We have a fairly typical 50s home in the north US (zone 5). We're in the
process of replacing the old leaky doors, fixing or repairing all the
windows, and redoing our bathroom and kitchen.
We're thinking of replacing all the drywall on the first floor for a few
reasons. It's ok as is but not great with a bunch of nail pops, visible
seams, wavy in spots with some dings, but repairable as is to an acceptable
level. We want to replace all the wiring, seal and re-insulate, possibly
with some kind of foam to seal up the million holes on the sheathing from a
recent vinyl siding redo.
Would it make economical sense to bite the bullet and replace the drywall?
And does our plan make sense? Thanks in advance for any advice.
If you want to replace wiring, re-insulate, and the drywall needs
repair anyway, you might as well replace it, and now is a good time as
it's neither too hot or cold- especially if you will be living there
during this renovation. Could make the bath/kitchen work easier, too.
Re: windows- consider replacing if you can afford; newer ones are much
more energy efficient. If you are repairing, this is good time for
caulking- mid point of the annual temperature range.
if you have several reasons to replace the drywall, then by all means
go for it. it's hard to say whether it makes economical sense. if your
house is drafty, then you'll gain comfort and satisfaction which are
valuable above and beyond the economics of the job.
i gutted and reinsulated the last house i owned. i firred out the 2x4
walls with 2x2's so i could fit an r 21 batt. then carefully detailed
the vapor barrier--taped the seams, caulked the top and bottom plate,
caulked the vapor barrier to the floor as well.
i would question the value of plugging nail holes in the sheathing.
where you want to stop air is on the warm side of the wall. true, too
much ventilation can lead to heat loss by what is known as wind wash.
that's when cold air blowing over insulation strips the heat out
similar to how it feels to wear a fleece sweater without a wind breaker
on a windy day. but i think it takes quite a bit of air movement.
nail holes from vinyl siding would be pretty minor.
"> on a windy day. but i think it takes quite a bit of air movement.
Thanks, I didn't know if would be worth it or not gutting the first floor
rooms, it sounds like we're on the right track.
The nail holes I mentioned are from the old vinyl siding we removed, not the
new vinyl siding (where those holes are plugged by the new nails). After the
new siding we seemed to notice more drafts which I'm guessing is due to all
the old nail holes but I'm not positive. We're thinking that foaming it over
would solve that problem but we're unsure of the cost or whether it's
I have a 1960 house in Zone 5, and, yes, there are nail pops, some areas in the
ceiling where previous hangings are apparent, and the very slightly buckled
drywall seams along some walls. (If by "visible" you mean cracked, you might
consult an engineer about that, though.)
Sure, it makes sense to gut it, put in new electrical wiring for more features
(not sure it's so old it's a problem as is, though - ask an electrician or
inspector) if you're doing everything at once and can stand all the sanding dust
while you stage that project or live elsewhere. Maybe you can get folks here to
brain-storm what they would do once the walls are open, like someone here did
concerning their kitchen remod. Certainly more outlets, phone jacks, speaker
wires, etc. It sure gives you a good look at the condition of the framing, too.
ON the other hand, in my house I've done some rewalling of exterior walls where
there were problems and to re-insulate (while I'm at it) with batt. But other
walls and ceilings I'm dealing with by texture painting certain ceilings and
certain walls are getting a textured wallpaper (a grass or string). But I don't
expect perfect walls and I'm doing this in stages while living in it.
It all depends on your situation and standards.
Economical sense? Probably not. That's a big job. Blown in
insulation and a good drywall outfit would be far cheaper and give you
a much faster payback with almost all of the benefits. Unless you have
a drafty house with no insulation the payback time could be many years.
The only way to tell if it makes sense is to get estimates of cost,
estimate your cost savings for heating, and then determine what another
investment would return to you.
The "replacing all the wiring" is the crux. Why do you want to do
that? There are plenty of homes with older wiring than that which are
still in good condtion. If you have to replace the wiring, and you're
ripping all of the exterior sheetrock, removing all of the window
casings, etc., you're basically gutting the house. Are you living
there now? If so, you won't want to when the gutting starts.
When we upgraded the outlets a couple years ago we noticed a lot of fraying
in the cloth-like wiring cover for a number of the outlets. We repaired them
but knowing that, we think our long-term goal is to totally replace the
wiring. We'd also like to add appropriate wiring (speaker, phone, cable tv,
network, security, exterior lighting, more outlets etc) in various locations
and some empty conduit for future needs. We also would like to redesign the
circuits since it doesnt quite make sense (ie the front door circuit also
controls the living room fan and the garage lights).
I agree that we don't want to live there while the gutting goes on but
unfortunately this isn't really possible, but we're not talking the whole
house, just the first floor. It'll be tough at times I'm sure but we'll
if you have knob and tube wiring which came with cloth covering
replacing the wiring is a great idea. fact is today insurance companies
wouldnt insure homes with knob and tube.
i helped gut a house once, dirty hard work, allow lots of money for
disposal of debris, dumpsters are expensive these days.
Then how about demolishing the whole house and build a new one?
I never lived in a house older than 20 years, LOL!
I kept building new house every so often, bigger house in a better
neighborhood. Now I quit being retired.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.