I live in Minneapolis, MN. My home was built in 1893. I, being a first time home buyer, didn't realize when I bought it that virtually every wall in the house is plaster & lath, but covered in layers of wallpaper that have been painted over (layers and layers and layers). I realized this when water ran in a window during a rain storm, ran down the wall, and loosened the wallpaper, causing it to bubble.
I am looking for advice as to what to do about my walls over the next few years as I fix up the house, which is in very good structural shape (besides the walls) and doesn't need much but little cosmetic touches. I've been told I should NOT attempt to scrape the paper off all the walls because it's just too time consuming, and I would then have to fix all the plaster before I could paint, and that can be very expensive. I've also been told I should hire someone to put 1/4 inch drywall up to cover the walls, wallpaper and all, but there are people out there who say that's a very bad idea. Finally, is there a short term fix I can do to fix the patch of wall where the wallpaper bubbled and ripped? It's about 1 square foot.
I want to do the right thing for the house, but I don't have a huge budget. I didn't plan on buying the house and doing huge renovations. I live in a nice but modest neighborhood where I'm not sure it would pay to entirely restore the house (like ripping down all the walls). Should I just get a professional involved to come and do a consultation, and if so, should it be a drywall person or a plaster person? (I would think they'd give me biased answers!)