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    LESLIE: Next up we’ve got Rodney in Pennsylvania who’s got renovation on the menu. What can we help with?

    RODNEY: I have a home that was built in 1898.

    TOM: Ah. OK, that’s a youngster compared to mine but go ahead. (Tom and Rodney chuckle)

    RODNEY: I had frozen pipes and I had to go in behind the plaster.

    TOM: OK.

    RODNEY: What I found behind the plaster was wire mesh underneath what appears to be wooden, like, backer (ph) slats. Now, I’m going to replace all that. I’m going to pull all that plaster out and put drywall in.

    TOM: OK.

    RODNEY: (INAUDIBLE) if I should pull that wire mesh out along with it.

    TOM: Well, if it’s flat and intact with the wall, you could probably drywall on top of it. There is a strategic decision to try to figure out how deep you want to go. And if it’s not deteriorated and pulling away from the wall and loose I think you can just leave it and go right over it.

    RODNEY: OK. So you don’t think it would interfere with anything?

    TOM: No, I don’t think so. You know, the more you take off the worse it gets. I mean generally when you’re – if you have old plaster walls I don’t recommend pulling the old plaster off because it’s just such a big, stinking mess.

    RODNEY: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: I generally tell people to go on top of the plaster. But if you’ve already pulled the plaster off and you have a flat surface I think you can stop there and drywall right over it.

    RODNEY: Well, the plaster’s so uneven. That’s why I was thinking about maybe going room to room, you know, as a winter project or something.

    TOM: Well, you might want to try putting drywall on top of it because it does hide a lot of sins and it’s a heck of a lot easier to work with.

    RODNEY: OK, I …

    TOM: Even if it’s uneven, you know, it really does a good job of smoothing things out. Listen, I’ve done it both ways, Rodney, and I’ve got to tell you it’s just a lot better when you don’t take it off. It’s just a real dusty, dirty mess and it doesn’t really buy you that much to strip it down to the studs.

    RODNEY: OK. Alright, I appreciate that.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Rodney. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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