If you’re planning on rewiring a house with plaster walls, you may at first feel overwhelmed by the task. Fortunately, there are ways to rewire a house with plaster walls
that don’t involve damaging the plaster or having to spend a great deal of money in the process.
Perhaps one of the best ways to prevent damage and costly mistakes is to first have a definite plan, as this article suggests. Know where other wirings and plumbing structures are to avoid potentially drilling a hole into them. Furthermore, it can be helpful to be aware and decide what kind of electrical needs your home is going to have and where. This step can also help you avoid cutting into the plaster unnecessarily. Some rewiring projects may require a panel swap, which can also be helpful to know in advance.
Think Out of the Box
Obviously, one of the biggest challenges with rewiring plaster walls is that you don’t want to ruin the walls and have to do a lot of patchworks. While in most cases, rewiring is done by sometimes cutting into the existing wall, when dealing with plaster you may want to get creative. Some electricians, as cited here, have even gone as far as using chains to drop wires down through an attic and behind plaster walls. Additionally, if your home has baseboards, running the wire behind the baseboards, instead of behind plaster walls, may be another possibility.
Utilize the Best Tools
It may be that you can’t find a way to avoid cutting into your home’s plaster walls. In this case, ensure that you have the best tools for the job to cut down on damage. For example, you will want a suitable size drill in order to avoid drilling a hole that’s too small or too large into the walls. Some electricians recommend using an oscillating tool to score the plaster but using a chisel to actually cut the hole in the wall.
Don’t Go Laterally
As mentioned above, if you have a home that is more than one story, the wire can be run vertically instead of laterally. In most cases, this is made possible by having circuits in either the basement or attic and running wiring either up or down. Not only can this make the job easier and take less time, it can also cut down on the number of holes you’ll have to drill into your home’s plaster walls.
While rewiring a house with plaster walls has its complications, it can be done without spending a ton of money, or causing too much damage to the walls. That being said, it can also be helpful to enlist the help of an experienced electrician to do parts of the job. Too, you may want to check to make sure that your plaster walls do not contain asbestos before starting the project. If they do, it’s important to take the appropriate safety measures in order to avoid health risks.