Forums / Property Investing / Value Adding / Need help – fixing/updating internal walls

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  • Profile photo of CorvusCorvus
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    @corvus
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 4

    Hi folks,
    I just bought my first property and it needs a fair amount of work done – new bathroom, external paint, moving a wall or two. It's a 50's? weatherboard place, 2 bedrooms, timber floors. The good part is that its got a new (pretty cheap but solid) kitchen and fresh paint and carpet.
    So I've got a good plan for how everything is going to happen and what to do for maximum value for money. The one problem I keep coming up with though is the internal walls.
    All except the loungeroom are old style fibro (building inspector said probably asbestos) panels with these chunky joining strips between them. The strips are irregular sized and shaped through the house and there is no pattern to them. The irregular effect just makes the whole place feel really tacky.
    I've been thinking I could just pull the strips off and fill the gaps between sheets with plaster or something but I dont really know what would be the best. I dont really want to pull everything off and put gyprock up since it will cost far more than what it will add, along with the whole issue of working with the asbestos.

    Has anyone done this before and have any advice?

    Thanks

    Profile photo of TrevTrev
    Member
    @trev
    Join Date: 2006
    Post Count: 39

    I have replaced Versilux and asbestos in small areas but not through an entire house.  The vertical joints indicate the location of studs.  I'm not sure from your description whether the joining strips are plastic H-moulds or timber cover battens.  If H-moulds they are first nailed to the studs and the sheets are slotted into the small "channels" on either side.  It would be impossible to remove H-moulds without destroying the wall sheeting.
    If timber battens these could be removed and the exposed joints filled and flushed, although that would be quite a task as the gaps between sheets could be fairly wide.
    So can you check which method of jointing has been used?

    It's fairly odd that the joints are irregularly spaced as the sheets and stud spacings should be regular.

    Profile photo of onthemoneyonthemoney
    Member
    @onthemoney
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 134

    Hi yes you can use paper tape and plaster the same as you would gyprock joins but if theres a gap you need to solid fill that first or you will get cracks in the join. Plaster is good for tight fit joins. Although you could try filling wider cracks with cornice cement first as that sets super hard then do the paper tape and plaster (GB 100) for setting the rest…. I have done heaps of these, just make sure theres full timber backing behind all the joins.

    Profile photo of Trev71Trev71
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    @trev71
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 9

    Hi Corvus,
    The last thing you would want to be doing bogging the joint gaps and sanding it back along with the (possibly asbestos) sheeting. Could you remove all cover strips and choose one size that is wide enough to cover the largest size removed…that way they would all be uniform and probably look better.
    Regards,
    Trev

    Profile photo of CorvusCorvus
    Participant
    @corvus
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 4

    @ Trev, I had another look last night and they are half round timber cover battens, about 1 inch wide. The spacing seems to be regular on the large wall areas, as you say, probably the size of the sheets. The irregularities are around doors/windows and things where it looks like they've cut sheets to fit around the openings.
    @onthemoney, thats what I was hoping to hear, thanks =]
    @ Trev71, I thought of replacing the battens initially but I would like it to end up looking more like a gyprock finish and there is also the irregular sheet size issue that i'd like to hide.

    Thanks guys, I feel a bit better about it now, I might go pull a couiple off and have a stickybeak.

    Profile photo of Scott No MatesScott No Mates
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    @scott-no-mates
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 3,840

    Alternatively, remove the coverstrips & fill with a backing rod no more gaps/coloured filler then smooth out the bog.

    Profile photo of PatPat
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    @pat206
    Join Date: 2015
    Post Count: 1

    Hi Corvus, I know it’s years late, but just found your post. I too have the problem with timber cover strips over fibro joins, and would like to remove them and ‘fill’ and paint, so walls would look more like gyprock. MY QUESTION IS – Did you ever find a successful solution? and was the result neat, with no cracks later on? I’d be so grateful if you could reply. Thanks, Pat

    Profile photo of PungentPungent
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    @pungent
    Join Date: 2015
    Post Count: 1

    Hi Pat. I’m dealing with the same problem. Just removed wallpaper to find all timber battens removed. Should I just put battens back or did you come up with a good fill method. Thanx. Sean (pungent).

