuates the sharp edges.

Below the kitchen bulkhead has been lined, and forms a dominant feature in the Living area. You can also see its relationship tot he island bench.

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Laundry cabinets are installed, and the front passageway perfectly compliments the door and sidelight combination at the end.

As always I will give you a few tips on what to look out for when you see your home at this exciting stage:

  1. Wall Materials: The wall finish in this home is float and set, meaning the walls were first floated with a cement render (sometimes referred to as the scratch coat), and then a thin set coat consisting of plaster and lime is applied to the face. Other builders are using a drywalling system where they apply a gyprock sheet (much the same as the ceilings) to the wall, glued in place, then flush and sand the joints. Both systems are perfectly acceptable, and it comes down to personal choice. Personally I prefer the Float and Set method. It is a little harder to get right, but I prefer the finish. When you get the right plasterer, you get a nice shine to the wall, and don’t have any ugly stripes that you have to paint over immediately.
  2. Wall Finish: The set coat should be smooth to the touch (rough surfaces can be removed by wetting the wall and applying a steel trowel to the surface). Trafficable areas should have corner beads installed for reinforcement (some builders do away with this cost). The window reveals, heads and sills should be straight (not in wind) and the finish should be pleasing to the eye.
  3. External Render: If your home is completely rendered, make sure the builder has still allowed for the weep holes at the bottom of the external walls. The better builders will have small plastic inserts that neaten these drainage holes. The external finish is called Sand Finish, and whilst it may look like the scratch coat inside, it is a slight different mix. It should be neatly finished, with edges plumb, and a smooth looking, rough to the touch finish. Where the render meets the eaves lining, ensure the plasterer has cut back the render on 45 degrees to provide a small arissed edge. This will ensure there is no cracking later on.
  4. Ceiling Materials: The ceilings in the home are plasterboard (Gyprock) and they are flushed and ready to be sanded smooth (this is the stripes on the ceiling in the photos. The bulkheads have corner beads applied to ensure a sharp consistent corner. Externally, a grey or light blue coloured plaster board (not a sand colour like inside) should be used. This is the moisture resistant gyprock.
  5. Ceiling Finish: You will need the ensure that the ceiling cornices are level, and the margins to the top of window and door frames are consistent. Problems in these areas can stem from a poorly constructed ceiling, with ceiling joists out of line. Fixing these problems at this stage can be difficult, but it is important that these areas sight correctly, otherwise issues like these will detract form the overall feeling of the home. Bulkheads should be consistent in size and square to surrounding brickwork.

So we are reaching the pointy end of our build.

From here, there are still the cabinetry works to complete, the plumber will do a sani-fix where he installs basins, sinks, and the bath, after which we will commence tiling the home.

Our next instalment will cover the home up to Tiling stage, after which we will be doing a video walk around the home at Practical Completion.

Thanks for reading