S. Stephens Plastering is a Somerset based company that deals with all aspects of traditional and modern plastering, including lime render, lime plaster, lime pointing, eco plastering, skimming, cement render and more.
I pride myself on high quality workmanship at an honest price. I specialise in large projects, working directly for clients and giving every job my full attention, whether it is a renovation or a re-render.
I cover the whole of the South West and can also travel further if required, including to London and the South East. To find out more, phone me on 07989 159 391 or drop me an email
My name is Sam Stephens and I set up S. Stephens Plastering to provide high quality traditional and heritage plastering services at an honest price. I am clean and meticulous in my work but my business overheads are low so I am able to reflect this in my prices.
I specialise in working on traditional properties using lime plaster and mortars as well as historic, heritage and Eco plasters. I enjoy working closely with my clients to achieve a result that is appropriate and loved by both the client and the building.
I am a hard working family man and I enjoy every aspect of plastering, from advising on the appropriate type of plaster, to making a stone wall look beautiful with organic curves and rounded corners. I especially enjoy the creative side of plastering, such as creating coins on the side of buildings, building mullion windows out of plaster, or anything particularly detailed and artistic.
I love the challenge of large projects and this is where the company has been heading for some time now – substantial undertakings but approached sympathetically with a clean eye for detail.
My approach is simple – it is important to use the right material for the type of building in order to allow the building to work as it should, whether that’s an NHL lime (naturally hydraulic lime), a putty lime or an Eco plaster.
Clients often choose modern materials having been advised that lime is a purely aesthetic choice. In fact it’s often a necessary one. Many modern buildings are designed to provide a watertight seal against the outside world. But older buildings have withstood the elements for hundreds of years with the help of lime – because it allows them to breathe. Lime absorbs and releases moisture easily. Impermeable modern plasters can trap moisture and cause untold damage to the building fabric – damage which costs far more to repair than using the right material in the first place.
There are other benefits to living in a permeable building. Humid rooms help complaints like asthma and eczema, and a comfortable environment reduces condensation and mould growth.
I take great pride in being able to understand traditional buildings, which helps when it comes to knowing what the right materials are, when’s the right time to apply the next coat, how wet the building is and how well it is drying. These are skills learnt over time and thanks to a thorough knowledge of the materials used.
Dating from the 16th century, this house had various materials in its makeup including one cob elevation. We chose NHL lime to render the majority of the building, straightening it while leaving nice natural curves. When it came to the cob elevation we carefully remedied some previous repairs and stitched up a huge crack, then rendered in lime putty with horse hair for strength and flexibility, adding a small stone plinth at the bottom for protection from the great British weather.
Upton Noble, Bruton, Somerset
This property comprised a period cottage with 70s extension. We pecked out the existing pointing on the cottage and replaced with NHL lime mixed to a pale yellow colour that suited the stone. Internally lime putty was used on the walls with modern plaster on the ceilings. Next, the old extension was demolished and a modern replacement built which needed plastering inside and out. Externally the join between old and new needed to be seamless and we achieved this with a mixture of white cement and yellow sand.
Priddy, Wells, Somerset
A straightforward hack off and re-render; the interesting factor at this property was that the same job had been done only 7 years previously. We needed to completely remove the existing lime render as it had been mixed using the wrong sands and hadn’t been allowed to cure properly, making it weak and resulting in hairline cracks all over the building. We re-rendered it to a flat finish, replaced the rain goods and redecorated, leaving it looking as good as it should have done in the first place.
Having bought this large period house and stripped the wallpaper off, the clients found the wall to be in pretty poor condition with lumps, bumps and joins visible between old and new plasterwork. Having inspected the walls, we discovered that rather than needing to take it back to the original stonework, it would be more appropriate to simply apply a breathable lime top coat to create a smooth and consistent surface for painting.
Wolverhampton, West Midlands
In this period cottage in Wolverhampton two mullion windows had fallen apart over time, simply due to their age. On the first window, some original plasterwork was salvageable and so we left it in place and married the new plasterwork into it. On the second there was nothing left to save so the window was completely rebuilt. A lime putty three-coat system was used comprising of a scratch coat, a float coat, and a top coat.
At this period cottage in Batcombe, Somerset, the original lime pointing had failed after suffering many years of weathering. It had also been inadequately patched up in places with unbreathable cement which was inappropriate for the building and needed removing. The cement and original pointing was pecked out the the correct depth and the walls repointed using NHL (naturally hydraulic lime) along with a course and fine sand mix.
Cob Cottage, Wiltshire
This ancient thatched cottage in Wiltshire had been plastered using unbreathable cement plaster. It had metal mesh nailed to it with the plaster on top, leading to extreme dampness and causing large portions of the cob (a mixture of mud and straw) to fail. We removed the mesh and plaster and repaired the cob with a soft putty mix of sand and chalk where needed. Chunks of cob crumbling away were daubed out and rebuilt. The cottage was then rendered with a soft lime putty mix over three coats.
We were very impressed with Sam’s work. He’s clearly very knowledgeable and experienced and regardless of the difficulties presented by working on our very old property (e.g. discovering beneath the old render one cob wall in need of much repair!) he came across as calm and unfazed. And given the unexpected nature of those repairs, his very reasonable approach to charging for them was much to his credit. In terms of price, compared to other quotations we received, Sam’s was very good. He was always very considerate and communicative. His attention to detail was commendable, too – he made a very nice job of bell-casting above the windows and at the bottom of the walls. Overall, we think he did a smashing job and we’re extremely pleased with the result.
— Phill and Jen, Taunton
“Sam did extensive work on the renovation of my cottage including plastering, rendering, floor levelling and damp-proofing. His work was of good quality at a fair price. I would use him again for similar work.”
— Douglas, Oakhill
“Sam has done lime work for us over several years. This spring he lime pointed our walled vegetable garden walls and they look great. We are very pleased with the work he has done. Sam is a pleasure to have around and worked diligently to achieve the colour of pointing and look we wanted. At last our plants can grow with a healthy wall behind them!”
— Dave and Ali, Shepton Mallet
If you’d like a free no-obligation quote, to chat through your requirements, or to see more of my portfolio, please call or email me.