Refinishing walls in old home.

Hello everyone:
My wife & I are updating the utilities in a old home. The walls are plaster and lathe, and seem to be in solid shape. Do I have to pull out all the old plasre & lathe and recover with drywall? I guess I would like to not have the mess and dust. I was thinking of putting in the outlets, etc, then just rock over the plaster. I mean, if it is solid, why rip it out?
Randy
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There is thin drywall for that use. Set the boxes for the extra thickness. Perhaps you don't have to drywall at all? TB
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If it's on an exterior wall it's best to rip it out and then do all your electrical and insulate, then sheetrock. If it's on an interior wall then I would not rip out. The difference being that it's worth the hassle on an exterior wall just to get the insulation that you most likely don't have there.
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Randy Bishop wrote:

It should not be necessary to tear out the plaster and lathe. A good plumber and electrician can generally do all the work with little damage. Look for older contractors who have had a lot of experience. You want someone with experience who knows all the tricks.
--
Joseph Meehan

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scott snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

In many (most) areas of the world I would agree with that.
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Joseph Meehan

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Use an awl to repeatedly score the plastic where you want to cut it out. Then, use a Dremel tool to finish making the hole. I got best results with the #561 multipurpose cutting bit. Then, use a saber saw to cut the lath. Whenever possible, do NOT locate boxes in the middle of long stretches of lath. Try to stay at or close to a beam. Otherwise, while cutting the lath, it'll want to chatter/rattle back & forth. That makes it want to separate from the plaster, and move away from the saw blade.
You didn't mention how you plan on running wires and fastening them to the beams, as local codes often require. Good luck with that.
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Rather than an awl, use the tool they sell for scoring cement board such as wonderboard. It's just a carbide tip with a handle, to score you drag it towards you. Works very well on plaster, you likely won't need the Dremel. Doug makes a good point about locating near a stud and the tendency of the lath to chatter.
Any lath and plaster wall with transmit significantly less sound than a regular drywall wall. If you value peace and quiet they may be worth keeping.
--



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Should we tell him to hold a family conference, and threaten everyone with dismemberment if they ever try to hammer a picture hook into a plaster wall, instead of using a small anchor? :-) Or, maybe he should find out for himself. What fun.
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Use an awl to repeatedly score the plastic where you want to cut it out. Then, use a Dremel tool to finish making the hole. I got best results with the #561 multipurpose cutting bit. Then, use a saber saw to cut the lath. Whenever possible, do NOT locate boxes in the middle of long stretches of lath. Try to stay at or close to a beam. Otherwise, while cutting the lath, it'll want to chatter/rattle back & forth. That makes it want to separate from the plaster, and move away from the saw blade.
You didn't mention how you plan on running wires and fastening them to the beams, as local codes often require. Good luck with that.
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Should we tell him to hold a family conference, and threaten everyone with dismemberment if they ever try to hammer a picture hook into a plaster wall, instead of using a small anchor? :-) Or, maybe he should find out for himself. What fun.
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