Just like there are many different house plans and designs, so are the methods that house owners and builders currently use and apply when it comes to house finishing. In the past, it was a common method to find a builder using face bricks on the exterior and merely plastering on the interior of the house for house finishing but the trends have since changed.
Yunus Mulindwa, a builder who has been in the construction industry for 12 years, says some people start building their houses on a tight budget in the end, the budget determines the kind of finishing that one uses.
“One of the methods of house finishing is by plastering using a recommended amount of material mixed with the recommended amount of cement. This method is good when you use lake sand because it lasts longer when you use the right finishing material applied by a trained builder,” Mulindwa says.
This method though currently not being used by many house owners due to the daily changing methods, suits one who is constructing their house on a tight budget. He advises that by the time you draw a house construction budget, it is better to put the house finishing level into perspective so as to have a final product, yet at a shoe string budget.
Of late, Mulindwa says the skirting house finishing method, where builders use black or any other coloured stones on house edges, especially on corners and after raising the foundation just below the damp proof coarse level, is also another method of house finishing. “When you use brown or black stones and you accompany them with matching colours, they bring out the beauty of the house from a distance. It also depends on the way the builder who fits them aligns them on the wall,” Mulindwa shares, adding that the advantage with this method is that they last longer compared to using painted plaster.
Other stones that can be used Mulindwa says are white gravel stones, those that are used for mixing concrete, though it’s a rare method. These stones, he explains, protect the house from bad weather elements such as heavy downpour that hits the wall.
Face bricks and plastering
Bunnett Bagombeka, an engineer with Franbag Bou Uganda Limited, shares that other methods applied in house finishing include using tiles where you are required to first plaster. “When you apply plaster first, it gives you the level at which to lay tiles. But even when you use face bricks, you may need to plaster first. It you have experienced builders, they can apply both tiles and face bricks direct on the wall without plastering,” Bagombeka says.
There is also plastering a wall and it is left the way it is as opposed to painting it. This is dependent on the texture that one wants on their house. In the early days, he says most people used to apply rough casting where you put colours in the rough cast to get a desired colour.
For those who may still want to use rough casting method, he cautions that you may not get a uniform colour because it calls for exactness by the builder when it comes to colour mixing. “The quantity that your builder uses on one side of the house must be the same that he uses on a different wall if you choose to use one colour,” he cautions.
Currently, some people use dry walls where there is no need to use bricks for the partitioning. “A builder uses plaster boards that come when they are already smooth and they just have to join them with a sticky material and at the joints, they use filler and after painting, it comes out perfect,” he notes.
Currently, there are also builders who are embracing the house finishing style using concrete bricks, the size of a normal brick. “When you use these bricks, there is no need for painting or plastering. They naturally look smart. The only challenge is there is one company in Uganda that is using these bricks. This, he says will bring down the constriction costs,” he observes.
As far as minimising construction costs is concerned, Bagombeka says there are builders who use rough cast method and after it has dried, it is painted with any colour. “When you paint rough cast, it easily absorbs dust because it is rough. After a short time, you begin to see your house getting dusty. It is a smart way of finishing but it embeds dust very quickly. If you use weather guard, it is easier to clean off the dust using water,” he says. Washing off the dust, Bagombeka says Ugandans perceive it as an extra burden.
Tile finishing and its cost implication
Unlike in the past when using tiles on the face of the house was a common method, Bagombeka says they are now out fashioned. When applied, they look artificial so if you are up to a natural look, then they may not be an option for you.
Stone like tiles are a better option because they are hard for one to identify that they are tiles.
Bagombeka says most people these days want to live natural and they are embracing the new methods though they come at a cost. Tile finishing requires approximately Shs40,000 per square meter. The disadvantage of tiles, especially when used on external finishing, Bagombeka points out, is that they peel off when exposed to harsh weather elements such as rain.
For someone who is constructing their house on a tight budget, he recommends that they use plaster finishing.
After plastering, you have to give it sometime for the plaster to dry and paint with any colour of your choice.
Under paste house finishing, which is also called texture paint, It is the commonly used method of finishing. The disadvantage is that it is costly.
They belong to the category of face bricks. They are advantageous over face bricks in that they protect the inside of the wall and look smart. Just like paste, Bagombeka says that they are also costly. They are mainly used on the external phase of house finishing although currently, some people opt to use them inside the living rooms because they look natural and lively.
Using texture paint for finishing
Under texture paint mode of house finishing, he says for it to be effective, a builder has to first apply paste onto a wall before they can apply special sand that sticks on the paste. The advantage with texture painting is that it gives the house owner a variety of colours to choose from. With texture paint, one may need approximately Shs50,000 per square meter.
Though this method of house finishing makes the house look beautiful, he says it is one that those who are financially well endowed can go for. “If you don’t have enough money and you want your house to have this kind of finishing, it is advisable to first save what you believe will be enough before you can start building,” he advises.
For finishing on the inside, he recommends using plaster painting first by making the wall smooth, then applying the choice of colour of the owner. The advantage with this method of finishing is that when you want to change the colour of the house interior, he says it is easier to change. When you use other house finishing methods, it becomes difficult to change from one colour to another.
On the outside, he recommends a house finishing method that protects the wall from weather elements like rain. Whichever method one chooses to use, it should be of matching colours to make the house look uniform.
DOs AND DONTs
Planning . Start with a detailed plan. Mark any items that cannot be moved, such as a furnace, water heater or pipes. Create a design board that showcases the materials you plan to use on the project.
Don’t plan to finish the entire house. Doing so will leave you without a storage or utility area where you house holiday decorations, tools, luggage and similar items.
Don’t overlook adequate lighting in your refinishing plan. This may include a combination of overhead and task lighting.
Clear hazzards. Don’t simply cover up potential hazzards, such as mold or mildew. Have them treated instead. Otherwise, you could have a breeding ground behind drywall that could lead to unsafe conditions in the home.
Have a radon test. Radon is a hidden killer that can cause lung cancer. Because it occurs naturally in the soil and water surrounding a home and is impossible to detect without a specialised test.