When taking down an old plaster and lathe wall it’s common to use a Sawzall and cut it into sections for easy removal. Haines says instead consider sparing the beautiful old lathe and giving it new life. “When we take houses apart fully, we often save it all,” he says. “There’s some really great reuses people can do, like making lathe picture frames, or taking a bunch and reassembling them as a wall decoration or a display.” Before plugging in your saw or raising your mighty sledge though, you’ll also want to have the plaster tested for asbestos, which was a common additive in the past. And naturally be sure to have a contractor or, ideally, a structural engineer vet the wall to make sure it’s not load bearing, lest your home renovation become an instant demolition.
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