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Old 08-22-2008, 10:47 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Mineral Wells, Texas
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Hello...long read/new project/need advice

I came across the site a few days ago, and it seems that this is a great place to get some help with my new project so I registered, and here I am. So hello and here we go...Sorry for the initial long post

My wife and I just bought a house in a small town west of DFW Texas. Moved out to escape the rat race and raise the little one in a quieter place hopefully. Anyhow the house was built in 1920 and is a craftsman style home, it is a 1 owner house since that time, and hasn't had anyone living in it for nearly 30 years except the son; who has recently passed, that came to "look after" it on occassion. Seems his girlfriend didn't like the country, hehehe. Don't ya just love small town gossip. It was willed to the daughter, and now we have it. It seems like a great house and we got a great price. We will own this place in just a few years as we were almost able to pay half the house off right up front . But it has a few issues as you might imagine.

Basically we know it needs about $6,000 worth of foundation repair. And probably a new shingle job in a year or so, maybe longer. It does have a very minor perimeter wall issue in one corner of the front of the house being the brick and failing mortar type. But it seems pretty minor, along with some mortar and brick issues around the colums in the front of the house. Some plumbing upgrades have been done along with a little bit of electrical, water heater, stove, etc. We are thinking of course that we are gonna start remodeling the inside and repairing and painting the outside as we go to restore this house back to original but updated condition.

The first thing of course is the foundation which will be getting underway shortly. But then I need to attack the cracking plaster issue inside the house on the walls and areas of the ceiling. This is where I need help first. I have linked some pictures (I apologize for the pics as I forgot to install my memory chip and I didn't realize my digital tape wouldn't take pics so I had to pull these pics off the video I shot. I will follow up with some higher rez pics soon) of the plaster cracks to give an idea of what i'm up against. I have been researching what would be best and sort of have an idea, but hope you guys can chime in with definitive answers. The walls are lathe board and plaster. Some cracks are deep, some are hairline. paint is peeling from around all. The son attempted to fill in the cracks at some point obviously, but didn't do a real good job imo. We would like to have a smooth paintable finish when done to keep it "clean looking". I was thinking replaster over after chipping and cleaning the cracks out. But then I thought maybe mud the whole wall after repairing the cracks, sand smooth and go from there. Don't really want to hang sheetrock and go through tearing all that plaster down. House is almost 1800 square feet!! So there it is. Whatcha think???

Here are the pics:


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Old 08-23-2008, 06:37 AM   #2
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Nice story...!Look, some of us here would opt for replacing that lathe+plaster because to repair it would probably take as much time only to give you chancey results of the cracking happening again, but these same guys may say that taking it down allows you to see what's underneath. Now's the time to bring the house into the 21 century with better wiring, better plumbing, new wiring for cable etc plus allows you to make sure there's nothing behind or in those walls that you really don't want around your family. Moulds, asbestos etc to name a few...

That what I would say. OK, it's never a "good" time...but there are better times and best times. Just for a moment you don't do it now, but end up doing it 5-10 years from now. What is your family situation then? are you as fit as you are now? are prices cheaper than they are now? do you have as much time as you do now? I mean who knows...

There are just as many reasons to do nothing, or do the minimum, probably more, but none that make as much long-run sense than doing it now that you have the resources to do it. It all seems minor repairs - and I presume there no structural issues. But also imagine plugging in your TV in a few months and finding that your circuits aren't able to keep up with the demand and there you are with 50 hours invested in repairs.

having been there and done that, I still say replace it all now. You'll be glad you did.


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Old 08-23-2008, 11:11 AM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Yeah that is sound advice for sure. I prolly don't have the money at this point to do a full gut of the house and do it all at the same time, but maybe if I do it a room at a time it wouldn't be too bad.

Ok then let me ask this; if I wanted to "enhance" the liveability of say a couple rooms, would mudding those rooms for now be ok? I mean will I have any problems with the mud sticking to the plaster? Is there anything I should do to help with that process? Or is that train of thought a huge waste of time? Only reason I ask is because the cracks in the wall just look like poo, and the wife wants something done now if possible. She's not gonna divorce me if not, but you know she is "the Queen"
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