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  1. #1
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    Default 1940s Cape Cod ceiling troubles

    Hi all. We are considering buying a good-boned Cape Cod in Louisville KY and want to fix the upstairs ceiling. There are just a few real cracks/weak spots and plenty of very fine spider webbing and it is sagging between every joint. While keeping the plaster isn't essential to us, it would be nice. Estimated at 400 sq. ft., any guesses on the difference in price between a thick skim coat and sheet rock replacement? I'd assume it has never had any work, would it need re-lathed? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 1940s Cape Cod ceiling troubles

    With your ceiling having all the problems that you listed your plaster can not be repaired.
    The biggest problem is sagging between every joist this indicates lath failure.
    My estimate to remove & replace would be a high of $ 4,400.00 And A low of $ 3,374.00.
    I am a plasterer have no idea on Drywall prices. But my best guess is abouit $ 1,800.00 / $2,000.00

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 1940s Cape Cod ceiling troubles

    I suspected the lath failure but wanted to hold out hope Under $1000 difference and we may have considered it, but...it's not a Victorian. Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 1940s Cape Cod ceiling troubles

    clarence's prices are absurdly high in my opinion.

    my advice would be to have a plasterer install 3/8" blueboard directly over the existing ceiling and plaster it. the going rate in boston, and i can't imagine it would be higher in Kentucky, is approximately $2.50 per sq ft (not the contractor price) for labor and materials. at that rate you're looking at $1,000. then you can paint it yourself to save some money.

    if you want to strip the existing ceiling yourself you can do it and clean it up in a half day by yourself. if you do decide to do that, then have them install 1/2" blueboard.

    speaking as a contractor, if you hired me to strip 2 ceilings totaling 400 sq ft then install blueboard and plaster and paint the ceilings only, not the walls that would need to be done also, i would probably charge somewhere around $1,500-$1,800.
    Last edited by MLB Construction; 05-13-2013 at 04:56 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 1940s Cape Cod ceiling troubles

    Based on the following the price for a contractot to complete the work based on provided info to remove the existing plaster and replace with a like product.
    Estimate the following.
    Protection of area. = $ 200.00
    Scaffoldind for access = $250.300
    Demo of existing plaster and lath and removal from site = $ 300.00
    Install lath over existing joist = $ 285.00.
    Three coat plaster = $ 924.00
    Basedf on 1996 National Construction Estimator withy an area modification factor.
    The minimum cost would be $ 1,959.00 Mark up for Plaster and laborer = $ 720.00
    Now add in permits, Insurance and contingency.
    Than find a plastering contractor who will provide a plaster and helper to complete the above for the price based on 1996 cost estimate.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 1940s Cape Cod ceiling troubles

    as i said, absurdly high.

    who charges for scaffolding and why would you need scaffolding for (2) 200 sq ft bedroom ceilings in a cape. you probably don't even need a 2 foot step stool.

    a permit is not required to blueboard and plaster if no structural work is being performed.

    $200 for two tarps (which you should already own) to protect the floors and put some plastic over the doorways?

    $285 to install lath? more like $60 for strapping and 1/2 hour labor (at the most) to install it.



    someone else please chime in and let me know i'm not crazy for arguing that it shouldn't cost a homeowner $3,374 to have 400 sq ft of ceilings removed and plastered.

    i've been in the business for a long time and we do very good quality work for a fair and reasonable price. that way we get return customers. we haven't advertised in several years and all our work is from referrals. as of right now we're booked through the early fall and still adding new jobs weekly. i'm doing something right and i know that one of those things is pricing jobs. also i pay, what i consider to be, WAY too much for WC and GL insurance, several trucks, gas, equipment, etc. i would be embarrassed to charge a high end customer that much to simply redo two small ceilings let alone a low income customer.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 1940s Cape Cod ceiling troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarence View Post
    Based on the following the price for a contractot to complete the work based on provided info to remove the existing plaster and replace with a like product.
    Estimate the following.
    Protection of area. = $ 200.00
    Scaffoldind for access = $250.300
    Demo of existing plaster and lath and removal from site = $ 300.00
    Install lath over existing joist = $ 285.00.
    Three coat plaster = $ 924.00
    Basedf on 1996 National Construction Estimator withy an area modification factor.
    The minimum cost would be $ 1,959.00 Mark up for Plaster and laborer = $ 720.00
    Now add in permits, Insurance and contingency.
    Than find a plastering contractor who will provide a plaster and helper to complete the above for the price based on 1996 cost estimate.

    i replied to this yesterday but it didn't post.

    someone back me up on this please....that it shouldn't cost $3,374 to redo 400 sq ft of ceiling.

    scaffolding for access $250? it's a cape and you probably don't even need a 2' step stool

    Protection of area $200? i would not charge anything to put down two tarps and painters plastic over the doorways.

    going rate for customers for blueboard, plaster and installation in the boston area is $2.50 per sq ft, prices for contractors range from $1.10-$1.80 per sq ft.

    gutting two 200 sq ft ceilings including clean up would take two men probably 2 hours to do.

    dump fees $40-$60

    this sounds like a scam to me, sorry but this just isn't right.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 1940s Cape Cod ceiling troubles

    oh, one last thing.....

    install lath $285? how about strapping? $20-$30 in materials and 1/2 hour for one guy to install.

    this is 400 sq ft of ceiling, not 4,000 sq ft

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 1940s Cape Cod ceiling troubles

    How about pricing every thing as if you have nothing?
    Scaffolding Who payes to place it ?
    Why would I include anything that I aready have have?
    Would that not be a cost fact?
    Why would you not need a permit?
    A permit is required for all contract work.
    Insurance is a requirement for contract work.
    as for the SCAM statement I have been doing plaster work for the past 34 years and most all of My work is pasted on by word of mouth PLUS i HAVE never ADVERTISED.
    ALSO BE ADVISED THAT THAT i MAKE A VERY GOOD PROFIT ON CALLS TO REPAIRS IN PLASTER THAT WERE COMPLETED USING THE IMPROPER MATERIALS.
    YOU CAN GO BACK TO THE Fram AD YOU CAN PAY ME or you can pay Me later.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 1940s Cape Cod ceiling troubles

    thank you clarence. you just proved my point.

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