Patching vs New "Sheet Rock"

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This week I had someone come and bid on installing sheet rock on my house. After he looked it over he gave me some valuable advice and said I should fix a few things first then call him to do the job.
So here are some of the things I am fixing.
In my house, about 60% of the sheetrock were removed. Some rooms have both walls and ceiling removed, some only walls, some only ceiling, depending on what was being modified.
He said that in some rooms, where I asked him to patch some holes, that it's cheaper and easier to gut and replace then to patch. For example, one room I had five holes in the ceiling. I did not make the holes, the electricians did. When they rewired they did not get into the attic, so they punched random holes in my ceiling to pass the wires and conduits. They told me it would be easy fix for the sheetrock guys. Now the sheetrock guy says they are not easy fix. He can do it but it will not be as good looking and it will be more expensive then using new sheetrock.
The reason he said these are hard to patch, is because it is not typical sheet rock. In some areas he said I have sheet rock, then a "brown coat", then plaster, with embeded wire mesh in them. He said it is a pain to patch, and difficult to patch perfectly.
Same with a hallway. I have one hallway that is fifty feet long. About thirty feet of this sheetrock was removed and now we have to put new. Again, he said, rip out the other twenty feet, put new 1/2" sheet rock. Otherwise, I will have to match the old "thickness" which is slightly more than 3/4". He said it would be expensive to mix 1/2" and 3/4" and the result may be questionable.
So in a null shell, he is recommending that I demolish ALL my sheet rock - all walls, all ceilings instead of dealing with a mix of old and new.
This week, I started to look at demolishing one room's ceiling, and immediately ran into problems. Some sheetrock in the ceiling seem to span into other rooms. For example, one interior wall's top plate actually is below the sheetrock, meaning the sheetrock is sandwiched between the top plate and the bottom of the joist. So to take that ceiling down, I have to make a cut on both sides of the top plate to free the sheetrock. This is a mess. Using a grinder with a diamond blade to cut through this sheetrock/brown coat/plaster/wire mesh is slow and dusty. I thought framing of the walls is done before sheetrock? How can sheetrock be on top of the top plate?
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MiamiCuse wrote: <snip>

walls were added after the house was built. now is the time to remove them if you want.
otherwise, just cut the paper with a knife and leave what's on top of the top page there.
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That's the puzzling part, it looks original from the first construction, unless they put up ceiling sheet rock then framed the interior.
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It is not that puzzling when you factor in that load bearing partitions go up in a building first, to carry the load of the floors or roof above... It is less laborious to sheetrock large square shaped areas and install non-load bearing partitions after the ceiling has been sheetrocked than it is to deal with maneuvering large 12' long sheets in and out of a warren of smaller rooms... The additional labor required by using smaller sheets or cutting down the longer ones to make getting it in the rooms creates more non-factory side edge to side edge joints which are more labor to properly tape and mud...
How many penetrations from the walls put in after the ceiling sheetrock went up through the ceiling for wiring and such are there in those walls up into the attic or roof framing are there? Or does all your wiring route around the exterior walls to get back to the main panel?
~~ Evan
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Patch the walls with 1/2" rock but fur out the studs and plates first using 1/4" plywood strips first.
elk
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Yes that can be done. They sheetrock guy was telling me it's cheaper to just go with a complete redo then spending a lot of time patching and fixing things at different thicknesses and depth. I have looked at the walls in different rooms, and it seems some walls are thicker than others. That brown coat is not always the same thickness. He has a point but man this is a lot of sheetrock to tear down and dispose. These are much heavier.
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Yes, it is cheaper, because the large uncut sheets can go up VERY FAST compared to having to measure and cut each sheet to fit around whatever patches of old stuff are left...
Not to mention all the fussing with scratch coating that will have to happen to blend in the materials of differing thicknesses...
Some walls are thicker than others because they were plastered by different people... One plasterer was clearly better at doing it because he or she used less material to finish the walls...
ROFLOL... How large is this house you are remodeling... Throwing away a bit more material should be nothing -- you should have a 60 yd. open top construction debris dumpster on site anyway for such an extensive job...
Your time is better spent hiring someone to demo all this stuff for you and letting the sheetrock pros handle redoing your bare stud rooms...
~~ Evan
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Smitty-
Thanks for you commentary...... it was what I had in mind but mine would not have been as well said.
Evan- Give the HVAC group a try, you'll fit right in.
cheers Bob
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So then he can spend less time asking elementary questions on newsgroups and trying to come up with ways to do manual work with power tools that require flat bars and sledge hammers...
He can spend time doing what home owners should be doing, looking in showrooms at interior finishes for the tradesworkers doing the remodeling to install when the project gets to that point...
So then he won't come back on here complaining about how his neck or his knees hurt... Or how the fancy new power palm nailer he bought wasn't able to nail what he wanted to nail with it...
Its clear that MiamiCuse *thinks* he can act as his own G.C. but he clearly doesn't possess all the skills and physical endurance he needs to do that sort of thing...
It is cheaper for him to stop the nickel and dime games and asking his weird little questions of all the people he calls in for estimates... He needs to either do the work himself or pay the contractors what they quote him...

