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Old plaster concerns

Posted by Scott on April 21st, 2002 02:09 PM
In reply to Repair plaster walls or cover by Carol on April 21st, 2002 12:05 PM [Go to top of thread]

Hi Carol
I have done alot of remodeling in old homes in Chicago,most(99%) were plaster and yes when you have to tear it out it makes a big mess and lots of dust.Whether you tear-out or cover-up or just patch will,in the end, depend on how much you want to spend.You are the one who has to make this choice,I can only give you some pros and cons.If you just patch, you will have to keep patching until you sell the house.If you cover old plaster with drywall,you will have loose plaster behind it and might not get the drwall secured properly.This will show up in nail-pops,cracks in joints&seams,bumps and waves.However if you make sure the old plaster is secure to the lath and the lath is secure to the studs,remove any loose stuff and fill any big voids,you should be ok to cover.Don't use any less than 1/2" drywall or any waves will really show.Your trim will have to come off and then be re-installed,unless it is thicker than the drywall and you don't mind the look of thiner trim and a mudded or chalked joint.This joint where trim meets drywall can be done to look good but you will probably pay extra to the taper because it takes more time.This will also save on having to put jamb extentions on your doors and windows if you removed the trim.You will also have to put extended plaster rings on all electric boxes and light fixtures.Dont miss this,this is a must for you and your family's safty.Now if you decide to tear it all out,you will have to live with alot of dust for a while,even after the work is done.All bumps and waves can be addresed,re-insulate walls-ceilings, get a look at your 100yr old electric(get a pro to look also)Maybe add outlets,lights, switches.Make sure thickness of new drwall matches old plaster so trim goes on right.
Get some bids,demand references,licenses and insurance.Luck

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