Question Alternative to dot and dab/stud frame?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by 99P, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. 99P

    99P
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    I'm having some work done and have had the wall stripped back to bare brick. I want to avoid dot and dab or a stud frame with plasterboard if possible. What other options are there to finishing off the wall so it's strong but still insulated?

    One builder told me he would cement render the walls, apply a wire mesh and the plaster/skim on top. Does this sound ok?

    The walls are old double skinned brick walls with no insulation in between.
     
  2. Wil S

    Wil S
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    Someone in the past has done this to our house. If I could turn back time I wouldn't go anywhere near a cement render.

    All to do with moisture and breathability. Your house must be reasonably old given the double skin brick wall with no cavity. Old houses need to breathe and moisture pass through the walls. Insulating them is incredibly complex and to do with moving the dew point to avoid condensation in the walls (and therefore damp). Concrete render won't let the building breathe and has the potential to cause all sorts of issues. It's also impossible to remove without trashing the wall underneath.
    There's some good pdfs on insulation in old buildings and condensation worries on the SPAB website http://www.spab.org.uk/ which may help?

    To be fair, there's no damp on the inside of my walls, but the bricks and lime render are blowing on the outside as the moisture can only go one way.
     
  3. 99P

    99P
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    Thanks for your reply. What other options are there? Does it make a difference if the outside of the house isn't rendered at all?
     
  4. Wil S

    Wil S
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    Yes it does, if the house was rendered on the outside using something impermeable to moisture it would be even worse!
    If I was able to remove the cement I'd be insulating the inside with breathable insulation and a skinny stud wall. Yes it loses you space but in my case (listed building) I can't do anything to the outside. If you could insulate the outside there are various options for that which would save you the space inside (but they must be breathable).
    If you're worried about insulation, I take it you've already hit the low-hanging fruit like secondary or double glazed windows and loft insulation which is where most of your heat will have been going?

    In your first post, you seem to want to cover the walls but not with insulation and plasterboard. Is there a reason for this? The finish would be very similar to a skim layer of plaster over the cement render. I'm not sure what (if anything) the cement render would give you except a little more thermal mass.

    Please understand all of the above is from an (interested) amateur's experience. I'm not a builder or qualified to advise you on insulation!
     
  5. 99P

    99P
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    Disclaimer noted! :)

    Loft insulation and new double glazing is being taken care of. The reason why I didn't want a stud frame and plasterboard is because I want the walls to feel solid. I'm also assuming with a solid wall it less prone to the plaster cracking.

    I've got another builder coming so I'll see what he says but keep the advice/suggestions coming.

    Thanks
     
  6. Geps

    Geps
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    Wil, you only need to let it breathe if it's a lime mortar. If it's built using a standard mortar then you can quite comfortably use a cement render on the inside if you wish.

    PPP, consider ply lining over a studwork frame and finished with plasterboard. I have it in my kitchen (to make hanging cabinets easier) and it feels very firm.

    BTW, there is a building reg requirement to upgrade the insulation of a wall to current day standards when you carry out work on, from memory, at least 25% so I'd keep that in mind.
     
  7. 27neth

    27neth
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  8. simon69

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    I would not be so sure about that I have solid walls (Victorian build) and have plaster cracks
     
  9. Navvie

    Navvie
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    Perhaps I'm not reading between the lines, but do you know for sure you have solid walls?

    I've never heard solid walls described as you've done. That's how I would expect somebody to describe an old brick-cavity-brick wall construction, with no insulation in the cavity.
     
  10. simon69

    simon69
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    There is a series of books by W B McKay covering the construction of older houses they can be bought on Amazon or eBay (all used now). They are highly recommended in the building industry, if you know the build date of your property they can shed some light on the construction methods used.
     
  11. Geps

    Geps
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    No, he's correct. Double skinned wall is the correct term when it's a brick length wide with no cavity.
     

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