Float & set & skim - What to expect

16 May 2004
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United Kingdom
In 'brief' the story is:
I hacked a 4 x 4 room back to stonework and invited quotes to refinish with multiple render coats finished by float & set then skimmed. Runout in the most extreme points across the walls was at maximum an inch and a half across a few metres. The guy I chose, who was not the cheapest I'll add, made all the right noises saying he could bring them true. I asked about the use of a derby or featheredge and he just confirmed it would be no problem yeah yeah etc etc.
At the float and set stage I watched the work which was done with trowels and a two foot piece of wood! No sign of a derby or similar. After this had gone off I examined the walls for straightness and voiced my concerns to be told that they would get them flat with plaster. Seemed strange to me that flatness wasn't achieved with earlier render or indeed the float and set but at that point the job wasn't finished so...
Jobs now 'done' and I'm seeing variation across the walls up to half an inch or more over 4 foot in various directions. An overall excellent finish to the plaster, beautifully smooth but just not flat or level.
Am I just being to fussy or am I asking too much??
I know the simple answer is too talk to the guy and point out our initial discussion and requirements etc etc etc BUT I'm only looking for opinions of others in the trade and wether my expectations are unrealistic?!?

Thanks in advance!
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Expected as much. Do you use a derby or featheredge to get the last 'undercoat' whatever that may be. flat?
featheredge or darby depending on your level of skill but definetly the featheredge.
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Can I safely assume the only course is to level the wall with ?bonding? or ?browning? once being sealed with ?pva? and then reskim the lot?
I have floated and set a lot of old stone walls, as where I have lived and now live most of the buildings were/are built of stone. And some of these walls would run out from top to bottom by 2" sometimes. The only way to get these walls "plumb" and Level was to use a string line and "dots". Then put some screeds up by filling between the "dots" some times it would take 2 or 3 coats to dub it out then scratch it, then float screeds out plumb then fill in between and work off your screeds with a straight edge to get your float coat level. Then you know your skim coat is going to be right, You cant use plaster to bring out the levels.. It all depends on the work you put in before the setting coat, of how its going to turn out.....Seems a shame to have to use Browning or Bonding when you have gone to so much trouble and still not got striaght flat walls!!!!! Get your guy back in and put a striaght edge on the walls and ask him if he thinks that is good workman-ship or not!!!
Thanks for the input. But i'm at the point I am!!
Guy came out today and said it was done with a featheredge. (I never saw one used). He also said 10mm runout was ok. (The longest wall is only 4 metres)And runout is more in places.
He wants to use multifinish to bring it flat or rather 'improve' it.
I doubt it all. Whats my best choice to fix?

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