Dilemma- gut or paint over... - Posted by Tim

Posted by Scott Ewing S.W. Mich on January 11, 2002 at 16:59:46:

If it aint broke don’t fix it. For the old wallpaper use removal compound and the little roller with pins in it to spread the remover. I would not use drywall mud to patch plaster walls, personally. Anything bigger than a baseball and mud will start cracking. If you have to rewire and replumb then only take out the walls necessary. If it looks good, it is good. A word of caution though, if you know the wireing is dangerous, by all means get it fixed, just not if it isn’t necessary.

Dilemma- gut or paint over… - Posted by Tim

Posted by Tim on January 11, 2002 at 16:14:13:

I have contract on my first rehab… wahoo
now I have to make some serious decisions.

Its a solid brick structure… plaster walls
vacant and unheated… the walls seem sound but plaster needs repair and I fear when I take off wallpaper… may be worse for wear because of humidity and no heat.
Old house too… lead paint likely.
I could do as little or as much as possible on this place to get it rented and it only cost me 12K for a 2 family.

Should I incure the expense to remove the lathe and plaster
and rerock and mudd the place?.. I’d like not to

but… won’t it be worth more?.. more modern?
That will surely make it easier for me to rewire and replumb the place. (again as little or as much as I want)

How much could this cost me tho? how do I estimate the price to resheetrock and plaster the entire place (trim also is likely)

I could just patch it up n paint it up…
what criteria do you rehabbers use?

Re: Dilemma- gut or paint over… - Posted by Tim

Posted by Tim on January 16, 2002 at 09:34:49:

Thanks all for your insite… will keep you posted on my progress.

Re: Dilemma- gut or paint over… - Posted by Nate(DC)

Posted by Nate(DC) on January 12, 2002 at 14:30:27:

The biggest issue, to me, would be how many walls you’re going to have to get inside anyway, depending on the extent of the plumbing/wiring work you need to do.

I’m working on a house right now, same type situation, where we are tearing down numerous walls and rebuilding, but I am also doing a complete rewire, replacing most of the plumbing, adding windows, and building closets, all of which would require me to open up some of the walls anyway. Given the extremely poor condition of the existing walls and the lead paint issues, as well as the fact that I have a huge profit margin in the deal (so I’m getting lazy…sue me :slight_smile: I have taken down probably 75% of the existing walls and will rebuild them with drywall when done.

Then again, there’s also a market component to all this. My property is a high-end rehab for resale. Yours sounds like a low-end property that you will keep and rent out.

So that’s why I did it in my situation…but yours sounds different and I think the others have also given you sound advice.


Re: Dilemma- gut or paint over… - Posted by TomC (Md)

Posted by TomC (Md) on January 12, 2002 at 12:57:27:

GL and Mike are giving sound advice! Especially about over-improving. Don’t think that perfect walls are going to fetch you a few hundred more $$ per month!

If the plaster is really terrible, don’t remove it - go over it with 3/8" drywall! Use long screws and plenty of construction adhesive to secure to the underlying plaster. You can buy extenders for all the electric boxes to get them back flush with the surface.

The 3/8" drywall is more expensive than 1/2", but it looks better around the window/door casings. The 1/2" can actually stick out further than the trim.

This is a quick and easy way to repair a room if the plaster is in terrible condition, plus it removes the cost of demolition and disposal.

In my old house, somebody had glued paperboard acoustic ceiling tiles to the plaster ceiling. I hated the way they lokked and tried to pull them down. After the first 4 in a row came down with all 4 pulling someplaster with them, I took the hint…glued those 4 back up and bought the drywall!


Re: Dilemma- gut or paint over… - Posted by mike oldfield

Posted by mike oldfield on January 12, 2002 at 01:22:09:

I have my own construction business and I would do as littlw as possible.

Early in my career I over improved properties and it kills you. Conserve your capital. It is absolutely astonishing what minor repairs, cleanup and paint will do for a place.

Go easy with the cash,

Mike Oldfield

Re: Dilemma- gut or paint over… - Posted by GL

Posted by GL on January 11, 2002 at 18:09:09:

Neither tenants nor buyers will pay one cent more no matter how much you spend or how much work you do. If the walls are solid, clean and painted or papered it doesn’t matter if you redid them completely or not. Therefore you only do what you have to. If you can fix them do so. If you can’t then you will have to replace. By the way I have redone just one wall with drywall, or the ceiling only, if the rest of the room was good. I have also let a panel of drywall into a lath and plaster wall when only a section needed replacement.If the walls are full of 100 years of nail holes and small cracks then it may pay you to strip the old layers of paper and apply new wall paper rather than try to patch them. Wallpaper covers small cracks and holes and holds iffy plaster together. It is more expensive and more labor but may be easier than fixing an old wall.

I have also tried textured plaster but don’t like the effect, too hard to keep clean and to repaint when it needs it. Of course if you are selling right away that’s not your problem.