Keep original plaster or install drywall?
Last fall, DH and I bought a 1906 farmhouse that was built and owned by the same family since the beginning. For the most part, the house is in great structural shape, but hasn't been cosmetically updated in a LONG time. Some esamples:
Electrical outlets. Most rooms have one outlet, MAYBE two at most. The dining room has none, and until we remodeled it, the upstairs half-bath had none, either. All but two of the outlets are two-prong, not three.
The kitchen. Let's just say it's VINTAGE. The stove is a 1956 Tappan Dough-Boy, a huge white and chrome behemoth that looks like the front end of a cadillac. At first I saw it and cringed, but I've grown to love it; it works like a champ and is completely retro. But it's pretty indicative of the nature of the house-- and I'm pretty sure the stove was purchased new for the last time they remodeled the place.
Architectural touches. The doorways to the kitchen and living room, and between the living room and front parlor, are all elegantly arched. Most of the flooring (under the hideous carpet, which thankfully they didn't GLUE down) is hardwood, wide planks with small gaps that remind me of, well, an old farm house, which is what it is.
Insulation. Basically, there is none in the walls AT ALL that we've been able to see. All but three of the windows in the house are vinyl replacements, and despite the lack of insulation in the walls, I think the place must be pretty tight, because it's not drafty and it holds its heat in the winter nicely.
We are remodeling at a snail's pace. So far, we have just about completed the first major room overhaul-- the upstairs half-bath, into a 3/4 bath. (It wouldn't have been our first choice of a room to tackle, but a toilet leak neccessitated the remodel.) Next we'll probably redo the upstairs bedrooms, and here is my dilemma (actually a dispute I'm having with my DH, and I'm hoping to get some solid arguments to help win my case):
The walls are the original horsehair plaster. Since there's no insulation behind them, DH plans on removing ALL the plaster walls, putting up insulation, and replacing the plaster with drywall. I want to keep the plaster, mainly for the disastrous mess removing it is going to cause, but I'm getting the sense that the mess factor is not the only deterrent to pitching the plaster walls.
So my question is-- why keep plaster? And if you keep it, how do you insulate behind it?
I need to make my case to the hubby; as he is a man, he of course thinks he is all-knowing when it comes to construction things... no offense to you guys of course!!
But please help me win my argument!!