Replastering vs. Sheetrock

Old 11-08-02, 11:19 AM
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Question Replastering vs. Sheetrock

I'm confused. My house was built in 1938. The plaster walls in the upstairs bedrooms were covered with panelling by the previous owner. After we bought the house I ripped off the paneling and (in two of the rooms) the furring strips which were nailed into the walls. There are some cracks and some holes of various sizes in the walls (including a 3x4 ft. area in one corner near the ceiling that is crumbling due to water damage).

I've contacted several contractors about repairing the walls and have gotten differing opinions as to what to do. One recommends replastering the walls. Another would put sheetrock up directly over the plaster. Still another would put up the sheet rock using furring strips. Yet another recommends ripping out the plaster walls altogther and attaching the sheetrock to the wall studs. In this way, he says, you can address other issues at the same time, such as the electrical wiring/outlets, insulation, lighting, etc. (which sounds like it could get expensive).

The plasterer says he can do all three bedrooms and the hallway for about $1,200. The sheetrockers are charging about $4,000 and up. I would prefer to replaster since I won't lose any depth from the original natural wood moulding around the doors and baseboard trim or have to remove (and risk possible damage) and replace the trim (and then have to adjust the depth of the door bucks). I'm just not sure how long a replastering job can be expected to last, and whether the plaster will start crumbing if I try to hammer a nail into the wall to hang pictures, etc.

My thought is to replaster since even if I had to replaster again in several years it still will have cost me less than sheetrocking, and if at some point if I decide that I don't like the way the plaster walls are holding up, I could always sheetrock them then.

What do you think?

(Also posted on Walls & Ceilings forum.)
Old 11-09-02, 04:38 AM
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From what you have posted, I believe that I wold re-plaster unless you have issues which you wish to address within the walls anyway, such as the mentioned insulation, electrical or plumbing. Than said, I would also want to see some samples of the plasterers work, as not just every sheetrock finisher has the requsite skills to do a quality plaster installation. In fact, in my area in the southeast, plastering is pretty well considered a lost craft and I doubt that I could find anyone around here to tackle such a job. Good luck!!

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