sheet cladding – wall cladding sheets

wall cladding sheetsSheet cladding, since it is based on hardboard or plywood, comes with a maximum length of 2440mm (8 ft). It is not suitable for rooms with a ceiling height greater than that dimension. There are two ways in which it can be fixed. The first is to in framework of battens to which the sheets can be nailed. You need a batten on each edge, an intermediate vertical one, and two intermediate horizontal ones. To make sure these are all in the same plane, pack them out as necessary. The second method is to stick the sheets directly to the wall, provided you are working on a flat plaster surface. Remove any skirting, spread the adhesive on the wall and on the back of the sheets in a pattern similar to that suggested for the battening. You can use a glue gun with which to apply the adhesive to speed up the work. It is not easy to cut a large sheet to tit the irregularites of a floor and ceiling, so aim to disguise these with skirting at ground level and molding at the top. To fix this type of sheet cladding in an alcove that is narrower than the width of a sheet, first cut the sheet to the correct height. Using a plumb line and bob, or a spirit level and true batten, draw on the alcove wall a vertical line about 75mm from one end of the alcove.

Place the sheet flat on the floor nearby, and on it draw a pencil line a little more than 150mm from one edge. At about 150mm intervals, measure the gap between the line on the wall and the end of the alcove. Transfer these measurements to the sheet, then join up the marks, and you have a line to which to saw or tile. This edge of the sheet now be a perfect ht against one end wall. Now draw a second vertical line on the wall 150mm from the other end of the alcove. Measure the gap between the two lines. Use this measurement to draw a second line on the sheet, the same distance from the first line. Then measure the narrow gap between the second vertical line on the wall and the end of the alcove. Transfer these measurements to the sheet, join them up, and saw to the line. The whole sheet should now be a perfect fit in the alcove, with only minor adjustments necessary here and there with a file. When sheet cladding was fixed in old cottages as an alternative to plaster, it used in general to be painted – normally white. One of the objects of installing timber cladding in modern interiors, however, is to introduce the beauty of natural timber into the home, so it is usually treated with a polyurethane varnish.

waterproofing basement walls

Penetrating damp is caused by water entering through defects in the structure of the house. The way to prevent and cure it is through a high standard of house maintenance. Keep the roof sound, and maintain the walls as described in this chapter. Repoint when it becomes necessary, and reined any defects in rendered walls. Seal any gaps between window and door frames and the walls with a proprietary sealant; keep gutters and downpipes clear of blockages; deal immediately with any plumbing mishaps that soak a wall; and apply an exterior grade si1icone based water repellent to porous walls. Damp in basements is common because they are below ground level and are surrounded by soil, in which damp is present. There is no practical way to eliminate damp from basement walls, but you can keep the damp at bay.

Prepare the walls by mixing a polythene sheet to them or by applying a damp-repellent liquid. Then fix bitumen lath to the walls with galvanized clout nails. Bitumen lath is a pitch-impregnated corrugated libre. The corrugations create channels on both sides of the material: thaw on the wall side form ventilation corridors in which the mist Can evaporate. Those on the room Side provide a receive plaster. Plasterboard can be used by do-it-yourselfers instead of plaster.  Another possibility is to build a partition wall clad with plasterboard close to but not touching the main wall of the basement, creating in effect a cavity wall, Normally the framework for a plasterboard partition is screwed to the wall, but for damp-proofing it should be fixed to the ceiling and floor, in the way outlined on page 126 for constructing a non-load bearing partition. It is a good idea to fit insulation blanket (of the kind used to line a loft) behind the plasterboard, so that the basement will be warm as well as dry. The floor of the basement will also need a damp proof membrane (such as clear polythene) to stop damp from rising through the floor. Overlap the membrane and the damp proof treatment on the walls.

