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Old 01-03-2011, 02:50 AM   #1
BJH
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Removing Drywall for Repairs


Hi all... and a Happy New Year...

I'm not sure whether I should have posted this here or in the plumbing section...but I figure I first need to get to the pipes...

I live on the top floor of a 4-story condo-building. Our middle bedroom shares a common wall with our unit's utility closet (which is accessible via our unit's central hallway).

I often hear popping and creaking noises (especially while trying to sleep!) which seem to originate from in-between this common wall. I don't believe it is the HVAC unit, but some piping that runs near the corner and ceiling between this common bedroom wall.

This bedroom is a soon-to-be nursery and my wife and I are concerned about these noises being disturbing to the baby. They are not exceptionally loud, but I also believe there is a problem coming from inside this wall in the form of leakage. We have had a horizontal stain that has appeared from the corner of this wall extending about two feet towards the other edge about half way up the wall. It appears that it may be in the shape of either the supporting wood beam behind the drywall, or possibly in the shape of the tape itself. I think that either a leaky pipe, or more probable some sort of incoming leak from the roof duct work (I also see staining around the pipes entering into the utility closet) is either seeping through or pooling on top of a beam. I imagine that I hear drips from the corner of the ceiling in heavy rains.

Unfortunately, this being a condo, there isn't any crawl-space, and with the HVAC closet very tight and me not wanting to mess with any of that equipment, I thought that the best thing would be to get in through the bedroom to look at what is actually the problem in there. When the months get warmer, I will probably want to also look more into the pipes on the roof, but I'm sure that there is already some damage to the inside of the walls (as a water stain has already showed through).

I don't really know what I will find, and depending on the complexity of it, I may look to have a professional come in and deal with the piping, but I would prefer not to have to burden the cost of all the drywall removal and repair as well.

I need to know what is the best way for me to gain access to the inside of the wall? Should I cut just a small hole in the drywall to look around? If so, how big could/should it be in order to determine an issue and also repair it easily? Should I look to remove entire sheets of drywall? We have both floor-boards and crown molding and I believe the corners have been finished with vinyl bead trim for curvature.

I don't consider myself an exceptional handyman, although I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty and figure if I might as well try my hand at this before paying someone else to do it. The good news is that this room isn't really used for anything right now, so if it needs to sit in disrepair for a month or so, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

I appreciate any advice.

Thanks!

oh..and on a related note...as the most I've ever done in this area is spackle a hole... does anyone have any good references, either online, or a particular book that would do a good job of teaching me the how-tos of dealing with drywall in general.

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Old 01-03-2011, 08:59 AM   #2
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Good question. There really is no way to get into the wall without cutting the drywall.

If you find the problem, are you going to fix it yourself?

remember this, if you are going to take out something, if it is a large hole. try to make it easy to repair back.

you can cut in between the studs if it is going to be big, but then you will have to buy new drywall to repair it, or you can cut it in the middle of the studs so you can save it and put it back where it belongs in the first place, or who ever is going to repair it, you can same them on time, you can nail it up yourself, blah blah blah!

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Old 01-04-2011, 01:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BJH View Post
oh..and on a related note...as the most I've ever done in this area is spackle a hole... does anyone have any good references, either online, or a particular book that would do a good job of teaching me the how-tos of dealing with drywall in general.
I would recommend picking up a drywall book at a book store. I used:
Drywall: Professional Techniques for Great Results

But other drywall books would also teach you a lot.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:02 PM   #4
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honestly,

just pay a professional, thats why we are here. we are already trained, we will make it look good the first time and you wont have that "diy" look that occurs 99.9% of the time from homeowners that have never done it before. is it good to learn yes. how long will it take you to learn to finish correctly: years of doing it everyday!
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:09 PM   #5
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If you listened to stoner529 this website wouldn't be here at all. His statistics of 99.9% are wrong as well.

There is no reason why you can't cut out a nice piece of drywall, inspect the wall and do what is needed, and then patch it back up. There are hundreds of people here willing to help you do it right. There are also videos on Youtube (some good, some bad) if you are more of a visual type of learner. In the end, you can easily have an invisible patch.

Your access hole is most likely going to be down low on the wall where furniture will end up hiding it anyway, so paying a professional in this instance is like throwing many hundred dollar bills out the window.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by General View Post
If you listened to stoner529 this website wouldn't be here at all. His statistics of 99.9% are wrong as well.

There is no reason why you can't cut out a nice piece of drywall, inspect the wall and do what is needed, and then patch it back up. There are hundreds of people here willing to help you do it right. There are also videos on Youtube (some good, some bad) if you are more of a visual type of learner. In the end, you can easily have an invisible patch.

Your access hole is most likely going to be down low on the wall where furniture will end up hiding it anyway, so paying a professional in this instance is like throwing many hundred dollar bills out the window.

