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Thread: Popcorn ceiling

  1. #1
    mom2akm is offline Silver level (200+ posts)
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    Default Popcorn ceiling

    We are under contract to purchase a condo that has popcorn ceiling. Yikes! We like the location of the property very much and didn't notice the popcorn ceiling until after we were under contract.

    We really would like to remove the popcorn ceiling because of the potential health hazard. It was built in 1973 so most likely, it contains asbestos. It's on the top floor and had a roof leak that was repaired in 2005. So the ceiling can be disturbed any time.

    I called a painting company which will charge $7 per square foot and they will scrape, repair and paint the ceiling. A total cost of around $5,000. The condo is 700 sq feet. I then got a quote from an asbestos abatement company and it will be $15 per square foot, a total of $10,000. This company said they will get a permit from the city and do a final air test.

    I know many of you had experience with popcorn ceiling, which of these contractors should I choose? I know the safest would be to choose the asbestos containment but it is also so expensive.

    Is it reasonable to ask the seller to pay for half of the removal cost?

    Any other advise, please chime in!

  2. #2
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    I'd have it tested first to determine whether it contains asbestos. It isn't a given whether it will or won't, and that will inform how you proceed to correct it. Unless you are still in your option period it may be too late to ask for the seller to pay to remove. And generally it's not considered very good to ask for things that are visually obvious--that is you should have noticed before you put in your offer. You _can_ ask for anything, but more typically you'd ask for something that was discovered during the professional inspection. Here when you ask for something it opens the contract back up and the seller can not only say no, but they can technically walk (returning your earnest money of course.) If you are in a hot sellers market it might not fly very well to ask for this. I'd discuss it with your realtor who knows your market better.
    momma to DD 12/08 & DS 3/13

  3. #3
    JustMe is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Agree with the above. Testing is easy. Find a testing company, wet a small area, and scrape some off. It is likely asbestos given the time frame, but you relly never know (unless the sellers know). I don't know about asking the sellers to pay for some or not.

    I would ask the paint company how they keep things safe regarding the asbestos (assuming it is asbestos); if it does not seem like they have a way to do this maybe shop around some more and get quotes from other asbestos safe removal companies?

    One thing I would say is do this now before you move in. It will be another huge type of deal if you had to remove your furniture and yourselves, etc.
    lucky single mom to 18 yr old dd and 15 yr old ds through 2 very different adoption routes

  4. #4
    Kestrel is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Laws vary by state, but here you cannot do what's called "destructive discovery" without the owner's permission. You cannot do anything that damages the property. If you're under contract, I asssume your inspection window is past?

  5. #5
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    There were popcorn ceilings in two of rooms. Not sure they were asbestos but don't think so. A few years ago when we were renovating the house, the contractor covered them with thin sheet rock. Don't know if that is an option for you?
    DD1 - 1996
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  6. #6
    mom2akm is offline Silver level (200+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
    Laws vary by state, but here you cannot do what's called "destructive discovery" without the owner's permission. You cannot do anything that damages the property. If you're under contract, I asssume your inspection window is past?
    We have to finish all inspection by July 1.

  7. #7
    mom2akm is offline Silver level (200+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkmomagain View Post
    There were popcorn ceilings in two of rooms. Not sure they were asbestos but don't think so. A few years ago when we were renovating the house, the contractor covered them with thin sheet rock. Don't know if that is an option for you?
    Yes, covering it with sheet rock is a good option if there’s no asbestos.

  8. #8
    mom2akm is offline Silver level (200+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snow mom View Post
    I'd have it tested first to determine whether it contains asbestos. It isn't a given whether it will or won't, and that will inform how you proceed to correct it. Unless you are still in your option period it may be too late to ask for the seller to pay to remove. And generally it's not considered very good to ask for things that are visually obvious--that is you should have noticed before you put in your offer. You _can_ ask for anything, but more typically you'd ask for something that was discovered during the professional inspection. Here when you ask for something it opens the contract back up and the seller can not only say no, but they can technically walk (returning your earnest money of course.) If you are in a hot sellers market it might not fly very well to ask for this. I'd discuss it with your realtor who knows your market better.
    Yes, asbestos testing is on our radar. We will gather more info and decide what to do.

  9. #9
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom2akm View Post
    Yes, covering it with sheet rock is a good option if thereís no asbestos.
    Even if there is asbestos, isnít it a possible solution? If itís covered up and I disturbed, it seems like it should work. A friend did that with a floor they uncovered during a renovation. Contractor said it was fine to just leave it intact and cover it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains

  10. #10
    mom2akm is offline Silver level (200+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustMe View Post
    Agree with the above. Testing is easy. Find a testing company, wet a small area, and scrape some off. It is likely asbestos given the time frame, but you relly never know (unless the sellers know). I don't know about asking the sellers to pay for some or not.

    I would ask the paint company how they keep things safe regarding the asbestos (assuming it is asbestos); if it does not seem like they have a way to do this maybe shop around some more and get quotes from other asbestos safe removal companies?

    One thing I would say is do this now before you move in. It will be another huge type of deal if you had to remove your furniture and yourselves, etc.
    Yes, completely agree that we will finish removal before we move in.

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