wall repair patch

a hole in the wallIf a wall repair patch of rendering becomes loose and falls away, or a blister of loose rendering develops, repair it immediately, because the rendering is usually part of the weatherproofing of your home. With a bolster chisel and hammer, hack away the loose, crumbling material back to the brickwork. Begin in the centre of the blister and work outwards towards the edges, until you come to sound material. Similarly, with a bare patch, hack away all round the edge of the hole until you reach sound rendering. Make your own mortar for the repair 1 part of cement to 5 or 6 of sharp sand with a proprietary plasticizer added is a suitable mix or buy a bag of ready-mix and add water. In either case the mortar should be of a stiff consistency. First, treat the bare bricks with a pva building adhesive, mixed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply the mortar in two stages. Place some on a hawk, hold it close to the wall and push the mortar into the damaged area with a steel float. Just before this first application hardens, scratch its surface in a criss-cross pattern with a knife or the point of a trowel – builders call it the‘scratch coat’. Leave for 24 hours, then apply the finishing coat, making it as similar as possible to the finish of the rest of the wall. For instance, if the wall is smooth, spread out the top coat until it  is slightly higher than the surrounding area. Then draw a batten across the surface of the patch in a sawing motion to remove surplus mortar. Leave it for about an hour to dry, then dampen it with water – you can apply this with an old paint brush – and smooth it off with the steel float.

The other finishes you can achieve, which are listed below, should be worked while the finishing coat is still soft, a few hours after it has been applied. Roughcast has a proportion of coarse aggregate in the final coat, which is thrown (literally) on to the wall as a wet mix, and left untrowelled. Scraped finish is achieved by leaving the final coat to harden for several hours, then scraping it with a tool, such as an old saw blade. Textured finish has the final coat worked with a trowel or even an old banister brush. Stippled effect, too, is created with a soft banister or dustpan brush. Wavy effect is produced with a piece of ribbed rubber when wall repair patch. Bold texture is achieved by dabbing with a fabric pad.

timber cladding | wall panels

Timber cladding can be fixed directly to the bare brickwork  of a wall as a substitute for plaster, or it can go on top of existing plaster as a form of decoration. The timber cladding can be matchboarding lengths of shaped natural timber – or in sheets of hardboard or thin plywood with a surface pattern that simulates matchboarding. Matchboarding is often confused with tongued and grooved boards. Tongued and grooved boards have squared sides so that when two boards are joined they fit snugly together. Matchboarding has additional moulding, so that a V-shaped groove is formed where two boards meet. Tongued and grooved boards are, in general, fitted as flooring, matchboarding being unsuitable because of its grooves. Matchboarding, however, is more suitable for timber cladding because the heat of the room will in time make the boards shrink, and cause gaps to appear between them. Such gaps look unsightly in tongued and grooved boards, but because of the V-shape they are not noticeable in matchboarding.

timber claddingThe planks of matchboading are fixed to horizontal battens  screwed to the wall. You need one batten at floor level, another near the ceiling, and a third haIf-way between. If you are fitting the timber to a wall that has a skirting board, use this instead of the bottom batten. The two higher battens should then be of the same thickness as the skirting. A width of 50 mm is suitable. If there is no skirting board, use 50 x 25 mm battens. The battens must be level with each other and with the skirting so that the timber cladding will present a flat surface. Pack out the battens as necessary when you fix them to the wall.  The planks are fixed to the battens by ‘secret nailing’, so that no fixing nails are visible. Pins are driven into the front of the tongue, but emerge on the other side through the main body of the plank to pass into the batten. When the next board is fitted, its groove locates on the tongue, which holds it into place. On the other edge it is fixed by pins driven through its tongue, and so on. Begin by fitting the first plank with its groove towards the end of the wall. Make sure, by using a plumb line or a spirit level, that this first plank is vertical, for its alignment will determine that of the rest. If the surface of the other wall at the corner (the return wall) is badly out of true, tack the first plank slightly away from it, making sure it is vertical.