A DIY'er is one thing -- but this project is clearly more than that...
To ask silly questions about how to attach this or that to the wall or describing the asinine way he is experimenting to work around not having to swing a hammer and pry bar to do the demo work himself is enough... You don't need to re-invent the wheel...

Yup... And oddly enough there is this little thing called a search function and I have read most of his posts... The ones I am most familiar with were from the alt.locksmithing newsgroup where he came to ask rather insane questions about some door locks he wasn't familiar with where he first explained the odd ways he has with contractors and tradespeople...

Well, if you add up all the questions he has ever asked on UseNet about everything he has ever asked he really isn't...
I don't give any quarter to people who get in over their heads and then expect other people to help them out for free, especially when MiamiCuse clearly has the means to afford hiring contractors to do the work he either doesn't know how to practically do or doesn't want to have a sore neck/back/knees after doing...
To hear him whine and moan about the cost of a construction dumpster to remove additional debris and many of his other issues is amusing... He made his choice to get into this project, when he comes running here asking for what amounts to step by step directions to deal with his latest oversight, he gets what he gets... Its like when the electrician or plumber sends their new apprentice to the supply store to get a wire or pipe extender tool... Ask stupid repetitive questions that demonstrate a clear trend and you invite backlash...
He is an engineer who thinks that because he can see how everything relates to each other in the system of a house that he will be able to figure out the techniques to do the actual work required of a given project...
He also has demonstrated a clear tendency to want the cheapest possible solutions at every turn... Well you either pay with your wallet or with your blood, sweat and tears in construction... There is no cheap way to do home improvement work other than to not do it or somehow magically get free building materials to do your project with...
~~ Evan
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I am witness to a 5 ft tall 100 lb girl tearing out all the lathe and plaster in her old farm house she bought and replace it with drywall. She had never done anything like this but was determined to have her own house. She shimed everthing that needed shiming and got it as true as any pro could have. The only thing she hired out was the mud work. She could have done that but it was getting to be a bit much for her physically.After the walls were finished she painted the walls and refinished the wood floors herself. Old concrete swimming pool had a crack all the way across it, everyone told her to fill it in. She chiseled out the crack by hand and patched it with hydraulic concrete. She did eventually fill it in because she relized it was a saftey hazard and liability when her niece got hurt in it..I believe with determination and patience a DIYer can often do as well as the pros.
Jimmie
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i would gut everything which will make insulating very easy and uncover any hidden problems that may be lurking under the surfaces to be removed.
the job will look better if its all the same
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Without actually seeing it, of course, it's hard to give an accurate opinion. But I tend to agree that it's probably better to tear the rest out in any areas where there are lots of holes, height mis-matches, etc. Pros can put up new drywall really fast and the material is not that costly. I suggest you spell out that they use screws, not nails to install it, so you don't have to deal with nail pops over the years.
For the sheetrock to be embedded across the top plate, the wall would have had to have been added after the house was built. Either that or very strange construction.
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wrote:

Thanks for the screw reminder. I'll make sure to discuss that point with him.
It could be both strange construction AND the walls framed after. The house has a small span because it's a wrapped around house an interior courtyard, so all the interior walls are non-load bearing, most of them are just there, standing free without anything sitting on them. The walls are all framed to be 100" tall. At the base is a 4" wide piece of wood, the three ply sheet rock sits on top of this strip of wood, making the total height 100". The wood is 3/4" thick, matching the rock thickness. I guess the wood makes nailing baseboards easier.
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wrote:

