Introduction to Bell Construction Consulting

This website is designed to be a companion to all the Plastering Industry codes, specifications, manuals and other information available to the Building and Design Communities, and to augment reference documents to produce higher quality plaster specifications, and bid and building processes.

We hope to give a clearer picture of what it is that Architects are designing, General Contractors are actually building, and what you can expect to see during your inspections, pre-job conferences, and the punch list process.

The proliferation of new additives, admixtures, sealants new wall components, substrates, papers, laths and finishes can confuse even the most astute practitioner. We think it will be helpful to provide performance characteristics, and indicate what to look for during inspections, how the ASTM Standards and UBC or CBC relate to each component of specifications and what kind of performance you might expect when you add or subtract individual components. This type of knowledge will allow you the freedom to design plaster installations with confidence, inspect with knowledge and apply plaster with best practices gleaned from well over 100 years of experience in plastering in California.

We’ve collected texture data from the last 60 years in the finish section, and will continue to include antiquing, synthetic stucco finishes, and information on patching, remediation and case studies of failures and how to avoid them.

We’ve included Typical Details thanks to the Architectural Firm of SKW Architects, especially Kelly Reynolds and Brian Wiese, with Digital Photographs of the development of the detail in real life thanks to Roger Henley Jr.


Ten Tips for Great Stucco
From framing to finishing, craftsmanship makes the difference

Article by Bruce Bell – Published in JLC, The Journal of Light Construction

Judging Stucco Installations

No Matter how Rustic or Modern One’s Stucco Applications are, Methods Need to be Met.

Article by Bruce Bell – Published in Walls & Ceilings

The History of The Sacramento Valley Bureau for Lath & Plaster

In 1954 the Sacramento Valley Bureau for Lath & Plaster was incorporated in Sacramento, California as an organization to promote Lath & Plaster. The first director was Khalil Bennett. Notable Directors during the next fifty years were Clyde Bell, Tony Schiro and Floyd Gates. The current director, Bruce Bell is Clyde Bell’s first son.

The Bureau’s goal and purpose is to educate the Architectural, Inspection, and Building communities on the best uses and practices for Portland Cement Plaster, Gypsum Plaster and Synthetic Plaster wall systems.

To this end the Bureau:

  • Assists and consults on Plaster Details for planned building projects

  • Interprets the Building Codes and Standards that relate to plaster for the International Conference of Building Officials jurisdictions in Northern California
  • Diagnoses the cause of plaster failures, and consults in remediation
  • Acts as an impartial trusted third party mediator and expert witness in litigation issues
  • Promotes new products that raise the standards of quality for plaster installations
  • Conducts free seminars to Architectural Firms on the proper installation of Plaster
  • Conducts free inspection seminars to City and County Building Departments
  • Consults with Home Builders on proper installation of all types of Plaster applications

Director’s Message


Bruce Bell & Grandson

In 1965 Clyde Bell helped compile the Lathing, Furring and Plastering in California Reference Specifications as Director for the California Lathing and Plastering Contractors Association Inc. The pre-cursor to the Lathing and Plastering Systems Manual that went out of print in 1988. The book was to help define the minimum requirements for a satisfactory plaster job.


I was eighteen years old and attending University of California Santa Barbara as an English Major and had no clue what plaster was other than that I should stay away from the lime pit behind the garage where I grew up.

In 1970 after an unspectacular stint as a college student I moved to Sacramento to find my roots and get a job in a bank or as a teacher. I ended up as a Hodcarrier working clean-up on a condominium project at 4th & P in Sacramento, having been given the referral from Tony Schiro (Director for the Bureau for Lath & Plaster) to go see Dutch Florin, business agent for the Hodcarriers Local Union. Blisters, cramps, hemorrhoids, a sore back and old guys who hated college punks were my introduction to plastering. 34 years later I’m a journeyman plasterer, the Executive Director for the Sacramento Valley Bureau for Lath & Plaster and would like to acknowledge Cornelius Bell, my grandfather (a plasterer whose trowel handle I used on every finish trowel while plastering) and Khalil Bennett (The first Director for the Sacramento Valley Bureau for Lath & Plaster and current President) and the Plastering Industry for allowing me to make a living.

As the Director for the Bureau, I’ve tried to paint as clear a picture of the process of plastering to The Building Community as I could. Hopefully this website will be of some additional value.

Bruce Bell
Director, Sacramento Valley Bureau for Lath & Plaster

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