How to fill these holes

23 Oct 2007
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United Kingdom
guys, I have removed a false glass ceiling in my hallway. The previous occupant had cut through the lath and plaster to allow cleaning of the glass from above. How do I go about making this good?



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bobby spray, good evening.

I must admit I have seen a lot of such Cupolas at the top of Scottish stairs in small medium and large so called Scottish Town Houses, really nice features, your one appears in good condition?

Historically, the false light was installed in an attempt in the 60s? to stop heat loss?? who knows?

As for what you do with the holes? how about you make a feature of them? meaning do not simply block out the holes with plasterboard and skim, it will forever be obvious, especially with the down wash of light from the Cupola

If it was me I would fix a feature of some sort over the accesses cut in the Lath and Plaster, something like a MDF "Plaque" over-sised to the largest sized hole by a fair bit, the external face could be "decorated with" beading or moldings to give the appearance of a "Feature" indeed the external face can be decorated any way you want, if possible replicate any main features in any other room? I noted on the Images provided that there are a row of "Dentil" plaster moldings, a similar feature could be replicated on the MDF Panel somewhere in the house? a feature on a plaster molding or similar??

Now for the last bit, these "Feature Panels" no matter how plane or decorative you make them MUST be symmetrical around the slope, that is as above the idea I am coming over with is that the over-sized MDF needs to be placed in a regular pattern, that is if one long wall has one hole, there needs to be two panels, exactly symmetrically placed on the long walls and the short walls, this way it all looks "Right"?

One other thing I suggest you consider introducing insulation on all the slopes to the Cupola, and finally is there any way of considering introduction of insulation to the Cupola itself ?

As above, make a feature of a potential disaster? win, win? who knows.

Hopefully some ideas on what could be achieved?

Please let the board know how it goes.

Lots of luck.

Thanks for your suggestions. 'Breaking up' the large plain sides of the light well is something I am considering. Most of the others that I have seen have 'frames' or similar decoration. To do that properly the holes will need filled, the light well faces lined with paper and then decoration applied.
The cupola itself is a heat sink which, as you pointed out, is the reason for the false ceiling in the first place. I am in the process of trying to get a double glazed unit to replace it. The rear face of the light well has only recently had insulation. Something you think that they would have tried in the 50's before installing the false ceiling. Even in its current state, it looks better than what was there before.

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