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

    Unhappy New drywall over old drywall sounds shoddy?

    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 2007
    Posts
    6,480

    Default Re: New drywall over old drywall sounds shoddy?

    Whether you strip to bare studs or overlay the existing is more of a personal call, both are acceptable. That being said, door trim and other trim details may be lost by an additional layer of drywall.

    Considering that your house is 80+ years old, it's doubtful that it's insulated very well. Since you'll be rewiring, this would be a great time to strip do bare stud, rewire, reinsulate, update plumbing, etc. When all the repairs are done, then new drywall is installed.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: New drywall over old drywall sounds shoddy?

    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

    Yes the old drywall needs to come off. it is a good chance to check insulation as well as to update the electrical and also allows you to take a look at the studs inside the wall and make sure there isn't any other problems. I say this because just finishing up a house that convinced the owner to take the drywall off and redo the elec. and insulate and found all kinds of termite damage that otherwise wouldn't have been found.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities Metro
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: New drywall over old drywall sounds shoddy?

    We just went to stud and replaced the walls of our early 1900s house. Of course it wasn't insulated, we were able to replace the electric and plumbing... you're right that putting new dry wall over old is a band-aid.
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    Mark, Painting Edina, MN

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Coventry, RI
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: New drywall over old drywall sounds shoddy?

    I would have to agree that if you are updating the electrical and you are not sure about insulation in the exterior walls it would be a good idea removing the old drywall. It may make the price for the contractor go up because they'll have to take it down and dispose of it but it will make the cost of the electrician go down because it will be much easier to run wires. You could also save money by taking down the drywall yourself and disposing of it. Many municipalities now have recycling programs for construction debris and will take it for free or a nominal cost. Of course if you are already getting a dumpster for the whole project it makes it a little easier.

    Now another thing to consider is that if your house is 80+ years old was it updated in the 60's when the wall paper was put up. If not you may have plaster walls instead of drywall. There was a product that came about I believe in the 20's and 30's called rock lath. The second floor of my house was built in 1947 and found rock lath. It came in small sheet not the full 4x8 sheets that drywall normally is. It looked similar to drywall just smaller but if I remember correctly did not have a paper face on it (but it may have). However there was a couple of thick coats of plaster on it. When we took it down it was extremely heavy. In fact when they came to pick up the dumpster the truck was struggling to pick up the dumpster and the front tires came of the ground about a foot. The driver couldn't believe that the plaster and plasterboard weighed that much.

    Anyway I just thought I'd mention that so if you do take it down knowing that there is plaster may be a bit more work and messier than just taking down drywall. I'm not saying you shouldn't take it down because I think you should just letting you know what you might find. Hope this helps you out.

    Mike

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