Meshing a winder staircase - prone to cracking?

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Josh76

New Member
Hi guys
Have been reading various threads on meshing with interest. Really informative. We have a winder staircase up to a new loft conversion and would like mesh plastering to the winders to get a curved rather than boxy finish.

Our plasterer said no problem when quoting and two others who quoted also advised no problem but on arriving to start the job this morning he is now telling me that the mesh plaster will crack in a year or two because of any movement on the staircase and he won't guarantee the work and is suggesting we board over the staircase and he tries.to curve off that - I can't see how you can board a winder anyway nor could he explain how to do it.

Is he right or is he trying to get out of meshing which I realise is more involved than skimming plasterboard? There's lots of useful threads about meshing but not once is cracking mentioned. I can't see that we have anything very unusual. My confidence in him has been a little shaken.

Would be really grateful for any views so I know how to approach the issue tomorrow.

Many thanks
Josh
 

flynnyman

Well-Known Member
Have you let him start? The problem you have now is if he can't do it you will need to get someone who can. If it was me you rang I would either turn it away because I don't want to put my name on the rest of the work or your getting charged appropriately for paying for a real plasterer :). This is what you will need to deduct off the plasterer but I would run it by him first :) if the stairs are crap and there is plenty of flex it might crack and he didn't want to say your stairs are s**t ;) if done proper it shouldn't crack but could crack along the wall it meets but only hairline.
 

zolco

Private Member
Sounds like he's not confident to do it, I don't think it should crack if done properly maybe a hairline crack over time as said above
 

Josh76

New Member
Thanks for your advice. The stairs were hand made and installed by a pair of craftsmen in Bournemouth and certainly look well designed and elegant so I don't think the stairs are an issue - they are stairs so there may be a little vibration etc but they are very solidly installed and there is no evident play from side to side. I had three other plasteres come to quote and none of them (including this chap until this morning) raised this as an issue.
I am grateful for your confirming what I assumed to be the case which is that people with winder staircases are not suffering with cracking EML plaster up and down the country. My feeling is the same, that he is lacks confidence to do it but but wanted the work so it may be that he was less than honest about this until this morning which will be very frustrating if it turns out to be the case. If it is I may consider asking him to plaster the loft but leave the stairs and ask one of the others that quoted to do those and split the costs between them somehow. It seems I may have chosen the wrong plasterer despite his generally good reviews.
Many thanks again.
Josh
 

S a plastering

Private Member
I did this one last year for a mate I was there at weekend an not a crack in sight
 

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Josh76

New Member
I saw these pictures before I posted and a read a few threads and the results look great. This is exactly the look we want. I am really grateful for your reassurances of what I knew had to be the case.
 

BigK

Private Member
I did one where the stairs twist 90 degrees, just the underside, like madmonk's above, but it was in twist from the top to bottom tread, it was boarded and bonded out & skimmed, no problem.
I have also done one where it was a 'circular' staircase at 180 degrees, where the sides, inside & out from tread to above handrail height were plastered. The flexi board was the only job for this, eml could be an expensive alternative.
It's hard to weigh up from the op which scenario his staircase is
 

leebo02

Well-Known Member
there should not be a problem doing this if the stairs are fitted well and the eml is fitted well,, ive done loads of these over the years and not had any problems that i know of, like any where its possible you may get a crack over time but this could happen on any sort of plastering,,, its because of winders like these that i bloody hate doing town houses
 

malc

TPF Special Forces
If it is I may consider asking him to plaster the loft but leave the stairs and ask one of the others that quoted to do those and split the costs between them somehow. It seems I may have chosen the wrong plasterer despite his generally good reviews.
Many thanks again.
Josh

i would tell you to sod off if you gave the straight to someone else and asked me to just do the winder.
 

johniosaif

Private Member
These are easy to do , no need to be expensive , I've done loads, you will only have cracks if the stairs are moving ,caveats re cracking in plastering would apply to each and every application if movement was probable , I would tell him to go and practice for a few years and come back when "the drop "
 

malc

TPF Special Forces
I'd still do the winder on its own but would charge well for it.

i would not, but i do tell plenty of clients to sod off. i had one this week he had got a carpenter to dot and dab a large extension, it looked like a load of school children had been in there, cut edges to externals, excess adhesive not cleaned off, ceiling lines not filled, boards laid horizontal with plenty of straight joints .
he thought that he was going to save some money.
 

