Removing drywall and ceiling

radanaMay 20, 2010

We recently bought a house built in the 1970s. It is about 2000 sf, no basement, in Texas. When we bought the house I knew that we wanted to do some remodeling including adding a master bath and enlarging the masterbedroom (house is brick and has plenty of room at back to add on) as the master bath is tiny. We would be removing that bath (making it part of the master bedroom) and then adding on to the room and adding a true master bath. I also did not like the ceiling and wall texture and had in mind changing the texture. Also the prior owner had done a number of poorly done sheetrock repairs that I want to correct. The living room has a brick fireplace that we want to remove. There is a non-loadbearing interior wall we want to move and a closet we want to add to another room.

Overall we like the basic layout of the house. We have already replaced kitchen appliances (we converted the kitchen to electric). We would like to replace the cabinets and countertops but the kitchen layout is fine.

There is another bathroom that we would like to replace the toilet, tub, vanity but would not move anything.

We had originally assumed we would have the walls/ceilings sanded and retextured. We have had testing done and there is asbestos in the ceiling and likely the wall joint compound, however, it is not above 1% so it does not require asbestos abatement. That is, it could be removed by a regular contractor rather than an asbestos abatement contractor. However, I am concerned that if we ever sell the house (it is our plan that this is our retirement house so do not plan to every sell) that even though abatement is not required that it would hurt resale to have to say it has any asbestos at all in it. Also I don't want to have to worry about it every time we do anything to the walls/ceiling.

Given the fact that we want to retexture everything anyway and given the patches in the sheetrock that need to be redone and given the remodeling that we plan to do I was wondering about the feasability of simply ripping out all the drywall including the walls and ceilings and having new sheetrock put in. I realize that in doing that we would need to vacate the house while the work was being done (we would move all our stuff out and rent somewhere while the work was being done). I do not think we need to redo all the plumbing or electrical but do like the idea of being able to improve insulation or see if there are any problem areas.

Is it feasible to remove all the sheetrock and ceilings from the house? Is that hugely expensive? How does the cost of removing the sheetrock and ceilings and putting up new compare to the cost of removing the existing texture, repairing the poorly done patches and putting on new texture?

It sounds easier to me to rip all that out rather than sanding it down and patching. But am I wrong?

Any ideas of cost to do this? I am in Texas.

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Gutting everything and replacing is going to be more expensive. However, there is no need to guess. Bring in a few contractors to give you quotes for both ways.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 8:46AM
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I am going to bring in contractors. I am just trying to get a feel for whether removing and replacing the sheetrock and ceilings is going to cost $100,000 or $10,000 or some range. We have a number of options here:

1. Remove and replace using an asbestos abatement contractor - we aren't required to do it but we could do it anyway

2. Remove and replace using a regular contractor

3. Remove texture from the ceiling and walls but leaving the drywall up and the ceilings there - Using an asbestos abatement contractor

4. Same as 3 but use regular contractor.

There are cost factors involved, of course, but also doing what will be safest long-term.

I know that either of these options will generate a lot of dust but I don't know if one option is safer than the other. Regardless of whether asbestos abatement is required, I want to feel comfortable moving back in.

I am also a little at a loss on getting quotes since the room addition for the master bath will, I think, require getting drawings done. I know there are design build contractors but I am reluctant to tie myself to one company by having them do a design and then not to be able to get quotes from others.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 12:55PM
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After removing the popcorn you are very likely to have to mud and tape, and possibly skim for damaged areas.

If you tear it out you will have to mud and tape, but there should not be a need for skimming (unless you want that level of finish)

Under a typical paint roller finish there is enough paint texture that skimming is rarely required (one coat of primer and two coats of paint give a uniform surface).

Tearing out is not that much of a chore, it is just dirty work.

Keeping the removed pieces large reduces the number of chunks that need to be handled and removed.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 9:55AM
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Hey Radana,

I'm interested to hear what happened with your drywall project. Which option did you end up going with?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 4:06PM
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