Preparation before getting walls skimmed for best results

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Hi guys,

I'm going to get a number of rooms in my house skimmed in the coming weeks. Before getting people out I was wondering what prep I could do. I'm not trying to cut corners or be cheap - I want the best possible job and I'm happy to put some effort in to help ensure this happens.

I have already removed dado rails and scrapped as much flakey & loose paint away as possible. I have also removed all the door architraves and in places removed skirting boards which I will replace once the walls are skimmed.

What else can I do?

Thanks

IMG_20171130_183934.jpg
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Have you gently tapped the walls all over to hear any hollow sounding blown bits?
 
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i would look to see whats behind those cracks to see whats going on

Hi Steve,

Do you mean the cracks in the bottom of the last picture? If so I know there are 2 thick cables that are in the wall - the top part of the wall was the same and I asked the builder to have a look when I was getting the loft converted. They quickly plastered over the top section but now I've stripped everything off I'm going to get this all re-skimmed properly.

These were the cables in the wall:

IMG_20170709_164050.jpg
 
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Hi Steve,

Do you mean the cracks in the bottom of the last picture? If so I know there are 2 thick cables that are in the wall - the top part of the wall was the same and I asked the builder to have a look when I was getting the loft converted. They quickly plastered over the top section but now I've stripped everything off I'm going to get this all re-skimmed properly.

These were the cables in the wall:

View attachment 133837
i mean the cracks in the second to last picture in the corner "and" the last picture they look pretty bad, the bricks and mortar in the last picture looks in a right state you may do well to sure things up a bit before plastering and if the bricks are like that in the second to last picture that could also explain the cracks
 
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That bit with the "cables" (which look like lead water or heating pipes) is a mess - the chasing appears to have weakened the wall, causing it to crack and the crack subsequently repaired with some stitching bars and grout. Needs some attention!
 
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