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Old 07-11-2011, 11:24 PM   #1
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New work vs Old work

At what point does old work become new work?

Specifically, I have a lath and plaster wall that I have removed the plaster from (so I guess it could just be said that I have a lath wall). I am going to be leaving the lath up because inside the wall there is a metal ventilation pipe that is thicker than the 2x4s and so it slightly bulges through the lath at one point. If I were to remove the lath before drywalling, then my problem of dealing with this pipe is going to be worse. The way it stands now, if I drywall on top of the lath, then the bump is minimal enough that I can just scrape away a bit on the back of the drywall in order to make the drywall sit flush with the wall.

I will be putting two sockets and a light switch on this wall, and am curious as to whether the code would consider this to be old work or new work. Some of the lathe boards are removed, and I feel like I can mostly follow the romex code rules for new work (staple 6 inches from box, supported every x feet, etc), but feel like there are parts that I will not be able to follow the new work code.

Anyone know what the proper protocol is in this situation?

Also, are the anti-short bushings required for boxes that have metal romex screw down clamps built in?

Thanks in advance for any help. This forum has provided invaluable advice for this remodeling project I am doing.


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Old 07-12-2011, 03:00 AM   #2
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It might be open to an individuals opinion but I would say it is still old work, staple where you can.

You do not use anti-short bushings with NM cable.


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Old 07-12-2011, 06:52 AM   #3
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If wallboard, lath, paneling, etc. is still in place with just holes big enough for the outlet boxes then you are in the old work category.

A few pieces of lath missing here and there does not make it into new work.
The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.

Last edited by AllanJ; 07-12-2011 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:19 AM   #4
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Why not resolve the problem though... you could remove the lath, tack on 1x2 furring strips on each stud and then have a flat surface to attach your drywall without the bulge. You'd also then have access to install insulation, and you would have the more secure new work electrical box installation.

Maybe it's an interior wall and you don't need the insulation, but you have the opportunity to eliminate the bulge, why not take it?

Let me also reitterate that an uneven drywall hanging job will also make it harder to finish the drywall well. It will make your tape have to follow contours at the corners. You will be sanding with a flat board trying to hit compound that is on a curve. If you're putting in molding, it will want to be straight and will tend to have gaps.
Please do NOT consider any "before" picture of my house as any kind of endorsement of any particular construction method. In fact, you should probably assume that if I post a "before" picture, I am posting it because I am soliciting advice on a proper replacement for one of MANY things done wrong by a previous owner.

Last edited by WillK; 07-12-2011 at 08:26 AM.
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new work , old work

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