newbie - female plasterer needs some advice/comments


Postby curlysue » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:53 am

Hi everyone
Is it possible to skim corners without beads and get a good finish?
How do you skim around a bath with width 10cm and less?
How do you skim successfully around small objects(protruding from the wall) that's close to the ground and to each other?
I was asked to skim a bathroom(26m2) and since it's my first job offer i agreed to do it without seeing the bathroom first. It had three smallish windows and the bath was already in place, there were also fiddly bits that needed to be skimmed ie areas that were 10 cm in width and about 50 cm length naturally these areas formed corners. Skimming the walls were not a problem but i struggeled with the corners (round not square))at the windows and the fiddly bits. I didnt price the job by the way and were told that I should be able to do this in 1 day (silly cow)Ended up doing it in 2 days will have to go back as they are doing some more work to the bathroom and to correct some of the corner areas.
Any advice and comments highly appreciated.
thanks
curlysue
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:15 am

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Postby stoneyboy » Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:44 pm

curlysue,
"Is it possible to skim corners without beads and get a good finish?" yes but you need a corner float and it takes longer.
"How do you skim around a bath with width 10cm and less?" cut a float so you can use this or use a float end on.
"How do you skim successfully around small objects" use a pointing trowel or narrow flat trowel. You can modify standard trowels by cutting them with an angle grinder to give you any purpose made trowels.
Never price a job without seeing it first or agreeing a day rate and always be wary of customers who tell you how quickly or easily a job can be done.
end
stoneyboy
Posts: 2708
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:44 pm


Postby curlysue » Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:25 pm

Thanks for the reply... didnt think about using all these different tools available or modifying them.
Do you have a standard rate and then price the job higher due to it being difficult or more time consuming?
What works best pricing a job with materials and labour included or letting the client buy the materials?
FYI: wasn't the customer who made the decision it was my neighbour, his a plumber and is in the building trade for more than 20 years and he's doing work for the customer and so recommended me knowing I wanted to start working for myself.Won't do it again though as I felt I got taken for a ride.
curlysue
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:15 am


Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:16 pm

always always supply your own plastering materials - let your customer get it and lord knows what you'll end up with. either the wrong stuff for the job, or the cheapest available either way you're in trouble.

plaster is generally cheap so shouldn't add a huge amount to the quote on a small job. plastering is one of those jobs where the cost of materials is relatively very small in proportion to labour. get the stuff that you know you can use and that you are familiar with.

"Do you have a standard rate and then price the job higher due to it being difficult or more time consuming?" - yes, pretty much. depends how long you think it will take you. difficult to calculate sometimes, and if you err on the side of caution you could price yourself out of it but it's better than having it costing you. frankly as a newbie i'd avoid anything but the most straightforward of jobs whilst you gain experience - assuming you have the luxury of picking your jobs at the moment.

"Won't do it again though as I felt I got taken for a ride." - got yourself to blame i'm afraid. as stoneyboy said, never ever quote for a job without sight first. how many times have i heard "oh, it's only a simple job" and "it will only take a day".

you will get jobs where you lose money. don't worry it happens to us all - welcome to the world of the self-empolyed tradesman!
chris_on_tour2002
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:14 pm


Postby stoneyboy » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:08 pm

curlysue,
Quoting is always difficult especially when you are new to the job. Fortunately plastering is not a trade that involves a large capital outlay.
If you are quoting for plastering an existing wall always allow for a coat or two of waterproof PVA. If its a new wall take a long level with you and check how much out of vertical and flat the wall is, you'll soon get the feel for how much undercoat plaster you will need.
If the job looks awkward give an estimate rather than a quotation.
end
stoneyboy
Posts: 2708
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:44 pm


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