LESLIE: Cathy in Ohio is doing some work on a fireplace. How can we help you?
CATHY: Hi, I have got a rather large, rectangular living room and on the end wall, about 14 feet wide, is all faux stone on a fireplace wall …
CATHY: … and it really darkens the room up. And I’m wondering if there is an easy way to remove this stone.
TOM: Well, in terms of easy, the only easy is to paint it. To get it off once and for all is a pretty big construction project, Cathy. What is it on? Is the wall a standard sort of drywalled, framed, wood-framed wall?
CATHY: I believe it is.
TOM: Yeah, so what you’re going to end up doing is pulling off the fake stone and pulling off the drywall because you’re going to find that there’s probably going to be a wire mesh behind it …
CATHY: Correct. OK.
TOM: … and that’s going to be very difficult for you to get off without destroying the wall. And in fact, it’s actually easier, rather than putting a lot of time into preserving that drywall – drywall is very cheap …
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Just to get rid of it.
TOM: … it’s easy to replace. I would simply cut it right off the wall, stone and all; go right down to the studs and then redrywall that space.
CATHY: With like a circular saw or stonecutter or what?
TOM: Well, you’re probably going to break off – you don’t need a stonecutter. You’re probably going to break off some of the loose stuff at the top and then, with a utility knife, you could slice the tape joint between the ceiling and the wall and just try to work it off in pieces.
TOM: I don’t think it’s going to be that difficult. You know, it’s a heavy job; it takes a little bit of muscle, but I don’t think you’re going to find it that difficult to get that off.
CATHY: OK, wonderful. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Cathy. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.