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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Default Drywall over lath?

    We have a bedroom gutted to the lath, and we are wondering if we should remove the lath and put up thick drywall, or keep the lath and use 3/8" or so drywall (so the trim and baseboard line up).

    I'm leaning towards removing the lath just to make some wiring easier, but I was wondering what people thought. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: Drywall over lath?

    either will work but i would strip the lathe off, save pieces of it and run them vertically down the studs as a shim to make the drywall meet up with where the trim boards, windows and door jambs are. it will also make it easier if you have to cut into the wall for something or run a wire.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Houston Texas
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    Default Re: Drywall over lath?

    Check with your local fire code but I believe a bare minimum is 1/2" in single family residential structures

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Drywall over lath?

    If you have to do some electrical work, then you will be removing the lath.

    After you finish the improvements, use stud shims to get new drywall where you want it, or use a combination of drywall boards to get the thickness you desire to match the depth of windows, door jambs, etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Boston area
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    Default Re: Drywall over lath?

    Thanks everyone, I was getting mixed messages from other sites (best advice was to check the wall for square first), and I didn't even consider fire code. I think I am going to install some new-work boxes, and that could also be a pain to line up with lath, so I think I'll rip it all out.

    I'll probably do the stud shimming myself as I don't trust the guy we hired with things like "square" and "level." Is it hard to do?

    I should also put plastic over the studs on the exterior wall, right? That step was skipped on a kitchen wall, along with the "square" and "vertical" stuff (not that any of our walls really our...)

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Drywall over lath?

    "I'll probably do the stud shimming myself as I don't trust the guy we hired with things like "square" and "level." Is it hard to do?"

    1. If you know framing a little bit, it's not that hard.

    With a true long piece of 2x4 or a long level, attached to the stud horizontally, determine which studs have to be shimmed and by how much. Home depot sells cardboard shims that are 1-1/2"x48"1/8" which you can staple on the studs, or you can cut your own ripping waste lumber.

    2. If you use insulation that has craft paper you don't need plastic. The craft paper is a vapor barrier.

    3. In the future don't hire any Joe Shmo handyman off the street to work on your house, Be careful who your hire: there is a process to weed them out, follow it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Houston Texas
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    2,969

    Default Re: Drywall over lath?

    What DJ said plus

    1- also check horizontally. Find the point furthest out into the room and flatten from there or just live with lumpy walls like the rest of us in century old homes do.

    2- the paper ange goes on TOP of the wall stud not next to it. the overlapping tar coated paper layers form the vapo barrier and stop the 'chimney effect'

    3- Or ask us. We're not selling you anything.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Pacific Northwet
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    1,675

    Default Re: Drywall over lath?

    Before hanging new drywall, check if the house has settled (floor is no longer level). If so, consider leveling/jacking the house to make things plumb and level; it will make your remodeling easier.

    Be aware that jacking/leveling can damage drywall and plaster in other parts of the house.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Boston area
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    99

    Default Re: Drywall over lath?

    The house is very not level. It sagged in the middle a good 2 inches and previous owners put in more posts and beams in the basement to stop it from sagging further. An engineer said it was fine but that jacking it could shatter all the walls. Someone else told be to just jack it a mm a week or something and it will be "fine." I'm tempted, should I try?

    I am doing a lot of the work myself, and hired trades where I was required by law (holy crap are they expensive, $50/hr around here), but if it weren't for our handyman we would be years behind. He's pretty much a bull in a china shop, and you can count on anything fragile in the room being broken, but he does in a week what would take me a month or 2, and he's cheap. As long as his work isn't too far off the plaster guy we hire can make it pretty. Though the more I think about it the more I'm tempted to have the plaster guy do all of the drywall work, he's just so busy it's hard to get him.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    2,203

    Default Re: Drywall over lath?

    Good tradespeople are rare and in high demand so they stay busy- you can wait on us or chance it with someone else. You can DIY the stud shimming, it's easy as has been explained. Your results in wall flatness will relate directly to how well you follow the instructions given here. Aim to end up not having to alter the door, window, and baseboard trim when the 1/2" sheetrock goes on. Work from there backwards in depth to know how much shimming you need and where.

    Yes, jacking out a 2" sag is going to damage some walls and maybe some ceilings too. Nobody can say which ones or how much with certainty, but on seeing everything someone familiar with this can make a decent guess for you. That is going to happen no matter when you do it so the real question here is are you going to ever fix the sag or live with the sag forever? If you're going to fix it then do it when you will be best set to handle the possible after-effects.

    Can you do it yourself? Maybe, but probably not. It may take several high-tonnage jacks placed in strategic specific locations and worked together in a certain pattern to do the job well. It will likely take days (or weeks) to slowly work out that much sag based on where it is and how the house is constructed. You may need to construct bases for the jacks to keep from damaging a slab under them. You'll need steel plates on top the jacks to prevent the ram from punching through what it's lifting. You'll also want to consider what caused the sag and whether you need better footings where the support is going to be at- the basement slab may or may not be enough. I'd recommend getting someone with experience in there (and not your current handyman!) You can do more harm then good unless you know what you're doing. It's as much an art as a trade one can learn, and experience is the only teacher (yours and your teachers too). Crack a beam from too much pressure in the wrong place or moving too fast and the cost of repairs will make you wish you had gotten someone experienced to start with as you live in a hotel room till they make the house safe again. Get the most experienced pro you can find for this and wait for them if you have to.

    Phil

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