Josh76

New Member
Thanks guys. It would have been nice if he could have been straightforward when quoting (or told me to sod off then! :)) if he was not confident as other trades are due to come in next week and generally we are on a schedule. Anyway that's my problem - this has been really useful and I'll have to make a decision tomorrow based on what he says. Dont suppose any of you cover Hampshire and are free to start tomorrow haha!
All the best
Josh
 

leebo02

Well-Known Member
would be far easier if the same spread done the straight work and the winder because when we do winders we try and get some on the wider between trowels or at the end off the day rather than just playing with the winder and waiting ages for each coat to go off. (know theres ways to make each coat go quicker but dont really like doing this)
 

johniosaif

Private Member
i would not, but i do tell plenty of clients to sod off. i had one this week he had got a carpenter to dot and dab a large extension, it looked like a load of school children had been in there, cut edges to externals, excess adhesive not cleaned off, ceiling lines not filled, boards laid horizontal with plenty of straight joints .
he thought that he was going to save some money.
That has little to do with the winders unless you're on a winder up
 

user__removed

Private Member
These are easy to do , no need to be expensive , I've done loads, you will only have cracks if the stairs are moving ,caveats re cracking in plastering would apply to each and every application if movement was probable , I would tell him to go and practice for a few years and come back when "the drop "
I would charge well for a winder, they take much more skill and knowledge than most tasks. If you can't charge good money for a winder, what can you charge for?
 

johniosaif

Private Member
i was following up olicans reply.
i dont mind doing winders, but i would not go onto a job to plaster the winders because someone else can not .
I would , obviously getting paid more than the other one, lots of spreads can't do winders, which is silly really
 

Olican

Private Member
i was following up olicans reply.
i dont mind doing winders, but i would not go onto a job to plaster the winders because someone else can not .

To be fair, I know where your coming from. I viewed a job last year that had all been skimmed out apart from a very tricky, tall stairwell with a particularly awkward skylight; I refused the job for the same reason you mentioned
 

Loren

Active Member
Back in late 2012 I had a stairway all scheduled in I had been waiting a couple of months for this to happen, then I was finally able to go out and look at it all framed in. This was going to come in real handy because work had been real slow for quite awhile and this was indoors with winter coming on and this was going to pay loads of money too. Got out there and having curved walls that tilted in and also spanned 2 floors you'd think they would have over engineered the crap out of it so there'd be no movement what so ever. At the top floor you could reach over and wiggle the framed wall back and forth. I told the general contractor that I'm not putting any lath & plaster on his giggly walls. They said they couldn't beef them up any more than they already had. So I pulled out of the job.
 

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radford

Active Member
@Josh76 sounds like a bit of a nob to me. Probably been an insufferable fusspot throughout. The tradesman told you he could not guarantee movement on the staircase there is no need for a second opinion from others who are not doing the work, never seen the work. Bunch of fishwifes the lot of you!
 

johniosaif

Private Member
@Josh76 sounds like a bit of a nob to me. Probably been an insufferable fusspot throughout. The tradesman told you he could not guarantee movement on the staircase there is no need for a second opinion from others who are not doing the work, never seen the work. Bunch of fishwifes the lot of you!
No one can guarantee anything on timber in reality ,
 

choppa

Well-Known Member
He may have never done one before and just said yes to get the job. If it's do e properly it won't crack any time soon. If you board it then you will loose the character and not have the wow factor your hoping for.
 
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