Lol. my first post told him how to do it, my second just told him to hire someone. If you can honestly tell me you have seen excellent first time diy hang and finish jobs, not to mention texture then i will retract what i said. Just looking at the homeowner work i have always seen, its never pretty. This forum can only tell someone how to do it, it can't take them by the hand and do it for them. You can tell someone how to finish, but in my teaching experience, they get it wrong 100% the first time. so i would love to learn from you. To me honestly its a house, pay and get it done, people come here for advice, i give my honest opinion, thtas the real reason we are here.


Put mud on wall, put tape on wall, pull mud out of tape, leave no air to create bubbles, put another coat of mud, feather edges 2 inches leaving no raised surfecs at all. let dry. apply another coat using a bigger knife feathering edges. apply light skim coat , let dry sand, touch up.

Now try and actually do it. that is a different story.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:13 PM   #7
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If you can honestly tell me you have seen excellent first time diy hang and finish jobs, not to mention texture then i will retract what i said.
Yes, I have seen many.

Quote:
Just looking at the homeowner work i have always seen, its never pretty.
Maybe that's the difference between a homeowner throwing something up and a DIYer who is eager to come and learn.

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This forum can only tell someone how to do it, it can't take them by the hand and do it for them. You can tell someone how to finish, but in my teaching experience, they get it wrong 100% the first time. so i would love to learn from you. To me honestly its a house, pay and get it done, people come here for advice, i give my honest opinion, thtas the real reason we are here.


Put mud on wall, put tape on wall, pull mud out of tape, leave no air to create bubbles, put another coat of mud, feather edges 2 inches leaving no raised surfecs at all. let dry. apply another coat using a bigger knife feathering edges. apply light skim coat , let dry sand, touch up.

Now try and actually do it. that is a different story.
So what are you saying? Don't even try, just hire someone else? If so, you are on the wrong forum...


FWIW, I am FAR from a professional when it comes to wall finishing. I am an electrician and I taught myself to do my own patch work. I've been back to houses that I have wired years and years ago when I first started out and even then my patches were good enough that you can't find them without very close inspection, if at all. If I could do it, anyone could.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:05 PM   #8
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Beware of asbestos, which may be found in drywall mud.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Handy Vinny
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by General View Post
Yes, I have seen many.

Maybe that's the difference between a homeowner throwing something up and a DIYer who is eager to come and learn.

So what are you saying? Don't even try, just hire someone else? If so, you are on the wrong forum...


FWIW, I am FAR from a professional when it comes to wall finishing. I am an electrician and I taught myself to do my own patch work. I've been back to houses that I have wired years and years ago when I first started out and even then my patches were good enough that you can't find them without very close inspection, if at all. If I could do it, anyone could.
Um a diyer is still a homeowner, thats why the DO IT YOURSELF.

I do find it odd that you have seen many diys do great yet i have been in texture and drywall for 10 years and all i see is horror. Then again with the crap i have seen anyone that did a crappy job can hide anything with texture and think they are a god.

That is still my two cents. I would have to see it to believe it honestly. Its not a pissing contest but to me a good job means no lines showing through, a good tape job, 3 coats of mud, no high spots on the edges, perfectly feathered out. Whats your opinion on a diyer, doing electrical withouth a license just to read a few books and come on a forum and read up and do it themselves without proper training. I have seen plenty good homeowner wirings myself, but feel that should always be left to a licensed guy just so you don't burn your house down and at least you could get insurance when they ask who did the electrical. As a licensed electrician you should say no homeowner should do it not being licensed but i bet for the sake of this argument you will say "sure let em do it if they have the know how"
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoner529 View Post
Um a diyer is still a homeowner, thats why the DO IT YOURSELF.
Jeeze, it's like speaking to a child...


Quote:
Whats your opinion on a diyer, doing electrical withouth a license just to read a few books and come on a forum and read up and do it themselves without proper training. I have seen plenty good homeowner wirings myself, but feel that should always be left to a licensed guy just so you don't burn your house down and at least you could get insurance when they ask who did the electrical.
Again, for the third time, you are on the wrong forum. The entire point of this forum is for homeowners to Do It Themselves, not hire people to do it for them. Why don't you go to a trade forum? There are plenty around with people who feel just like you do.

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As a licensed electrician you should say no homeowner should do it not being licensed but i bet for the sake of this argument you will say "sure let em do it if they have the know how"
What you just said is that I should feel the way that you do or else I am a liar trying to win an argument? Do you actually read what you type or listen to what you say?

Of COURSE I feel that home owners should be able to do their own electrical work, if I didn't, I wouldn't be here helping homeowners do electrical work!

Your username is very telling, I am done with you.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:16 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by General View Post
Jeeze, it's like speaking to a child...


Again, for the third time, you are on the wrong forum. The entire point of this forum is for homeowners to Do It Themselves, not hire people to do it for them. Why don't you go to a trade forum? There are plenty around with people who feel just like you do.

What you just said is that I should feel the way that you do or else I am a liar trying to win an argument? Do you actually read what you type or listen to what you say?

Of COURSE I feel that home owners should be able to do their own electrical work, if I didn't, I wouldn't be here helping homeowners do electrical work!