Without actually seeing it, of course, it's hard to give an accurate opinion. But I tend to agree that it's probably better to tear the rest out in any areas where there are lots of holes, height mis-matches, etc. Pros can put up new drywall really fast and the material is not that costly. I suggest you spell out that they use screws, not nails to install it, so you don't have to deal with nail pops over the years.
For the sheetrock to be embedded across the top plate, the wall would have had to have been added after the house was built. Either that or very strange construction.
Nobody has used nails to install sheetrock since the invention of the screwgun...LOL...And you still get pops sometimes...Things STILL move...
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OMG, ROFL...
Dude, this is another one of your bone head posts that leads anyone with actual remodeling and construction experience to question whether or not you should even touch tools...
It is 10 times easier to completely sheetrock bare walls and ceilings than it is to patch and paste and mud joints and scratch coat to end up with as flat as can be ceilings and walls when you are done... It is a lot of artful labor to blend in older walls with new work and is better done with one clean boundary joint in mind rather than a series of patches...
As to your removal method being dusty and slow, I would suggest that you are not doing it properly and require at least one helper to assist your demo work by using a vacuum hose positioned close to where your cutting tool is being used to cut down on the dust... You could demo that stuff quicker with the right demo tools than making perfectly square cuts in something which you could break out close to the wall and then hammer it from one side to pop out on the other...
In this case since you are again not using the proper tools or techniques and are out of your elements, this might be something you want to contract out to someone good at doing demo... Removing the remaining 40% of the interior sheetrock in a home should not take days upon days...
~~ Evan
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Patching-vs-New-Sheet-Rock-609698-.htm gls wrote: Miami, I've got the exact same deal as you; "mud" walls (3/8" gyp board with a scratch and finish coat; about 3/4" thick) INCLUDING the hack where a wall was added after a ceiling was done! I'll muddy the waters a bit by saying that these are great walls that beat drywall in a lot of ways. They are strong, smooth, and quiet. I like them better than sheetrock. For small holes, I have used 5/8 drywall with a layer of compound over it to bring it up to the thickness of the old wall. Where you have a large amount of material to replace, you'll probably want to just rock the whole thing. Either that or find a real plaster guy who can build the same kind of wall, but that's probably big bucks. Good luck with it.
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(MiamiCuse) writes:
| He said that in some rooms, where I asked him to patch some holes, that it's | cheaper and easier to gut and replace then to patch.
It's true. Putting up drywall from scratch is (at least for the pros) an incredibly fast and efficient process. When I had cause to gut a small room I was thinking of drywalling it myself but the quote was around what I expected to spend for tools and materials. That said...
| The reason he said these are hard to patch, is because it is not typical | sheet rock. In some areas he said I have sheet rock, then a "brown coat", | then plaster, with embeded wire mesh in them. He said it is a pain to | patch, and difficult to patch perfectly.
I have this on my ceilings and several variations (mostly without the metal) on the walls. I like it a lot better than drywall. It has all the advantages of old-style plaster combined with the inherent regularity provided by the drywall base. In particular it does not dent if you bump it with a hard object. Unless I were gutting for some other reason I'd try to keep this for the walls. I don't bump the ceiling often so I wouldn't mind drywall there as much. :)
                Dan Lanciani                 ddl@danlan.*com
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It is called Plaster Board or Blue Board with Basecoat Plaster and Finish Coat Plaster and it is probably the best you can get...Trying to patch it with plaster is a PITA and VERY expensive and messy...
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MiamiCuse wrote:

Instead of removing all the old, is it possible to just put a new layer over it?
--

dadiOH
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get a quote for demo and debris removal, a quote to do a comlete new drywall job, and a seperate quote for patch repair replace as needed.
get a seperate quote for a dumpster if needed and invite some friends over to help with demo
you could go with blueboard and skim cote plaster, it costs more but is far harder.
in any case all new will get you a far better looking job.
think of this how many times will you be doing this?
long term the rules on lead in paint will only get more strict, if you replace everything all your walls will be lead free, a positive at home sale time:)
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