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Filling or plastering gap behind skirting in old victorian house

Discussion in 'Plastering and Rendering' started by mdmuddin, 7 Oct 2015.

  1. mdmuddin

    mdmuddin

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    Hi,

    I am removing skirting from one side of my living room (ground floor) to install bookshelves right up against the wall and also to prevent mice from running around, scratching and making holes after I’ve put the shelves up. Being an old Victorian house there is a bare brick behind the 8” high skirting and I want to fill it so I want to ask some advice and run my draft plan past the experts.



    As my house has joists and floorboards, I am assuming the DPC (damp proof course) will be below joist level. I will double check this when I pull up the carpet and a couple of floorboards but i do remember there being a good 1 foot of space beneath the joists so assume the DPC should be below floorboard level. Then, I plan to place some cardboard or hardboard on top of the floorboard, which I can pull out once the plaster is dry to prevent the plaster bonding the boards to the wall and also to prevent plaster falling into the cavity. Then I will feed the wires to the sockets through some conduit that will later be set into the plaster. Then, I will clean off any loose dust and plaster from the brick work and the bottom of the plaster, and then spray it lightly with water. Then I will use plaster to fill the gap roughly up to the level of the wall. Then I will scrape it even to the level of the wall once at the right stage of drying out.



    Questions:



    1 - Does that general plan sound okay?

    2 - Which type of conduit shall I use to bury the wires into the plaster?

    3 - Which type of plaster shall I use, bonding, hardwall, multi purpose, or something else? I once, upon someone's advice, tried a similar task with sand and cement and it wouldn’t stick and keep falling off. Someone then suggested adding bonding plaster to the sand and cement mix to make it sticky; is there such a thing?





    Thanks in advance
     
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  3. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

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    A Victorian house is unlikely to have a DPC, unless one has since been injected.

    Wouldn't it be easier to scribe the shelving uprights to the skirting? You're making a lot of work.

    Cheers
    Richard
     
  4. ree

    ree

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    Q1. No.

    Q2. Are the outlets already connected to the ring - ie wired-in?

    Q3. None.



    If you have mice then plaster is not going to deter them. Plasterers do many things but i doubt that they do Pest Control.

    If you have intact 8" Victorian skirting then you are very lucky but now you wish to remove them and possibly damage them? Do you have any idea of how much they cost per metre? Its simple joinery to scribe around any skirting profile.

    Building a solid backed bookcase against an outer wall could lead to damp & condensation issues behind the bookcase.

    FWIW: the DPC issue is irrelevant, altho many Victorian houses have DPC's.

    Truth is your proposal besides being bizarre is almost OCD.
     
  5. mdmuddin

    mdmuddin

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    Well, I've removed it now and need to fill it up. I managed to not damage the boards too much. @ree, I appreciate your to-the-point reply but I have just read it now.

    The wall in question is a party wall, by the way.

    I've discovered there are 4 cavities (at the bottom along the length of the wall with a very cold draft coming through them. Can anyone tell me what they are for? I was going to plug them with something and plaster over.

    Regarding the sockets, the original wiring comes into the socket on the right and then the other two isolator switches branch off that.

    I'm attaching pic's if that helps. IMG_2015-10-09 10:41:36.jpg IMG_2015-10-09 10:41:47.jpg IMG_2015-10-09 10:41:57.jpg
     
  6. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

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    The cavities are most likely to ventilate the under-floor space and prevent rot. Don't block them up.

    Edit - actually belay that, of course they're above finished floor level, so no idea.
     
  7. ree

    ree

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    FWIW: I'll continue to respond to this thread for the sake of any other DIY'ers who might be following it.

    OP, you come on here for advice then jump the gun, and dont read the offered advice until you've started.
    You post pics (thank you for the pics) after you've removed the skirting but not before.
    You've now, so you say, partly damaged the skirtings - and the plaster and decorations above the skirtings, that should have been released with a knife, have also been slightly damaged.
    You are working over an uncovered carpet that should have been rolled back.

    The outlets and FCU's arrangements need posting on the elec forum. They are surface devices, and you should be installing flush devices sunk into the plaster above the skirting (at your selected height) not surface mounted on the skirting.
    If the floor boards were up then possible wiring alterations could be suggested, esp. if by "original wiring" you have pre-modern cable?

    Fill the holes with bits of brick and mortar or similar.

    The vertical wood pads should be left in position for re-fixing the skirting.

    Your skirting is a simple 8" Torus not a unique Victorian profile.
     
  8. mdmuddin

    mdmuddin

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    Yep, I did think of that for a moment before thinking they're above floor level. Also, there are large ventilations paths beneath the boards.

    Thanks

    I actually waited for quite a while but didn't see your message as, for some reason, I didn't get an email notification. I'm assuming it's because I opened the last message from my phone browser and not the computer. In any case, as much as I appreciate your advice, I will have to decide myself what I do, in the end of day, even if it is out of OCD.

    I have one pick that shows the rad pipes and the sockets just after the plumber came to re-route piping. I'll attach it her.

    It was rolled back. i just vacuumed and unrolled before taking the pic.


    It's all in a very bad state and that's how we got it. To be honest, I don't feel much of it is worth saving. I guess I make a different thread on the elec forum for the plugs, if needed.

    Thanks for that information.


    IMG-20151007-WA0007.jpg
     
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