Many homes built before 1950 have plaster walls. These homes can be beautiful, with amazing structure and woodwork. However, if you are ready to update your home with drywall you will want to follow these tips.

Why Get Rid of Plaster

Plaster can begin to chip and fall apart, especially if the walls get bumped repeatedly. Moisture can cause the plaster walls to crack. Many home decorators find that it is difficult to hang pictures and frames on plaster walls. There are very few wall studs that you can hammer a nail into with plaster walls from before the 1950s.  

Option 1: Just Add Drywall

There are two ways that you can update your walls to drywall. The first is to simply remove the moldings in your home and install drywall over the plaster walls. This will work best if the rooms are exactly eight feet tall, which is the same size as a drywall sheet.

If you remodel your home this way, then you cannot add any more insulation or wiring. You will be leaving the walls as-is.

Option 2: Completely Remove the Plaster

The more thorough option is to hire a contractor to come in and completely remove the plaster from your home. A professional is highly recommended for this job because he or she will know how to take care of all of the plaster dust so that it does not spread throughout your home.

If you are going to change all of the rooms in your home you should consider moving out during the remodeling. That way you don't have to worry about plaster dust or lead paint chips. (Most homes built before 1950 will have some lead paint on the walls, it may just be several layers down.)

The plaster is usually around ½ inch thick. Underneath it will be the lath, which you can either keep or remove. Keeping the lath will allow your project to be finished much more quickly.

Option 3: Install New Plaster Walls

If your old plaster walls are chipped or cracking, you might want to consider just getting new plaster put on your walls. Plaster is starting to be considered a high-end wall option. Two main benefits are that plaster walls are very fire resistant and are good at insulating noise. However, most plaster installers will want to add their own new lath board, or blue board. So the process will take some time. New plaster walls are also more expensive than drywall. Talk to a professional like Alleva Construction for help.

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