Home Interior

Interior Finishes

The two most common materials used for interior surfaces are plaster and drywall. Plaster and drywall are essentially the same material. Drywall is pre-manufactured while plaster on the other hand, is hand mixed and applied on site.

Older plaster systems were applied over boards that were roughly one inch wide by one quarter inch thick. This is called a wood lath system. The plaster was applied in two or three coats. The first coat would ooze between the boards forming a bond to the wall surface. The next step(s) would be the finish coats.

Gypsum lath systems became popular in the 1930’s. Sheets of pre-manufactured plaster, roughly 16” by 48”, were applied to the wall or ceiling framing. The finish coats would then be applied over the panels. This system replaced wood lath because it was quicker and less expensive to install.

Drywall became very popular in the 1960’s and is used almost exclusively today. Drywall usually comes in sheets that are four feet wide by eight, ten, twelve or fourteen feet long. Sheets are applied directly to the wall or ceiling framing with screws or nails. The joints or seams are then taped and finished with drywall compound.

Water damage is a common problem associated with interior finishes. Sources of water damage include: roof leaks, flashing leaks, ice damming, window or skylight leaks, plumbing leaks, and condensation. Water damage often appears more serious than it is. Plaster or drywall is easily damaged by water, but short term exposure will not damage most building materials. It is uncommon to have extensive building damage caused by water which appears at an interior finish. This problem can be diminished if promptly addressed.


There are many styles and types of windows. They may be single hung with one sash that goes up and down or double hung with two movable sashes. If the sash moves sideways it is called a slider. Hinged on the side and opening out is called a casement. Hinged at the top is an awning, and hinged on the bottom is a hopper.

There are a wide variety of glass options available today including:

Single Pane: Used almost exclusively until about 1950. Only one pane of glass is used in this type of window.

Double Pane: Double glazed windows have two panes of glass. The space in between is filled with a dried air or an inert gas such as “Argon”. If the seal in between the glass is lost, condensation may develop between the two panes and make the glass difficult to see through. Defective seals cannot be repaired. Discolored glass must be replaced.

Tempered Glass: Tempered glass is made three to five times stronger than regular glass by heating it and then cooling it very quickly. When the surface layer of tempered glass is broken, the entire pane shatters into small rectangular pieces.

Laminated Glass: A layer of plastic is sandwiched between two layers of glass to prevent broken pieces from being released if a pane is cracked or shattered.

Low Emissivity: Low-E glasses accept radiation from the sun but inhibit the heat from escaping back through the window unit. The cost savings of cooling your home can be substantial when using this type of glass.

Window Maintenance

  • Periodically inspect the exterior of the windows for physical damage or signs of water damage.
  • Check for broken, cracked, loose, or missing glass. Check double paned units for signs of seal failure (fogging between the glass).
  • Regularly check the windows for drafts and smooth operation.
  • Check for peeling paint.

Safety Devices

Smoke Alarms: Most communities require at least one smoke detector in a home. Some communities require multiple detectors. Whether or not it is legislated in your territory, there should be at least one detector on every level of your home. Detectors can either be battery operated or hard wired. There are three different types of smoke detectors: 1) ionization alarms to detect fast-flaming fires, 2) photoelectric alarms detecting smoldering fires, and 3) thermal alarms which react to heat.There is little difference in how effective any of these devices are, but a homeowner may prefer one over the other for some locations.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Hundreds of lives could be saved every year in this country with the use of carbon monoxide detectors. It is highly recommended that at least one CO detector be installed in your home.

Safety Device Maintenance

Periodically check all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for operation. Change the monoxide alarms for operation. Change the monoxide alarms for operation. Change the monoxide alarms for operation. Change the batteries at least once a year.



For anyone who is considering remodeling of their home, I would highly recommend Martin Morgan with All Bay Development, Inc. I have had two major remodels - Master bathroom and kitchen. Both were done ...
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