Plastering is a key part of the finishing process when decorating your home. However, plastering isn’t just decorative. Plastering actually makes up a part of the insulation of your home. It can also be a part of the way that your property meets fire safety regulations. Because of this, plastering does have to meet building regulations. The regulations will usually specify values which the entire roof or ceiling will have to meet. Read on to find out more about the building regulations which may apply to your plastering project.
What are building regulations?
Building regulations are a set of standards and targets. They apply to most new buildings. The building regulations set safety and environmental standards. The government sets building regulations and local authorities enforce them. Building regulations apply to new homes. They also apply to some refurbishment work, and to house extensions and other building work.
Building regulations and plastering
The building regulations apply to plastering. However, the way that they apply is complicated. Because plastering is only part of the finish of walls and ceilings, it is only part of the way that these areas of your home have to meet the targets. Building regulations set targets for the entire walls. The way that your plasterboard and plaster skimming will have to meet the regulations depends on the style of the existing walls.
The building regulations will usually mean that you need to use a certain thickness of insulated plasterboard. There are different ways that you can meet the required value. You can use varying thicknesses of different products to meet the value. The values themselves are different for internal and external walls. Depending on the type of insulation already present in the wall, the thickness of insulation on the plasterboard will change. For example, when plastering an insulated cavity wall, the plasterboard may only need a thin layer of insulation.
When do these regulations apply?
The building regulations will only apply to plastering projects in certain circumstances. In new builds or home extensions, the plastering work will be part of the way the property meets insulation targets. If you are repairing or skimming a small area of wall or ceiling, usually the building regulations will not apply.
Which building regulations apply?
The different building regulations apply to plastering in different areas. Some of these are:
- Heat insulation. Walls and ceilings must meet the specified U value for heat loss. To do this, you will usually have to use some form of insulated plasterboard. This value is different for internal and external walls.
- Noise insulation. The building regulations require that floors and walls need a level of soundproofing. In general, this will not need any specific extra insulation. The insulated plasterboard that’s used to meet the heat insulation requirement will usually dampen enough sound. However, for situations where you need noise insulation, you can use more effective sound insulation.
- Fire safety. For structural elements such as floors and walls, 30-minute fire rated plasterboard must be used to meet building regulations. This is to stop the spread of fire. There are extra regulations for the walls and floors immediately surrounding an internal garage.
- Moisture and air tightness. Plastering is part of the way that properties are damp proofed. Plastering should form a moisture proof barrier. In new properties, there is a requirement for the property to be air tight. Using plaster to skim around common air leak areas is a common method to meet this requirement.
The building regulations for plastering can be difficult to follow. This is especially true as the requirements will be different depending on the type of wall or ceiling that’s being plastered. If you’re not sure of the best way to meet the building regulations, speak to an experienced plasterer for advice. If you’re plastering as part of an extension, your architect or structural engineer will need to have done the calculations for insulation.