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Plasterboard lining horror job?

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  1. #1
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    Default Plasterboard lining horror job?

    G'day all. This is my first post on this great forum. I am not a big DIY person due to lack of skills but I like to learn and understand how things are done. We are currently in the finishing stages of our extension (under the house) and have been very lucky to find a good and trustworthy builder to work with. So far the quality of the work has been excellent , until last Friday when the plasterboard lining was fixed to the walls and ceilings. My builder has been boasting about the craftsmanship of his plasterers which he has been using for years apparently. However, when I came home from work on Friday I was shocked by how rough the job was. in many places the plasterboard sheets are between 40mm to 100 mm off the floor and in other places just 10mm. At the wall-ceiling junctions, it's the same. Many ceiling and wall sheets stopped about 50 to 60 mm short, exposing huge gaps at the junctions. On the other hand almost all the wall corners appeared nicely butted. The floor is currently unfinished (40mm below finished level) and the ceiling height from unfinished floor is 2500mm. I know that when finished (with 90mm cornice and 100m skirting boards) all the gaps will be hidden but is it normal practice to have such a rough finish? Does this meet the Australian standard and BCA? Should I accept this? Even if it will all look fine once finished I am worried about flanking noise through the large gaps.

    I would like to raise this with the builder but I am inexperienced in this area and would like to get some advice first. I would like to think that the sheeting s not finished but Looking at the size of the gaps there is no way that they can be filled in, and patching them up with offcuts will be too much work as the area is the equivalent of a 2 bedroom house. To me it does not make sense

    Any advice will be much appreciated. Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by monami2810; 9th Mar 2013 at 05:39 PM. Reason: spelling errors

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    Default Any chance of a few pics?

    1000 words

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    Yes i have taken a few pictures. I will try and upload a few. Thanks

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    What size skirtings are you using?
    What size cornice?
    If the cornice and skirtings don't cover the gaps, you have a problem. If they do, you don't have a problem.
    TM

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    90mm cornice and 70mm skirting boards in all rooms except in one where it will be 100mm to match existing. I am sure that there will be no visible gaps once it's all finished but I am just wondering if it is common practice to leave such big gaps? is this to save time or is it just poor workmanship? thanks

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    Without having seen it, if the skirts and cornices cover the gaps, no problem. You must remember that plaster board comes in set widths, 1200 and 1350mm. All builders/plasterers will buy the width that suits the job, with min wastage. eg a 2400mm wall = 2 x 1200mm sheets, a 2700 wall = 2 x 1350mm sheets. Most walls fall somewhere between. The builder will buy the most economical to suit the situation.
    If when the job is finished, and it looks like s**t, , then there is a problem.
    Don't be afraid to ask the builder about it, but don't be too in his face. Most things are done for a reason. (Assuming he's not a total con-man).
    Sounds to me like normal practice.
    Good luck,
    TM

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    Thanks TM. I feel re-assured. My builder runs a family business and every thing they do themselves is top quality. They sub-contract the plumbing, electrical works and plasterboard lining and everything else is pretty much done by them. I have been somewhat accustomed to see neat work and the plasterboard lining looked a bit rough to me considering that every installation guide / forum quote i have checked on the web recommends a gap of about 10mm between the floor and the plasterboard sheet bottom edge, just enough to allow fr expansion.
    Cheers, monami2810

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    Quote Originally Posted by monami2810 View Post
    I am just wondering if it is common practice to leave such big gaps? is this to save time or is it just poor workmanship? thanks
    No it's not common practice. Sheets should be 10 mm off the floor ( common practice is to sit the bottom sheet on some off cuts) and the top should be as tight as you can get it within reason but up to 50 mm is ok. Sure the cornice will hide a multitude of sins and that's ok - ish. The bottom is a different story. It makes it a real PITA for the chippy to do a good job of the fix out if the sheets don't go down to 10 mm off the floor. Its bad enough with the recessed edge at the bottom but there are tricks that deal with this. Another pet bitch of mine is how much compound is put in the corners - internal and external. I've never had a corner that was even remotely square. Really stands out, particularly on short runs of skirting.

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    that's what I thought. In fact in one area (small kitchnette) there is still an offcut under the bottom plasterboard sheet and the gap looks OK. But everwhere else the gap is quite large to the point where the bottom timber plate is fully exposed ( no verlap at all). I wonder why? my question is should I raise this as an issue that needs to be fixed ? Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by monami2810 View Post
    that's what I thought. In fact in one area (small kitchnette) there is still an offcut under the bottom plasterboard sheet and the gap looks OK. But everwhere else the gap is quite large to the point where the bottom timber plate is fully exposed ( no verlap at all). I wonder why? my question is should I raise this as an issue that needs to be fixed ? Thanks
    No need it will be ok. It seems they have lifted the sheets knowing there is another 140mm of cover to fit with available sheet sizes. This is not a problem.

