First fix/second fix?

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by jabberwock95, Sep 23, 2021.

  1. jabberwock95

    jabberwock95 New Member

    A quick "what's normal?" question.

    I'm having a full rewire, when I got the quote I asked if this included 'making good' plastering etc. afterwards. I was told it didn't and that would be an extra £300, which I declined as I plan on getting our own plasterer in. Work started on the rewire a few days ago.

    Now I'm reading that plastering should be done before sockets/switches etc. are installed. Nobody mentioned anything to me about that, I was assuming it'd be simple to unscrew them and plaster around the backboxes etc.

    I'm going to ask the electrician about how they're planning to leave things, but I was just curious what would be considered normal if the customer wasn't paying extra for plastering.
  2. Coloumb

    Coloumb Screwfix Select

    Do you mean the plaster was stripped off to bare brick and your having it re-plastered? if this is so then first would involve running capping and cable and fixing back boxes. If you mean it's already plastered then the spark would chop out a chase and back box holes, fit cable and caping but would NOT fill in the chase with plaster. It would be the same with the dry lining, ie if it's not there then cable would be run in the frame, it's it is there then it might be necessary to chop holes in it to run cable, again the holes would not be filled in by the spark.
  3. Bogle Crag

    Bogle Crag Screwfix Select

    Horses for courses, I used to do rewires with another spark who was a good plasterer so we made good as much as possible at the end of the day, so next day we could second fix and so on, usually empty properties, so no need for power on apart from freezers, fish tanks etc. When he retired I gave up rewires & most domestic work
  4. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    I normally don't plaster unless the customer really wants me too, i'm a bit rough on plastering so prefer to leave it to a pro, but i will backfill chases if really required by the customer.

    Sockets, switches etc should go on after plastering ideally, its a rough job to plaster around fittings.
  5. jabberwock95

    jabberwock95 New Member

    No, walls are already plastered so it's going to be chases into solid brick and holes in some plasterboard walls.

    I don't have any problems with them leaving the holes for me to sort, I'm just wondering how that's going to work if they've already fitted sockets and switches etc. to complete the rewire.
  6. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Generally you do a first fix, then someone else does the plastering, spark then comes back and second fix. Or spark does it all, plasterer / homeowner removes screws and pulls sockets forward to patch plaster or tile.

    There are special disposable plastic spacers that can be put in at the first fix alowing the socket or switch to be screwed in later.

    never used them myself though
  7. Coloumb

    Coloumb Screwfix Select

    If it's chases and back boxes then it's just a case of back filling the chase and holes around the back box. If the spark has done a decent job the cable should be affixed with capping and back boxes screwed to wall. If not then that's pretty shonky work. If it's drylining it should just be a case of filling the holes with plasteboard.
  8. jabberwock95

    jabberwock95 New Member

    Those do look pretty cool.

    Good to know, I imagine they're going to do first and second fix and I can pull the sockets/switches forward later for the myself or the plasterer to work around. I like the idea about covering them with shower caps from the ebay link!
  9. Bob256

    Bob256 Member

    It's not really much different from having a non-rewired room skimmed. I've always tended to loosen and cover sockets etc myself before the plasterer comes in, though I imagine they would probably have done it themselves if I hadn't.
  10. jabberwock95

    jabberwock95 New Member

    Would you advise having entire walls reskimmed or just filling the chases?
  11. Bogle Crag

    Bogle Crag Screwfix Select

    TBH a chase is always going to show to some degree,it depends on your decor and tolerance to imperfections
  12. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    If just making the chases good they should be filled with bonding plaster, then as it sets it should be scratched out to leave it a bit back from the existing finish to slow room for the skimming to avoid it standing proud.
  13. DaveF

    DaveF Active Member

    I didn't read the other posts so forgive me if my answer makes no sense.
    It is pretty normal for an electrician to carve out holes for wires and so on but not to plaster up afterwards. It is best to leave fitting of any outlets/sockets/switches until the plastering has been done. It is not always done this way though, and is usually a matter of discussion with the customer.
    A fantastic thing for a customer to use on the holes is one-coat plaster. It's kinda like a smooth bonding coat. Don't attempt to get a smooth finish at first, just fill the holes and scrape off any excess. After an hour apply more and then go for smooth! The great thing about it is that it can be used on small holes around back-boxes that are any depth. I have happily filled four inch deep holes in a single go. Sets very quickly, especially if you speed it up with some PVA and takes about three days in the summer to completely dry out.
  14. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Screwfix Select

    If you plaster after the accessories are fitted, I recommend that they are unscrewed from the back box and covered with a thick plastic bag, tied to stop it falling off. This will keep them clean ready for re fitting after decoration.
  15. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    These are ideal for covering sockets while they are off for filling/painting etc.
  16. Bob256

    Bob256 Member

    Sorry I had got the impression you were getting a plasterer in anyway but maybe you meant just to do the filling. Whether it is worth having it all skimmed depends on how much mess the electrical work has caused and what sort of condition the rest of the walls are in. If they are generally OK, you should be able to get away with making a good job of the filling.
  17. jabberwock95

    jabberwock95 New Member

    I might give it a go myself in one of the more unobtrusive areas and see how it turns out. I've tried my hand at plastering a few walls before at a different property, one with one-coat plaster and the other with bonding followed by finishing and they turned out OK-ish but far from perfect. The one-coat stuff was certainly easier to work with but I think it'd probably be more noticable.

    I should say I popped round and they seem to be doing an excellent job. Chases are neat, all the wires covered with galvanised capping, back-boxes screwed in and sunk to the correct depth. They'll definitely get more work from me :D

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