Old farm house question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Kev, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. Kev

    Kev Member

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    does anyone know if you can sheetrock over plaster? and if so how does one go about this? oh yea i should add that i'm just doing ceilings for now.
     
  2. Ken in Maine

    Ken in Maine Well-Known Member

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    There shouldn't be any problem. You will have to get extensions for your electric boxes and also use longer drywall screws. The alternative might be to pull down the plaster... leave the lathe and sheetrock over the lathe.

    What about adding insulation in the walls?. It's really not that big a problem to rip down the plaster and lathe. Use a wide shovel ( snow shovel type) and get behind the plaster and just pop it off. Don't get crazy and try to pull both plaster and lathe down at the same time... you'll have one heck of a mess... Much easier to do the plaster... clean it up and then do the lathe.

    I've remodeled a few older houses and have learned by experience.
     

  3. goggleye57

    goggleye57 Active Member

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    I remodeled a big two story house several years ago that was built in 1912. I put up drywall over plaster and lath all over the house. Before I put the new drywall up I drilled 1 1/2" holes and blew in as much insulation as I possibly could. The house was framed in solid red oak and was hard stuff. I had to predrill a lot of the holes for drywall screws because they would just twist off. It all turned out pretty good.
     
  4. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

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    We did a house like that a few years back also. We tore it down to the studs upstairs, but drywalled over the plaster downstairs. The only reason I would recommed tearing out the old stuff is if you are going to change the layout of the rooms. We sided the outside with vinyl, so we just drilled holes on the outside and blew insulation before putting on the new siding.
     
  5. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    my house has plaster walls and I swear I'll never tear out any more of them! incredible smell, musty, moldy, horse hair everywhere, dust everywhere, and did I mention the moldy smell.

    I've put drywall on top of some and panelling on top of others and both have worked fine. redid wiring and added insulation from outside when I tore off the old wood shiplap siding and put on vinyl.
     
  6. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    It should work ok. Least it did in our 1896 house :)

    Rent a sheetrock jack. Sure it cost a few bucks but it's a back saver.
     
  7. whiterock

    whiterock Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would say it depends on the condition of the existing plaster. Some could be sheet rocked over and some should be removed.
     
  8. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    Yes, it is a messy process. But my husband is taking down the plaster and cleaning out the walls. And I'm glad - they were full of mouse beds and dirt. Our house had no insulation in and he's putting that in and replacing windows. Our house was built in the 1850's and needed a good cleaning out and insulation. Yes, it does smell when you do it. But that's better than just covering it over and living with that filth and breathing that over the time you live there.
     
  9. dmp437

    dmp437 Member

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    In our place what we do is pull the plaster off only and leave the lathe, putting the drywall on that. That way we maintain the correct spacing to re-use all the original trim. There's still some trim that we will have to have custom milled, but re-using the old trim wherever possible will greatly reduce the quanity.
    Where electrical, plumbing, or insulation needs to be added the lathe boards are pulled off and some are re-hung before drywall, now acting as shims.
    One of the problems of going over plaster (especially on the ceiling) is hitting the studs with your drywall screws. You'll feel yourself screwing into wood but it's lathe and not a stud.
     
  10. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget to remove loose plaster and use lots of glue because you never know where the studs will be. Buy a sheet of 3/8 drywall or plywood for shimming the new stuff.


    mikell
     
  11. Kev

    Kev Member

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    Hey all,
    Just wanted to say thanks for all the advice, it's greatly appreciated.
     
  12. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I would vote for ripping it out if it is in bad repair just so I could get some insulation in the walls. It makes a huge difference. A messy job for sure but it is worth it.
     
  13. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    I would rather cover it up than tear it out purely from a health perspective. It's not disturbed or stirred up at all. that smell and plaster gets on every surface and into every textile. the whole house, every inch of every surface of the house and everything in it, has to be washed down. not to mention how much plaster weighs, its almost like concrete. I tore out a small 10 x 6 bathroom and had a pickup truck load of plaster to dispose of. I tore out a section that was 4 x 5 to put in a new window and had three 30 gal. garbage cans full !

    my dad is helping me put electricity into a sun porch we built. drilled a couple of holes in a plaster wall just to run wire through and even that little bit of smell and dust had me sneezing and I'll have to clean the carpet in that room!

    I put in beaded board panelling and painted it for what I think is a lovely victorian cottage look. very appropriate for my 1850s, small, farmhand home :)

    but, since this house WAS never more than a farmhands home originally and has only been rented out since, never owned or lived in long term by anyone in it's 150 year lifetime, it never had nice of anything put into it until now. recycled windows, next to no trim in the house, no nice floorings etc. I'd probably do things differently if I had nice trim or floors etc. to salvage.
     
  14. poultryprincess

    poultryprincess Well-Known Member

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    We gutted to the barn board when we bought our 1870 farmhouse. There was no dry insulation in the place. It was the old kind made of paper. It was soaking wet, & there was mold everywhere.The wood under the window siles had rotted out & was moldy - with large gaps for more water to filter thru. If we had covered it up, I would never have known until I got sick from the mold & mildew.There was mouse & rat poop everywhere......and a bees nest underneath the kitchen floor. My vote would be to rip it out if possible. It is alot more work, but if you plan on living there for a while it would be worth it.
     
  15. goggleye57

    goggleye57 Active Member

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    One last remodeling note- be careful breathing the dust you stir up. I was rooting around in the attic and breathed in quite a bit of dust. Several days later I came down with a nasty bacterial lung infection. I asked the doctor how I could have gotten it and the first question was - Have you been tearing out old construction. It took some expensive antibiotics and missed a couple of days of work. Wear a good mask!
     
  16. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Why hasn't anyone suggested repairing the original plaster walls? Repairs are generally quite easy, the original plaster has character, and it preserves the historic value of the house.

    That said, yes you can rock over... but from experience with several of these homes I'd say repair is way easier and less expensive.