    Usually if the gap is too wide for the chippy to fix skirtings they will pack it out. If the rebate is showing above skirting or below cornice lines the plasterer SHOULD fill the rebate.

    All in all though you wont have a problem. Although I would make sure the chippy glues the skirting as well as nailing where the sheets are above bottom plate.



    Cheers Rod
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    Thanks Rob. Understood. Iam still interested to know if this is considered to be good workmanship or not as my builder claims he will never accept anything less than first class in terms of quality/workmanship which is good but this comes at a premium cost of course.
    Cheers, monami2810
    l

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    Quote Originally Posted by monami2810 View Post
    Thanks Rob. Understood. Iam still interested to know if this is considered to be good workmanship or not as my builder claims he will never accept anything less than first class in terms of quality/workmanship which is good but this comes at a premium cost of course.
    Cheers, monami2810
    l
    Well its not bad. I would use the benefit of skirting size and cornice depth to utilize standard sheet sizes as well. I would also make sure no rebates was exposed and if they were I would fill them.

    I have in the past, where large skirtings were used put a strip along the bottom to minimize a double joint in the wall. So plasterers will look at the options on board sizes vs ceiling height. Usually they will do what is economical with no detriment to the end product. Which is most likely the case here.

    As I have mentioned to you, the only thing you need to look for is exposed rebates left unfilled.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Dyson View Post
    Well its not bad. I would use the benefit of skirting size and cornice depth to utilize standard sheet sizes as well. I would also make sure no rebates was exposed and if they were I would fill them.

    I have in the past, where large skirtings were used put a strip along the bottom to minimize a double joint in the wall. So plasterers will look at the options on board sizes vs ceiling height. Usually they will do what is economical with no detriment to the end product. Which is most likely the case here.

    As I have mentioned to you, the only thing you need to look for is exposed rebates left unfilled.
    Thanks Rob. Can you please explain what exposed rebates are in this case? Please excuse my ignorance.

    Cheers

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    Agree with everything Rod said but I can't stand guys that work based on what will hide rather than what's the right thing to do. If it were my job, with 2500 to cover I would use a 1200 + 1350 and cut the bottom recess off so its nice for the chippy. Time consuming, yes. Right thing to do, IMHO yes, commercially viable, no. The dollars always win.

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    You say the floor is not yet at the finished height, so I would guess that when ot is raided it will cover a multitude of sins and look just fine.

    Because this is the lower floor wall on a two level dwelling it was probably considered too expensive or impractical to remove the wall and level the floor before sheeting.

    Had this been done your sheeting would have looked fine right now, but your pocket would be a lot lighter as levelling by removing the walls would add to the cost.

    In hind sight it may have been more practical to level the floor first with the frame in place.

    Not being able to see the actual set up means any or all this could be wrong but suspect it will all turn out fine.

    Good luck.
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    Hi all,

    Thanks for the valuable information and advice. I have uploaded a few pictures to illustrate. The extension downstairs is from scratch including concrete slab, hence theoretically everything should fit perfectly.

    Thanks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_5299.jpg   img_5295.jpg   img_5294.jpg   img_5293.jpg   img_5290.jpg  

    img_5289.jpg  

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    Looking at that as a mere carpenter I would say that is very ordinary sheeting work. The bottom gaps are rubbish and joins over doors are a no no.

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    Default Re: Plasterboard lining horror job?

    Quote Originally Posted by ringtail View Post
    Looking at that as a mere carpenter I would say that is very ordinary sheeting work. The bottom gaps are rubbish and joins over doors are a no no.
    I agree, the plaster board should be nailed to the bottom plate to reduce the chance of gaps forming between the skirting and plaster as it can bow between the studs. You could ask your Builder to put noggins behind the larger gaps to avoid this from happening. Joins over doors and windows is a very common practice but is wrong and shouldn't be done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ringtail View Post
    Looking at that as a mere carpenter I would say that is very ordinary sheeting work. The bottom gaps are rubbish and joins over doors are a no no.
    Joins over doors are permitted provided they are 200mm back from the edge of the door or window. Best practice is to avoide joins over doors or windows if possible. It would appear the plasterer has skimped on this rule or not been aware of it on at least one of the joins.

    If a wall is over 6m long and requires a butt join I will make a short join over a door or window, away from the corner 300mm and back block the join.

    Looking now at the pics I would have used 1350 sheets on this job for sure.
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    Almost every window and door has at least 2 joints over it. The plasterer's preference by the look of it is to cut a sheet the width of the window or door and place above/below then place full sheets next to it which ends up with joints right above/below the edge of the window/door. I spoke with the builder about this today and he said that he has been using these guys for years and has never had a complaint. He said that once it's all finished I will never notice anything but he did say that the gaps will be covered by the skirtings and cornice.