Place a small block of wood so that it touches the return wall and overlaps the plank. Place a pencil along the block and move both to trace out the profile of the return wall on to the plank.  Trim the plank along the pencil line. To trim to the correct width the plank at the other end of the wall, place it on top of the last whole plank, and lightly tack it in place. Now take a short off cut of plank plus a pencil. Jam the off cut hard against the return wall at the top, and hold the pencil tightly against the off cut. Now move off cut and pencil slowly downwards to the bottom, tracing a line on the plank to be trimmed. Saw or tile the plank to this line and it should be a tight fit in the gap. When you use secret nailing, the planks at each end are not held in place on their outer edges. Usually, this does not matter. Tap the face of the planks lightly to check that they are firmly fixed. If not, drive three pins – one for each batten through their face. These pins will not be hidden, but can be punched home and covered with stopping. The floor, and especially the ceiling, may be out of true, as well as the return walls. Measure the height required for each plank individually. Even so, there will be slight gaps top and bottom. Disguise the bottom one by fitting skirting, which you can buy at wood yards. The skirting is nailed to the bottom of the planks. You can also use skirting turned upside down, at the top, or you might prefer a smaller moulding. If you are timber cladding adjacent walls and the angle where they meet is an internal one, a vertical length of quarter- round or triangular section moulding will neaten the join.

skirting boards fitting

What are skirting boards? How to perform skirting boards fitting your home? Skirting boards are lengths of decoratively shaped timber, used to be fitted to neaten the gap between floor and wall. The plaster does not normally extend down to floor level. In period houses, skirtings can be as high as 600 mm (1 ft) or more and moulded ornately. Today skirting are much plainer and smaller — perhaps only 100 mm (4 inches) in height. Modern skirting are usually fixed by means of cut nails driven through the timber and into timber plugs in the masonry. ln period houses, where the skirting is deep and elaborately moulded, it is more likely to be nailed to wooden grounds fixed to wall plugs. Rarely, the skirting is of two sections; a bottom piece with a tongue located in a groove in the floorboards, and a top piece joined to the bottom also by a tongue and groove.  lf you are fitting skirting boards to just one wall of a room, the problem will be to match it to the rest. This should present no difficulty in recent houses, for skirting with the right profile will be readily available. Older skirting, however, might have to be replaced completely, so that the entire room will look the same. Modern skirting, as sold widely in timber yards would not look out of place in a house built, but it is worth trying to match the period appearance of skirting on buildings earlier than that. Finding matching skirting need not be difficult now that the importance of period fittings is recognized.

skirting boards fittingMany firms specialize in salvaging such fittings from buildings due for demolition, and then offer it for sale. Ask around locally, or look at advertisements in local newspapers to find out if there are any near your home. The other possibility is to buy separate pieces of small section moulding, and join them together to form something that looks like your other skirting. Aim to buy skirting in lengths that will cover the whole wall in one span, because joins in the middle never look as neat. Fit the skirting boards by driving nails through it and into the plugs on the wall. It is worth the effort to position the nails accurately enough to allow you to drive them into the original fixings. All you have to do is cut the skirting board to length, then lay it flat on the floor in front of the wall where it will be fixed. Make pencil marks on its face where the nails should go. Drill clearance holes for these nails so that there is no chance of splitting the timber. This is particularly important if you have bought expensive period skirting board, or are using lengths of thin moldings. Punch the nails home, cover the heads with filler and paint the skirting.  Where a part of a length of skirting board is damaged, it may be possible to insert a patch. To repair damage in the middle of a length of skirting, begin by cutting out the defective portion. Cut at an angle so that the skirting is wider at the front than at the back. One method of cutting is to push wedges behind the damaged section to force it away from the wall. Now set up a small, fine-toothed saw(preferably a dovetail) in front of the skirting, and in a miter box. Saw through the skirting at an angle of 45°. This is difficult, because it requires many short movements with the saw, but it can be done. You may have to finish off with a thin bladed saw, such as a keyhole saw. Skirting boards can easily be fitted, it may just need some work and time to do it.