    Profile photo of DeanCollinsDeanCollins
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    @deancollins
    Join Date: 2015
    Post Count: 372

    Rip and put in new sheetrock (at the same time taking advantage to put in insulation for sound and heat purposes).

    Cheapest and best solution.

    Profile photo of Holger DanskeHolger Danske
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    @holgerdanske
    Join Date: 2015
    Post Count: 2

    Ripping it out is definitely not the cheapest solution, unless you’re removing it, or dumping it illegally.

    You’re not allowed to rip out more than 10 square metres without a licence. You have to wet it down, and try not to break it when removing it. You have to double wrap it in thick builder’s plastic and tape up all the joins. You have to have a special skip that’s lined with plastic, or take it to an approved tip. It costs at least $500 per tonne if you take it there yourself. If you want to remove more than 10 metres squared, then the course to get a license costs over $700. You need to suit up in disposable cover-alls, including disposable overshoes. You need to wear a respirator, and even the best only catch 99% of fibres, so there’s still a remote chance that you’ll suck in a fibre and die of mesothelioma at some time in the distant future.

    There are people being diagnosed today with asbestosis who’s only contact with it was as a baby when their parents were renovating their home. Of course you’d have to be unlucky, but the stuff is dangerous.

    To get professionals to remove it from inside costs at least $50 per metre square. A double bedroom might have 40 square metres. That’s $2,000 just for one room. Then after it’s removed it’s advisable to get professional air and surface testing done to make sure the house hasn’t been contaminated with asbestos fibres during the removal process. Outside is an easier process since there’s no contamination of the inside. Some American states insist that the entire house is covered by a tent before you start. It may get that tough here in future.

    There’s a chance that if you tape and set the joints it will hold, but I reckon it would crack. If there’s gloss paint on the walls, then I doubt the plaster will stick unless you sand it first, but the last thing I would do is sand an asbestos wall unless you really want to breathe asbestos dust.

    As a builder, my advice is to just replace the cover strips and paint it, or go over the top of it with plasterboard.

    But wear a good, well fitting respirator when nailing/screwing through it to fix the plasterboard. One with canisters, not just a cheap paper mask. And be very careful when removing any, or breaking it out of the way. Never use power tools that will cause dust on it (grinders, drills, etc)

    If Dean Collins can ‘rip it out cheap’, then he must be doing it cowboy style and dumping it late at night somewhere, where it becomes someone else’s expensive problem to get rid of.

    Not all internal joint strip covered sheeting is asbestos though. In fact most of the time it’s only found in bathrooms. Usually the sheeting is masonite. That’s a relatively harmless composite timber product. That can’t be taped and set because it expands and contracts seasonally, and the joints will definitely crack. It’s easy to get rid of though, you could even burn it in a bonfire (if fires are allowed in your shire) or a woodburner.

    Profile photo of DeanCollinsDeanCollins
    Participant
    @deancollins
    Join Date: 2015
    Post Count: 372

    Holger, houses like this are generally less than 15k to get done professionally. Onc its done you don’t need to worry about every little picture hook, cable run drill whole etc you want to make for the rest of your life.

    Sheetrocking after its gone is cheap, and you get to do upgrades at the same time eg insulation for temp and sound, data/video/speaker cable runs at the same time while the walls are open.

    Of all the jobs you can do in an older house no more expensive than a pool and people install these all the time.

    Profile photo of Holger DanskeHolger Danske
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    @holgerdanske
    Join Date: 2015
    Post Count: 2

    Yeh, it could be around 15k, but my comments were directed to the OP, Corvus. He doesn’t want to go to the expense of gyprocking. Gyprocking would cost less than 15k. The most expensive part is getting rid of the asbestos sheeting.

    He want’s a ‘cheap’ solution, and if he doesn’t even want to pay for sheetrock, then he certainly won’t want to add the even more expensive process of removing the asbestos as well, hence my advice to just paint over it.

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