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Fearless Freep 09-30-2008 04:24 PM

Removing Old Drywall
I've found a lot of information on the net about putting up new drywall, but nothing about removing old drywall.

The walls in house are textured and will eventually ripped up for rewiring. The texture is not typical, and I doubt I could match it. Hiring a professional to come in to patch and match texture as the project moves along seems impractical. Floating all the walls smooth after patching the holes seems like a lot more work than its worth.

It sees esier to just take down the drywall and replace it as I go. While I know it's not a simple proceedure, I don't feel its outside my ability. Plus, I'd end up with smooth walls, which I'd prefer.

My question is, how do I take down old drywall? I'm guessing it would have to be broken up (dusty!), but how do I remove the old drywall screws? Should I expect to encounter problems where the walls and cielings meet? Any other pitfalls I should consider but haven't?

buletbob 09-30-2008 05:17 PM

First remove all the furniture from the room, then cover and protect the floors, next remove the pins from the doors and remove the doors and store in a safe place. Then remove all the door and window casings, I then cover the room entrance door way with some 6 mil. plastic sheeting.
remove all base and shoe moulding, chair rail and ceiling moulding, remove any wall fixtures, switch & outlet covers. I then cut along the ceiling line with my utility knife. and then down the inside corners. I then remove all outside corner bead with my claw of my hammer. then hit the drywall about mid point with the side of my hammer to insert my hands to start pulling the drywall from the studs. remove the top section and then the lower, try to keep all the debris in the center of the room. then proceed to the other wall. when all the drywall is removed get your a battery screw gun to remove any screws and nails. clean and sweep or vacuum.

jamiedolan 10-01-2008 06:39 AM


Originally Posted by buletbob (Post 166857)
clean and sweep or vacuum.

These are special vacuum filters for the major brands of shop vacs. They are available online and at big box stores. I can recommend them without hesitation.

I helped my dad with a building he was the general contractor for. I did misc jobs on the site, and did most of the construction clean up. 3,000+sqft of drywall, floors and ceiling. I used a rigid shop vacuum with that clean stream filter. I have killed many regular filters in the past with drywall dust. This filter just keeps going and going and going. And when it slows down, you take it outside and blow it off with the compressor.

I've been using the exact same filter in my home during extensive remodeling, including some drywall removal when changing my kitchen design. I also used it for vacuuming when I did extensive floor sanding, which created lots of fine dust.

Shopvac brand paper bags rated for drywall dust are also great, but at $7 a bag, I would far rather get the filter. But it is a little less messy if you use the bags. Plan to vacuum lots, the dust goes everywhere. Block off any air duct returns you have, and change your furnace filter before and after with a high merv filter.

A sawzall with a sawzall brand blade can be helpful depending on the edge beading, (i.e. the wire mesh stuff).

Watch for wires, don't fry your self by whacking at the walls with a hammer if you don't know your clear.

Putting up new rock isn't all that hard, well it can be a bit of a challenge if you have never done it. Tapping and sanding it so it looks really good is the hard part. I would say this is the #1 reason that people put all those stupid popcorn textures on there walls and ceilings, because they can't get professional looking smooth seams. -- You asked for the down side, thats one of the main ones, but sounds like your deal with that issue already. However in the end with new walls, you might find yourself in the same situation again where you need professional help to get the results you want, but you spent all the time and money replacing drywall that could have been professionally repaired for much less time, less mess, and less money.

It is very rare that any amount of the walls need to be removed for electrical work. Most of it can be done through the outlet and switch boxes.

Good Luck!!!

Fearless Freep 10-01-2008 09:31 AM

Thanks Bob and Jamie. A professional could probably take care of the wiring without doing too much damage to the walls, but rewiring seemed like a great excuse for me to finally get rid of all the texture. What I'm hearing is that it's more messy than difficult, and I excel at making messes. This is a 70's house we've recently purchased, and after I scraped all the popcorn off the celings (no asbestos), I noticed all the walls had been poorly patched at least once, and that the texture on them changed from to room... Just kinda bugs me. Thanks again for your advice, guys.

buletbob 10-01-2008 04:00 PM

ANYTIME, Good luck BOB

aaron.klimchuk 10-03-2008 07:48 AM

Demo is the funnest part! It's really quite simple and easy, just be sure to invest in a quality mask. I know from experience that breathing in drywall dust is no fun.

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