Can a rental property have multiple layers or sheetrock inside and is contractor right to replace it? That is this week’s question for veteran landlord, property manager and real estate investor Hank Rossi.

Dear Landlord Hank:

We hired contractor to fix big holes in the sheetrock of one of our rentals after tenant damage. It is an older house. Contractor said he found two layers of sheetrock underneath when he started repairs so it is going to cost more. Does this sound right that previous owners had layers of sheetrock? And that it will cost more?

– Sam

Dear Landlord Sam:

It seems like everyone these days has a camera built into their cell phones.

Maybe your contractor could take some photos of the problem so you can see what he is encountering.

If your rental property is older, 1950s or earlier built, the walls could originally have been covered with lath (wooden strips) covered with plaster, usually three coats.

This means of finishing interior walls is much thicker, over an inch compared to 3/8 or 5/8 drywall. The plaster walls were tougher but much more labor intensive to make.

Dear Landlord Hank: Can A Rental Property Have Multiple Layers Of Sheetrock?

Contractor repairing multiple layers of sheetrock in rental property.

Also, if plaster walls were damaged with picture hanging, etc., they are more expensive to repair.

It could be possible that an earlier owner of your property sheet rocked over the plaster walls to make surface repairs easier. If your contractor can’t take a photo of the area and show you what he is talking about, can you check it out for yourself?

Older properties can be more expensive to repair but I’d want to see the situation first hand, if possible.


Hank Rossi

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Dear Landlord Hank: Can A Rental Property Have Multiple Layers Of Sheetrock?

Landlord Hank at work on one of his properties.