Your username is very telling, I am done with you.

nah my name isnt telling at all, but as someone such as myself that is extremely handy and can easily do electrical, i would never dare do it myself without having a license. If for some reason my house burned down and they found work done and realized it wasnt original, i can't get any insurance money. It dosent take a stoner to figure out common sense.

And of course i to think home owners should be able to do their own electrical work. who wouldnt. my point is as yourself being an electrical licensed contractor i assume, do you recomend someone doing their own electrical work, knowing the risks of possibly burning down a house and having to explain to an insurance company why the house burned down. and then that home owner gets no money because they weren't licensed to do the work? and yes i am on the other trade forums, and i tell me people how to do stuff all the time, and on some of the stuff i tell them to just hire someone to make it look right and i will tell them. I think i am having this same debate with someone else on here about drywall work. Its all very interesting as a professional that i am probably the only one that isnt affraid to give advice but also at the same time tell someone it would be smarter to hire a professional. I advise this on only two things. Electrical and drywall finishing and texturing, and you don't need a license to texture. My advice for this is because it is a home and it seems to me people take more pride in if their car has a small scratch then if their walls look like crap from poor finishing and tht makes it hard to sell a home if they intend to move. I think electrical advice is good if you hire an electrician and in order to make sure he isnt ripping you off, you at least know what he is doing. For the sole reason of insurance purposes only, i feel no person should ever do electrical themselves with the exception of changing out outlets or hooking up fans and stuff. And even then there is still risk. People on here tend to get all bent out of shape when someone says to do the smart thing. To me adults should know that the smart thing is to hire an electrician, although costly, just to protect your investment. To me that again, is just common sense. Maybe to electricians it is not. So i see nothing wrong with telling someone how to do something but at the same time, telling them the smart thing to do would be to hire a licensed guy to do it.

I only hope you don't reply back because if you do that means you have no common sense about the value of a home.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:08 AM   #12
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nah my name isnt telling at all, but as someone such as myself that is extremely handy and can easily do electrical, i would never dare do it myself without having a license. If for some reason my house burned down and they found work done and realized it wasnt original, i can't get any insurance money. It dosent take a stoner to figure out common sense.
As long as you got the proper permits and inspections, the homeowner CAN do electrical work in 99.999% of the country. So once again, you are completely wrong. Your insurance CAN'T deny you, even if the electrical work was illegal, as long as it wasn't malicious. So that's the second time in a matter of 2 sentences that you are spreading misinformation.
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And of course i to think home owners should be able to do their own electrical work. who wouldnt. my point is as yourself being an electrical licensed contractor i assume, do you recomend someone doing their own electrical work, knowing the risks of possibly burning down a house and having to explain to an insurance company why the house burned down. and then that home owner gets no money because they weren't licensed to do the work?
As explained above, this makes absolutely NO sense whatsoever. Nothing you just stated is true. If it was true in any way, shape, or form, there would be a big sticky at the top of the Electrical sub-forum saying "IF YOU FOLLOW ANY THREAD HERE YOUR HOUSE WILL BURN DOWN AND INSURANCE WON'T PAY"


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I only hope you don't reply back because if you do that means you have no common sense about the value of a home.
What? This makes no sense whatsoever. What are you eluding to?
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:43 AM   #13
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I have read to many contradictory statements and made phone calls regarding this to say either one of us are right.

Internet articles will tell you yes you can do it assuming it is allowed in your municipality but it says many municipalities wont issue a permit unless its by a licensed contractor. My city will let a homeowner do it as long as the inspector signs off on it that it was done properly. I have also read articles that state that insurance wont pay for a diy, and others that say it will. To much time to research this stuff, however i do know an agent that i would love to call and ask. If this is the case then i will gladly become an internet electrician 15 times over.

I thought you were done with this thread general. I can give on the electrical if an diy is not required to have a licensed guy do it assuming it wont hurt insurance. But i always thing drywall finishing should be left to people that have been doing it for a while so the house looks right since a home is an investment.
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Old 01-06-2011, 03:30 PM   #14
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I have read to many contradictory statements and made phone calls regarding this to say either one of us are right.
I've heard that if you meet a stranger in a bar you'll wake up in a tub of ice with your brain removed, this must have happened to you...
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I have also read articles that state that insurance wont pay for a diy, and others that say it will.
Articles mean NOTHING, your insurance policy is the only thing that matters. Why don't you break your agreement out and show me where it says unlicensed electrical work will void the policy? The reason is because you can't, they can't void the warranty unless the work was proven to be performed in a malicious way with the intent on starting a fire. There are plenty of people who put pennies in their fuse box when the fuse kept popping and burned their house down, insurance still covers stupidity.

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But i always thing drywall finishing should be left to people that have been doing it for a while so the house looks right since a home is an investment.
That's only because you like to act like what you do is so great and the common man can't do it. NEWSFLASH, anyone with a little bit of time and patience CAN do it, they do it all the time. Sure, some finishes are extremely hard and the basic DIYer might not be able to match a pro without a lot of practice, but to cover up a patch on a simple painted wall can be done by most anyone.
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:19 PM   #15
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Great discussion !! :p

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