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Removing Plaster Walls


onesupergirl's Avatar
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05-04-05, 07:01 AM   #1  
onesupergirl
Removing Plaster Walls

We just purchased a 1950's home and would like to remove the wall between the dining and living rooms. Most of the walls are plaster and I'm concerned that cutting into the plaster will have a chain reation and crack the rest of the wall. Does anyone have any advise on the best way to go about this project. Thanks.

 
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05-04-05, 07:56 AM   #2  
hi
i would used a reciprical saw and cut near the stud as possible
that way less vibration to crack plaster

cheers

 
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05-04-05, 08:16 AM   #3  
A house of that vintage might ber plaster over gypsum lath. That is easier to cut than over wood lath. pgtek's advice is right on. While it makes a lot more dust, and that dust will go everywhere, a circular saw with either a diamond or abrasive blade will cut with less vibration. You might find some corner reinforcement in the angles. Be careful that you don't pull off the return of the angle when you take the wall out. Cut that wire reinforcement with a sharp wide chisel or hatchet or if you can get them in, snips.
Good luck.

 
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05-04-05, 09:23 AM   #4  
Make sure it isn't a load bearing wall before you remove it.

 
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05-04-05, 06:41 PM   #5  
I also ama purchasing a 50s era house. if it is any help this is how i have been removing the plaster to remodle the bathroom.


I use my circular saw set at 1/2 inch depth to cut any straight lines across and between the studs also. when i come to the corner i used my recipricating saw to cut the wire mes as much as i could. It is gypsum lath instead of wood. the only thing to be careful of is do not set your saw to deep in the event of hidden wires. If you do infact have gypsum as your base do not worry if it is not cut all the weay thru when you cut it it will snap into pieces where it is cut. But, wear a dust mask because it is very messy.

 
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05-05-05, 05:48 AM   #6  
onesupergirl
Thanks for the great feedback. On looking at the project I think that we will only need to remove about 5 feet of the wall at a door opening. Rather than take it all the way to the ceiling, I think that we will just trim out the edges like a large doorway. Does that sound right?

Also, I don't think that I understand what you mean when talking about "don't pull off the return of the angle" and the "wire mesh". Is gypsum like sheet rock?

 
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05-05-05, 06:47 AM   #7  
An angle has two sides call them left and right or top and bottom. If you don't cut the metal lath that is in the angle you could pull the left side off while removing the right even if you don't want to.
You will need to install a header above the doorway. you might have to take off more than only the size of the door jamb. Other than that no, it doesn't make any difference. I have on one occasion used a reciprocating saw with a long blade and cut such an opening leaving most of the plaster inside and outside the cut on both sides of the wall intact. This I was able to carry the excised piece with most of the plaster right out of the room. It sure beats cleaning up broken plaster and lath. It might be too heavy for you to do this but at least think about it.

 
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05-05-05, 06:47 AM   #8  
Gypsum is like drywal and is most the first layer of the plaster that is attached directly to the stud. mine was 16 or 24in strips and however long. the wire mesh is just that it is mesh that was used like drywall tape to form the corner and hold it together so it did not crack and pull away.

 
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05-16-05, 11:37 AM   #9  
onesupergirl
It's done...

Thanks for everyone's feedback on this. My boyfriend had some friends (who are knowledgeable of such projects) help us out. The wall was load bearding so we added a 4(?) x 10 header with beams on either side. The exsisting wall was plaster over concrete over gypsum. It was a huge mess (as expected) and the debris is extremely heavy. We'll get some good exercise dragging it out to the road. Thanks again.

 
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