How to renovate a lounge with a fireplace?

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earnest

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Hello everyone,

Asking for tips and guidance as we are about to patch up the room and would like to understand the best way to go about it.

Chimney breast beyond the wall, leak damage, the roof and chimney should be repaired now. Below is the fireplace.
The plan is to either remove this coving section and replace like-for-like or remove everywhere in the room and eventually match the design throughout the house.
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I am not sure what these lines are, is this caused by the dust and smoke from the fireplace moved by draught air? Or is there a bigger problem? They look evenly spaced but I am sure the plasterboard is wider than these lines, so not joins but I could be wrong.
IMG_3847.jpeg

The plan is:
  1. Remove old wallpaper which is on the plaster (brick) wall. It is not the easiest task. We started soaking the wallpaper and then scrap it, but this still leaves this thin and sticky layer which is a bit painful to remove using the old elbow grease approach. When dry, I am planning to use the orbital sander with a disk grit of 80-120 to remove the remaining paper. I did a quick try, and it was much faster, but the plaster became a bit rougher. I assume this is why skimming is required afterwards. We are planning to paint it, no more wallpapers.
  2. Fix chipped plaster near the windows and doors and other places
  3. Remove and replace the skirtboard and the ceiling coving and the decoration where the lighting is (not sure if the right name, basically skirtboard for the ceiling). Would be nice to add more lights whilst we are at it.
  4. Replace plasterboards in the ceiling
  5. Replace insulation, as per the surveyors report he suggested 300mm
  6. Replace radiators
  7. Remove carpets and replace with wood (not sure which one yet, engineered/laminate/real), this is the most expensive and complex, so most likely will hire someone for this
Any other tips or best practices would be greatly appreciated
 

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The lines you see are probably the ceiling joists. They should be roughly 400mm apart, run a magnet along one and see if it periodically finds a nail/screw, If it does, 100% a joist. Sugar soap is the old fashioned remedy for wallpaper tack removal, we did way with wallpaper quite some years ago but I remember it working well. As for your plan, I'd suggest fixing the chipped plaster once you've replaced the plasterboard, you'll need to put a layer of plaster on top anyway so it saves making more batches than necessary. I always try to do any kind of room with a top down appproach, that way any mess you make will have to be dealt with as part of the prep for the next section. Get all your painting done before you replace the flooring.
 
The lines you see are probably the ceiling joists. They should be roughly 400mm apart, run a magnet along one and see if it periodically finds a nail/screw, If it does, 100% a joist
Thanks for tips. Will check shortly. Is there a way to make them disappear or not be that prominent?
 
I can think of 2 possibilities.

1. If you had water damage than the joists could have got wet and the moisture transferred to the plaster, leaving a dark mark. It wouldn't be a huge volume of water, literally just creeping moisture in the timber in which case depending on how long ago the leak was, it could well have sorted itself out by now so changing the boards will eliminate it or just a new coat of paint you cure it.

2. The plasterboard has sagged between the joists slightly and they're actually shadows. Do they disappear if a torch is pointed straight at them? If you're replacing the boards with new ones then they should be gone once the new boards are up. I've had this in my garage which made finding the joists to hang lights and attach an air filter very easy.

Looking at the first picture I'd venture to say the first option is most likely, I'd aslo guess those dark dots are your nail heads. I should add I'm no professional so if we do have any plasterers/decorators on here who may be able to confirm or deny my theories, then I'd suggest taking their advice.
 
Is the loft above that ceiling. Seen this when no insulation between rafters and it shows up when cold.
 
Thanks for tips. Will check shortly. Is there a way to make them disappear or not be that prominent?
The ceiling looks like it hasn't been painted for a long time. Inadequate insulation above will result in the line of the joist being slightly colder than the plasterboard between and this affects the flow of air across the ceiling and the deposit of soot, dust etc. It's a symptom of poor insulation, nothing more than that. Likely more pronounced towards the outside walls?
When stripping wallpaper don't try soaking with water - it dries too quickly. Instead mix a weak mix of wallpaper paste and paint it on after you have peeled off any vinyl or washable layer. That will ensure it soaks properly and should scrape off easily. For any remaining residue of paste a wash with sugar soap should do it.
 
I've replaced a couple floors with engineered wood. It isn't difficult. If you're doing the rest of the work then I'd suggest you're more than capable of replacing the floor. Just keep a chopsaw close by to minimise walking back and forth.
I can't work out if Point 2 refers solely to the ceiling or whether you are replacing the skirting board at floor level but if so I'd strongly recommend you replace the floor before the skirting board. The SB then covers the ends of the floor boards and allows enough space for expansion of the floor boards.
Have fun
Martin
 
Likely more pronounced towards the outside walls?
That is exactly the case.
If you're doing the rest of the work then I'd suggest you're more than capable of replacing the floor.
Attempting to do 🤣 My enthusiasm and motivation might not be very good friends with knowledge and skills. Replacing everything, coving, skirtboards, ceiling plasterboards, everything except the patio doors and windows for now, too expensive.
 
What ever you eventually do, if that light rose is a plaster original protect it at all cost, they are massively expensive to replace, personally I would strip out the whole room, that way it will allow you to inspect any electrics in the void and terminate/hide those cables hanging out of the ceiling on the right in you original pic. Once you have stripped the ceiling take pictures/dimensions for future reference in case you decide to instal downlighter's at a later date, maybe ever preempt that decision by running the cable to pre-determined positions in the ceiling void, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
 
Is the damp on the upper part of the wall directly above the fireplace i.e. the inside of the external chimney breast? Is there an exposed area of this chimney above the ceiling, inside the loft, or does the roof slope down towards the back of the chimney? In other words, the exposed chimney directly above the ceiling?
Is the external chimney brick, possibly oversized with a concrete cap?? Just guessing from the interior detail that the house may be 40-50 years old?
Before you go too far with the interior work do make sure that the leak has been totally sorted.
 
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Is the damp on the upper part of the wall directly above the fireplace i.e. the inside of the external chimney breast? Is there an exposed area of this chimney above the ceiling, inside the loft, or does the roof slope down towards the back of the chimney? In other words, the exposed chimney directly above the ceiling?
Is the external chimney brick, possibly oversized with a concrete cap?? Just guessing from the interior detail that the house may be 40-50 years old?
Before you go too far with the interior work do make sure that the leak has been totally sorted.
This is just above the fireplace; the roof slops down towards the back of the chimney, the roof and chimney have undergone repairs last winter and seems like no more leaks.

What would be the best way to repair this plaster? Completely remove it in this section and put new plaster?
 
If, as I'm guessing, the house is 50ish yard old, the plaster will be finish on a sand/cement scratch coat. The sand/cement scratch coat should still be fine - make sure it doesn't sound 'boast'/hollow/loose. If it's still sound then just scrape off any flaky finish and repair it. There's no point in hacking off perfectly sound sand/cement to replace it with similar and it will make blending the repair much more difficult.
If the leak is fixed and everything now dried thoroughly don't remove anything that's still sound. Do use a stain blocker before you redecorate.
 

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