Fix plaster walls or remove and insulate?

Old 11-09-08, 12:31 PM
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Talking Fix plaster walls or remove and insulate?

I have a 100 yr old house with lathe and plaster covered by wallpaper. I started stripping the wall paper and discovered a place by the window where the plaster has come loose. Now I have a 12" by 18" portion of wall where the lathe is exposed.

Would you recommend that I:
1. repair this patch and paint
2. remove the plaster and drywall the room
3. remove the lathe and plaster, insulate and drywall

To complicate matters, I am considering blowing insulation into the walls to improve energy efficiency.

Which direction would be most cost effective, do you think?

Old 11-09-08, 06:31 PM
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I think it would be more cost effective to just repair the areas. Just be sure to get a professional to do that kind of repair.
Old 11-10-08, 04:04 AM
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Welcome to the forums Katrenz!

A case can always be made for option #3 but it isn't for the faint of heart but it will allow for electrical and insulation updating.

Obviously, repairing what you have would be lthe less expensive option. Depending on the thickness of the plaster, you might be able to laminate the lath with a piece of drywall and then finishing it using a setting compound like durabond. Drywall also comes in 1/4" and 3/8" thickness.

I don't know much about working with plaster but hopefully one of our plaster guys will be along later with info - if you wish to go that route.
Old 11-10-08, 09:35 AM
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This is a simple plaster repair. There are dozens of posts here about how to do it with real plaster. I won't go into all of that now but if yu can't find out how to do it. I can tell you later. it shouldn't take more than a half day nor cost more than about $50.00 to do it yourself. A plasterer could be in and out in a couple hours, including covering and cleaning.

If you are finished removing the wallpaper and you are sure you have no more loose areas you should plaster it. Plastering an area like this is definitely something one could do himself if he is pretty handy. A patch like this can be undetectable if done by a competent tradesman but given the small size and the time I told you it would take you can make it invisible to anyone but yourself. You will always know it's there but it shouldn't show to anyone else unless you point it out, once it's painted.

As far as insulation goes. I think you would get a better job if you removed the plaster and insulated and drywalled but you are talking an immense mess and it would be cleaner and almost as good to blow insulation from outside.

If you want to maintain the original fabric of the house you should plaster.

By the way. Plaster is applied over lath.
Old 11-18-08, 01:07 PM
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wall repair

i repaired a large hole in my plaster wall, and i gotta say, it looks pretty good. i could send you before and after photos, if you wish.

i just took some sheet rock, cut it a little smaller than the actual hole, screwed it to the lathe, covered the edges with fiberglass tape, and then spackled.

when it looked "flush" with the wall, i put a super thin coat of spackle over the whole wall and "sanded" it with a wet sponge.

it was my first major plaster repair. if i could do it, anyone can. the only thing that it requires is patience.

is it perfect? no. if i wanted perfect walls, i would put up sheet rock.

let me know how you make out with the insulation. i am struggling with that one myself.
Old 12-12-08, 05:24 AM
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Hello! I'm a complete novice at the whole plaster thing, but I had a similar situation with my 100 yr. old house that has lathe and plaster walls with very old wallpaper. I started to scrape the old wallpaper off and pretty much got no where after about 10 hours!! The walls needed a lot of patching also!! The plaster was crumbling in numerous places. So, with the help of my friend we nailed firing strips to the wall studs. We then nailed beadboard paneling to the firing strips. We then had to build up the trimwork around the windows. It turned out really nice! Ton of work though!! Just thought I'd through in another option. Jack

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