    I am not entirely happy but the builder said that he can garantee that once finished there will not be a single visible defect. He said that where there are big gaps they will pack with plasterboards strips.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Plasterboard lining horror job?

    Don't forget as Rod mentioned early to have your builder glue the top section of the skirting to plaster where the plaster sits above the top plate, it will be easily done now but difficult to do later after the plaster has separated from the skirting.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by monami2810 View Post
    Almost every window and door has at least 2 joints over it. The plasterer's preference by the look of it is to cut a sheet the width of the window or door and place above/below then place full sheets next to it which ends up with joints right above/below the edge of the window/door. I spoke with the builder about this today and he said that he has been using these guys for years and has never had a complaint. He said that once it's all finished I will never notice anything but he did say that the gaps will be covered by the skirtings and cornice.

    I am not entirely happy but the builder said that he can garantee that once finished there will not be a single visible defect. He said that where there are big gaps they will pack with plasterboards strips.

    As I mentioned the joins over the doors and windows, should be avoided. Standing a sheet vertical either side of a window or door is perfectly acceptable, provided that the join is more than 200mm from the edge of the frame, and MOST IMPORTANTLY the join is PAPER TAPED.
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    It just makes no sense to me to make a patchwork quilt out of the sheeting. The sheeting is cheap and its cheap to hang labour wise. The real cost is in the setting and sanding. Skimping on sheets is the least economical way I reckon as the extra labour in setting would buy more than enough sheet to do it properly in the first place. Less joins = less labour = cheaper (maybe) and better ​(definitely) job for the customer.

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    Having seen those photos, that's a fairly rough job.
    TM

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    Hi all. I can confirm that many joints (in fact the majority) are right at the edge of the window/door. The "200mm from edge rule" does not seem to apply with these plasterers. The builder insists that there is nothing wrong with doing it this way and claims that he has never had a complaint over many years. Having read your feedback this confirms my first impression that it is a rough job. However, since the walls and ceiling are already sheeted I would appreciate any feedback on the following:

    1) Is it an issue if the joints over windows/doors are covered with paper tape and finished properly ?
    2) Can someone please explain what potential problems this might cause in the future if any?
    3) Should I constest the quality of the job and request rectifications or should I just cop it and live with it ?

    I have had a great and friendly partnership with the builder and the quality of the workmanship has been top notch up to now, which makes it a bit difficult for me to raise this as an issue without being expert in the matter.

    Many thanks to everyone who has provided comments. Much appreciated.
    Last edited by monami2810; 11th Mar 2013 at 01:09 PM. Reason: spelling error

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    Recommended installation

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    Default Re: Plasterboard lining horror job?

    The wall on right is the most common now days, many houses have been built with joins over and below the edges of openings without a problem, but if one should arise then the builder will be responsible for repairing the defect. It's not right but was commonly practiced usually without consequence.

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    1) Is it an issue if the joints over windows/doors are covered with paper tape and finished properly ?

    This will be a problem only if you have movement in your building. If your house is solid and the foundations don't move at all then I can see no issue here.

    2) Can someone please explain what potential problems this might cause in the future if any?

    The word longevity comes to mind. Tape joins are not as strong as no joins and corners offer a great starting point for cracks. Add corners, tape and movement and you'll get cracks. The other point which is very picky is that if you look closely you'll see the raised parts of the joins, more joins means a wobbly wall, especially if your lighting is good. Your chippie will probably charge you more to do the skirting too if he has to muck around with infills.

    3) Should I constest the quality of the job and request rectifications or should I just cop it and live with it ?

    It depends on what/how you are paying. As the old saying goes "you get what you pay for". If you're paying substandard fees then I'd be accepting substandard work.... It'll likely be fine in the short term.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffx-19 View Post
    1) Is it an issue if the joints over windows/doors are covered with paper tape and finished properly ?

    This will be a problem only if you have movement in your building. If your house is solid and the foundations don't move at all then I can see no issue here.

    I wont accept joins directly over windows on my jobs, we provide enough sheet to put full sheets over all doors and windows. I would not accept joins directly over the edge of a door or window. It is a weak point and in time will crack even with paper tape. At the very least I would want a garantee from the builder that he will not just fix the crack but replace the sheet if it cracks in the future.

    2) Can someone please explain what potential problems this might cause in the future if any?

    The word longevity comes to mind. Tape joins are not as strong as no joins and corners offer a great starting point for cracks. Add corners, tape and movement and you'll get cracks. The other point which is very picky is that if you look closely you'll see the raised parts of the joins, more joins means a wobbly wall, especially if your lighting is good. Your chippie will probably charge you more to do the skirting too if he has to muck around with infills.

