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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    North Louisiana
    Posts
    3

    Question What to do with these walls?

    I recently bought a house that is about 80 years old. The kitchen is in dire need of everything. I would like the kitchen's electrical brought up to code and rewired . The existing drywall has 1960's wallpaper applied directly to it (this was after I removed the top four layers). I had a contractor come out and speak with me about the remodel. He suggested that we just put drywall on top of the existing drywall. That just seems like a band-aid to me- No better than the people who stuck wallpaper on top of wallpaper time and again. Shouldn't the walls be removed and start from fresh, especially if it will be rewired. Will that make the electrician's job easier and bill lighter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    367

    Default Re: What to do with these walls?

    Removing all the drywall is a messy job but it may head off ancillary problems to solve later due to wall thickness change. If I could hang 1/4" drywall over the existing, I'd look at that as a potential solution, as your contractor recommended. You just have to do some additional work around doors and windows since the thickness of the walls will have changed by adding the new drywall to the face.

    If you decide to take all the old drywall off the walls,it will give you a pretty clean final product with new walls and all. Your electrician will also be happier. The cost of doing it this way will be just slightly more than covering the old walls with new drywall over the old stuff. You'll still have to finish it and paint it so no added expense there. The tear out and clean up will be the difference. You have to get rid of the trash. It'll make it easier around doors and windows too since the wall thickness will be the same. You may as well try this way since you'll be redoing the whole kitchen anyway.

    Good Luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: What to do with these walls?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cafe Katrina View Post
    I recently bought a house that is about 80 years old. The kitchen is in dire need of everything. I would like the kitchen's electrical brought up to code and rewired . The existing drywall has 1960's wallpaper applied directly to it (this was after I removed the top four layers). I had a contractor come out and speak with me about the remodel. He suggested that we just put drywall on top of the existing drywall. That just seems like a band-aid to me- No better than the people who stuck wallpaper on top of wallpaper time and again. Shouldn't the walls be removed and start from fresh, especially if it will be rewired. Will that make the electrician's job easier and bill lighter?

    Shouldn't the walls be removed and start from fresh, especially if it will be rewired.

    In a nutshell.....yes. And it sounds like you already know that. Also..if any of these walls are exterior walls, that will give you the opportunity to insulate/re-insulate them.

    Will that make the electrician's job easier and bill lighter?

    Yes. But make sure you have a complete detailed kitchen layout plan at hand so that all the necessary lights, outlets, switch locations, etc.... can be properly located.

    Me thinks if you do a "cobble job" on this....you'll regret it for a long time to come. Bear in mind that if a simple/cheapo "overlay" of drywall is done.....it will bury the edges of the door casings, window casing and baseboards. Not pretty to look at. A potential resolution for that is to remove all of those ahead of time and then reapply after the fact.....along with making up jamb extensions for the doors and windows. That's alot of work to invest in a cobble-job when the effort could/would be better spent removing the old drywall and doing the job right.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: What to do with these walls?

    And remember in a house that old the existing dry wall probably contains lead. This is particularly an issue if removed improperly creating a lot of dust, and especially if children are in the house. Just sayin.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: What to do with these walls?

    As someone who has redone a kitchen albeit in a much newer house I have to agree with the others. I needed some new wiring and new switches however my wiring wasn't all that old. Chances are you have knob and tube wiring which is o.k. until it gets covered with any insulation at which time it becomes very dangerous. So yes by all means you should remove the walls as someone else said they probably are not insulated(which in my case they were so my walls stayed in place). Also as someone else stated it makes it easier too on the plumber as he or she has to get to where the plumbing is to replace any old pipes.
    Remember though that taking the wallboard down or plaster is messy and very expensive. Remember too that your contractor has to follow the new EPA guidelines for handling lead paint so that means a great deal of preparations that have to be made because your contractor is doing it if you have a contractor signed up already.
    If you don't have a contractor signed up already then why not get some friends together and tear the wall board or plaster down yourself. Just remember to be careful around electrical boxes and don't what ever you do actually cut a wall down unless you are qualified to determine if what you are cutting is not a load bearing wall. Leave cutting of studs to the professionals.
    As to hanging the cabinets again I think that is a job that can be done by the homeowner as I did it once in my house that I rent out to others and while a little bit hard it wasn't all that bad. Here is a tip though find some plywood the same size of your drywall that you are going to hang up and place that where ever you are going to have upper cabinets and screw that onto your studs. Why do that? To save having to find the studs on your walls. It will cost more but it will also save on all of the aggravation of finding a stud. I know because my first cabinet job had a great deal of holes in them. I first saw that idea watching Tom Silva putting up cabinets and thought I should have done that. Good luck to you and please post some pictures when you are finished with your project. I think others would like to see how it turns out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: What to do with these walls?

    by no means would i ever consider simply letting the electrician do his thing then repair the drywall or skin over it when the kitchen needs updating. god only knows how many things might have issues with them from the insulatin, plumbing, electical and range hood venting.. even though it will cost more. things will go more smoothly and there is much more peace of mind knowing that all the mechanical is up to the latest codes.

    btw the only time i go over existing walls or ceilings is when there is stipled ceilings or wallpaper that the homeowner wants to do away with, these are both nothing more than cosmetic things. it takes much longer to strip the wall or ceiling then feather out gouges in the wall than what it takes to put up a few sheets of board then tape them
    fire up the saw and make some dust

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