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Old 10-18-2007, 08:33 PM
 
187 posts, read 804,101 times
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Getting ready to close on a late 60s ranch with popcorn ceilings. Lots and lots of places in Austin seem to have them!

Wondering if anyone out there has paid to have them removed by drywall folks or day laborers and, if so, what did it cost? Does anyone on this list have recommendations for an honest, affordable contractor to remove this stuff? It's hideous!

I should say that I've seen plenty of websites that show how to do it yourself, and it looks like such a gdawful mess that I don't want to get involved in that! I've also seen folks write about asbestos in the texture that makes the "popcorn" effect, but I'm not concerned about that.

Tips? Advice? Cost?
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:20 PM
 
575 posts, read 2,359,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schoenfraun View Post
Getting ready to close on a late 60s ranch with popcorn ceilings. Lots and lots of places in Austin seem to have them!

Wondering if anyone out there has paid to have them removed by drywall folks or day laborers and, if so, what did it cost? Does anyone on this list have recommendations for an honest, affordable contractor to remove this stuff? It's hideous!

I should say that I've seen plenty of websites that show how to do it yourself, and it looks like such a gdawful mess that I don't want to get involved in that! I've also seen folks write about asbestos in the texture that makes the "popcorn" effect, but I'm not concerned about that.

Tips? Advice? Cost?
I don't know the price, but just be aware of what you are in for. I prepped a 792 sq. ft. condo's ceiling myself, and it was lots of work and messy. It turns out it would have been only $150 more for them to prep the ceiling!!! I spent over 40 person hours doing it myself.

If they do it correctly, they will cover everything, and put plastic tarps baseboard to baseboard, and tape it. Then, they will have a vacum mounted on a scraper, and after they wet the popcorn, they scrape and vacum it away.

If you are lucky, the popcorn will not have been hiding really bad drywall taping, then it is as simple as a nice skim coat of drywall snot with a 12" drywall knife. It it is worse, then expect one coat with the 12", then a feathered coat with an 18" drywall knife, the next day. On the third day, they can then come back and do the knock-down effect of your choice. After that, a nice coat of Kilz to prime, then paint.

It is well worth it as you probably already know...
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:11 PM
 
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another thing to watch out for with houses that old is asbestos
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
9,051 posts, read 17,846,761 times
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Yes, on a 60's house the popcorn texture probably contains asbestos. It also is hiding imperfections in the ceiling drywall. Personally, I wouldn't do it myself... I'd contract that out and make up for the extra expense by doing something else (painting, landscaping) myself.

When we were house hunting 2 years ago, we did see a few where they had taken off the popcorn ceiling and it did look good.
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Old 10-19-2007, 06:09 AM
 
2,237 posts, read 8,452,759 times
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It's easy to do yourself but it is bad on your back and neck...for me anyway. We did two bathrooms, the kitchen, and breakfast rooms ourselves. I've been quoted prices from $1800-3000 + materials to scrape an additional 2100 sq ft. This includes scraping, retaping, retexture, and paint.
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Old 10-19-2007, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Philly 'burbs
14 posts, read 96,849 times
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You need to get a sample of the material tested for asbestos. If it does contain asbestos, it is illegal in many places (and deadly!) to remove it or have it removed without taking proper precautions.

kathy
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Old 10-19-2007, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Driftwood TX
389 posts, read 1,472,054 times
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If it were me, I would just have a drywall crew pull the sheetrock all off. Then re drywall and finish it out. 60's drywall is bound to be tired and/or moldy, and you can check/update insulation and wiring while its open.. Also theres new drywall which is nearly "mold proof"
You could of course save some by demo-ing the drywall yourself...

My 2 cents
Cheers
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:38 AM
 
33,347 posts, read 52,836,829 times
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driftwood--that is really a pretty good idea--but it would still be messy...
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Old 10-19-2007, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Texas
118 posts, read 533,791 times
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We had the popcorn removed from every bit of our house before we moved in last year. For a 3000 sq ft house + garage it cost about $4600, I think it was. Ouch. That also included retexturing, priming, and painting. I don't think they retaped the drywall, but judging by some areas in the bedroom and living room they probably should have.

We were (and still are) very unhappy with the texture they sprayed on. I asked for a smooth knock down and they gave us something that looks like a coating of spitballs. ugh! Partly our fault for letting them do it when we were still out of state and we did not fly back to check on the progress. But I wanted it done while the house was still vacant, and I thought I was clear about what we wanted. The guy did give me something off the cost since we were so unhappy, and also the subs left the place a wreck, with dust and gunk everywhere! He had to send his housecleaner back to do an actual cleaning. His subs told him they cleaned up, but their idea of "clean" was ridiculous!

We also had it done at our house in LA. It is a BIG hassle to do when you're living in the house, so try to get it done before you move in if at all possible. They do tape a big sheet of plastic all around the ceiling which keeps the popcorn gunk under control, but you still have to move your furniture around and remove anything that's fragile.

By way of comparison, the LA guy charged me $1.25/sq ft for 8-foot ceilings, and $1.50/sq ft for vaulted ceilings. That did NOT include priming or painting, only scraping the popcorn and retexturing. Before you repaint, you'll probably have to caulk the seams between the walls and ceilings.

I've heard that the popcorn is easier to remove yourself if it's never been painted over. You can supposedly spray it with water and scrape it right off. If it's ever been painted, it's MUCH harder to get off.

You should check it for asbestos, if you haven't already. If it has asbestos, it will cost you a lot more to remove it, and you shouldn't do it yourself. That might be why some people just leave it there. I guess the asbestos isn't harmful if you don't disturb it.

HTH, and enjoy your new rancher! (we love mid-century homes!)
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,439 posts, read 31,754,973 times
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I did some relatively small square footage in my last house. I used warm water in a 'liquid fertilizer sprayer' (never used for that!) that you pump up by hand. It had a great flat spray pattern you could use and get just enough water on there. I would guess, although I didn't think about it at the time, that it had never been painted.

If it has asbestos, the cost will go through the roof to have a contractor do it, and it the contractor does not sample, he (or his crew) are not very bright. If you plan to do it yourself, you will need respirators and some very good vacuuming equipment, as well some research. It can be done, though, and since you don't do it for a living, you will not have to worry as much about the chronic effects. Personally, though, I don't think I would do it....
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