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Should I "gut" an old house?

I looked recently at a house that is for sale. It is what passed for a "mansion" 160 years ago, which is four pretty large rooms on the first floor, plus a large entryway, and the same up top; no grand staircase. Anyway, the ceiling plaster throughout the house is an absolute mess, and in many rooms it looks like years ago they put some type of paper up over the lath to replace the plaster. It doesn't look that bad, but it certainly doesn't look good in any way. There are wall plaster problems, too, although not nearly as bad.

What I would like to know is does it make sense to go in and just "gut" the house and pull out all the existing plaster, whether it needs it or not. This would be plaster that was placed in about 1850. I would then replace it with blueboard and plaster over it. I was thinking it might be a good idea to be able to see what was behind the plaster. Also, I was thinking I might drop the ceiling down a few inches in order to run some new wiring if necessary. I'm not sure it matters, but I will be putting in a geothermal heating and cooling system, and the house has no central system at present. I don't know if ripping everything out to the bones would help with this process or not.

Ultimately my question is, is it a sacrilege to tear out all the plaster and replace it with new blueboard and plaster, and would it be expensive to do so? Or should I only do it in areas where it is absolutely necessary? Thank you.

Re: Should I "gut" an old house?

The advantage of gutting is it allows full inspection of the electrical and plumbing system and cuts the cost of replacing with up to date systems. It is however expensive to re-plaster the whole house.


Re: Should I "gut" an old house?

Thanks Jack. I guess the thing to do is if and when the time comes get a quote and go from there.

Re: Should I "gut" an old house?

yes gut it for all the reasons JLMCDANIEL said plus it get rid of contaminants such as lead paint and asbestos , and will allow you to square up the job that as probably has shifted and is out of square. and insulate to modern standards.

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