Cornice replacement and repair

I have a lovely 80 year old villa which breathes through the seasons. Unfortunately the cornice on one wall just fell down!

It sounds like a simple scenario, but I haven't been able to find any other forum posts on this subject.

Most plasterers aren't interested in the job. One even hung up on us! Those that did respond have quoted $600 for "plaster and fix" to replace one side of a room, plus the supply of the single cornice itself (I suppose around $100).

Is a plasterer (and that quote) overkill for this job? Is it worth trying the handymen in the local paper?

Also, a cornice in the adjacent room has come away from the wall slightly (a few mm) and the tenant is complaining of debris falling through. The plasterer indicated this could be replaced too (doubling his quote, of course). Instead, can the gap be sealed with something flexible that will adjust as the house moves?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 
Is it a decorative cornice, or just plain curved stuff? What is it made from? I ask these questions because being 80yo, its probably not gyprock type material... And that will make a difference in price, and who will do it.
 
You have to allow for a whole days pay to do this job.
Imagine these people get $50-$60 an hour on most jobs and by the time they drive to your place and do the job,they cant go to another job that day.
That's why they are quoting so much.
Best to have lots more for them to do to fill the day or just pay the money they quote.
Don't hire a handyman to do this job IMHO .;)
 
No more gaps (or generic flexible sealant in a tube) for the one pulling away from the wall.

As to the others, we tend to do cornice work ourselves ... horrible stuff to work with unless your house is perfectly square and level. Plain cornice costs almost nothing btw, $100 would do half a house.
 
Thanks for the responses. 65fbk, I hadn't even considered the differences in materials. Here are some pics which suggest a brittle appearance, would that mean that it's plaster?



And a fourth pic showing the wall movement that caused it to drop.



I appreciate the insights Pa1nter & RumpledElf. I'm also concerned about the ongoing maintenance issues. Would it be better to have all four sides replaced with modern gyprock cornices? Are they more likely to hold up under this kind of movement?
 
Thanks for the responses. 65fbk, I hadn't even considered the differences in materials. Here are some pics which suggest a brittle appearance, would that mean that it's plaster?



And a fourth pic showing the wall movement that caused it to drop.



I appreciate the insights Pa1nter & RumpledElf. I'm also concerned about the ongoing maintenance issues. Would it be better to have all four sides replaced with modern gyprock cornices? Are they more likely to hold up under this kind of movement?

i would be more inclined to concentrate on the movement of the wall first before i even thought about the cornice which is a standard fibrous plaster and can be bought , fix the wall first then replace the cornice
 
Yeah, that's a nasty crack. If you fix it and that crack keeps growing, your $600 cornice might just fall off again a year later.
 
Would it be better to have all four sides replaced with modern gyprock cornices? Are they more likely to hold up under this kind of movement?

You may need all four sides replaced anyway as you may not be able to find a matching one to replace the fallen one.

The Y-man
 
How would I go about fixing the cracks? I thought when stone brick walls choose to move nothing will stop them. I was just going to have the guy slap some filler in the wall cracks (without painting) to see how it holds for a year.
 
You may need all four sides replaced anyway as you may not be able to find a matching one to replace the fallen one.

spot on ... most commercial cornice manufacturers closed down in the 1920's, so unless you pattern was bought by a current cornice maker then you won't find a match. they can take an imprint of your pattern, create a mould and then produce the same patter - but that is very expensive to do.

we've almost finished out current reno job. practically every room has decorative cornice. looks fantastic, but we were unable to match the hall cornice even remotely, so had to redo the hall and the newly opened up back room - plus two bathrooms.

one bedroom has plain cornice (how we bought the house) and it looks rather out of place. nothing wrong with it so we shall just leave it - plain compared to the rest of the house.

the expense in the install would be trying to match the pattern around the corners. bugger of a job really.

the cornices are made out of pure plaster, held together with fibres running thru it ... none of this gyprock stuff. they are heavy so need to be screwed as well as cemented, difficult to work with - but very very much worth the end result.

where are you located as we bought about 6m too much of the stuff that is now sitting in the shed. oh, i see, adeliade.

if anyone in the hunter would like to buy some cheap decorative cornice that can be matched (thomas plastering at edgeworth), then let me know.
 
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