    A gap 90mm with 40mm plus 100 mm arc will leave you with 50mm overlap on the skirting. This is not enough IMO and would require a strip to be used. I would add a strip and paper tape the joint. No need to finish the joint with 3 coats unless the base coat is above the skirting board.

    I said before that it is common practice to use sheets economically but this is extreme, as the cost to add the stip and tape far exceeds any saving on sheet. I really don't understand why they didn't use a 1350 board in this case.


    3) Should I constest the quality of the job and request rectifications or should I just cop it and live with it ?

    It depends on what/how you are paying. As the old saying goes "you get what you pay for". If you're paying substandard fees then I'd be accepting substandard work.... It'll likely be fine in the short term.

    Your choice, you have had some good advice from everyone on this thread. (albeit I jumped the gun on my initial post without taking into consideration the amout of over lap on the skirting).

    Really the guys above are right the sheet should come down to the bottom plate. The correct fix is filling the larger gaps and taping. The smaller gaps that dont make the bottom plate but will have a 70mm or so over lap will be fine if the skirting is glued along the top edge, (not the best practice but it will work fine). I would be more concerned about the joints on the corner of a door or window.

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    Another question is fire code. The large gap at the ceiling is a non issue because of the gyprock cornice. The gap at the floor leaves a potential fire rating issue. Covering up a hole in the wall with a piece of timber or mdf skirting may not be acceptable for fire resistance.

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    Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I noticed today that some 6mm villaboards which don't overlap the bottom plate have a fair bit of movement because the bottom edge between the studs is not fixed to anything. The bathroom is to be tiled from wall to ceiling. I am meeting with the builder tomorrow to discuss the issues.

    Is there an Australian Standard that cover the installation of plasterboard?

    Many thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by monami2810 View Post
    Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I noticed today that some 6mm villaboards which don't overlap the bottom plate have a fair bit of movement because the bottom edge between the studs is not fixed to anything. The bathroom is to be tiled from wall to ceiling. I am meeting with the builder tomorrow to discuss the issues.

    Is there an Australian Standard that cover the installation of plasterboard?

    Many thanks.
    There are 2 specific references to perimeter fixing and heights from the floor.

    One reference to perimeter fixing surprisingly does not mention the top or bottom members of the "perimeter"

    AS/NZS-2589:2007 4.4.3.1.3 perimeter fixing
    Fasteners shall be installed at 300mm maximum centres at all internal angles, external corners and opening.


    AS/NZS-2589:2007 4.5.2.1.1 (a) combination of adhesive and fasteners (b) nailing (c) screwing

    ............. for walls, the lower edge of the sheets shall be kept a minimum of 6mm above the floor. The sheets shall be fixed firmly to the framing member.


    There is no reference in the Australian standards, (that I can find) that expressly mentions fixing to either top plates or bottom plates. The reference above mentions "framing" member, and "minimum" 6mm off the floor. No maximum is mentioned and no where does it state the framing member has to be a plate rather than a stud.

    I have NOT gone through all the manufacture's specifications to see if the mention a maximum as well as a minimum height, or that the edge of the sheet top and bottom MUST be supported by the top or bottom plate, or noggin. I suggest you have a look through these specifications on line. I just haven't the time to do it right now.

    The reason I say this is that, the recommendations of the manufacturer over ride the Australian Standards provided that it is a better specification than that in the standards.

    I think you will find James Hardies will specify the max gap for a tiled area. i would be surprised if they dind't

    The minimum 200 mm for joints over doors is covered by the Australian Standards.

    AS/NZS-2589:2007 figure 4.3.4 layout. shows and specifies "200mm minimum distance from the joint to the edge of opening"


    EDIT... I have checked the Boral Installation manual, (just too interested to know myself), they mirror the Astralian Standards I have posted. So no one wants to come out and say the sheets MUST be supported by the bottom plate. Boral specifically says noggins are not required to support a plasterboard joint.

    Cheers Rod
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    The Villa board installation manual:

    "Note:Fasteners required at vertical sheet edges and adhesive in field of sheet only."
    "Do not fasten to top or bottom plate or noggins"

    They do not like horizontal fasteners. You should read the PDF install manual if you are going to play with it.

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    Thanks guys for this valuable information. I really appreciate the effort and time that some of you, especially Rod, have put into researching information and posting advice and ideas. This is brilliant. I would like to be able to contribute one day but for now I am a newbie and don't have much to give in terms of knowledge and skills in building/renovating. Many thanks again to all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHammer View Post
    The Villa board installation manual:


    "Do not fasten to top or bottom plate or noggins"
    Scroll down a little further and it says if the wall is to be tiled the sheeting must be fixed to top and bottom plates at 200 mm max ctrs.

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