At some point in every home you will have to fix a leak or update the sink and fixtures in your bathroom or kitchen and that will require you to change the plumbing. If you live in a colder climate you might think about changing that old copper and pvc pipes for pex; pex expands in the cold to accommodate the weather which means no more busted water pipes. Replacing the pipes is a big job but with the right tools and plenty or prep you can be a DYI king or queen!


-Pry Bar


-Framing Nailer



-2×4 boards

-1/2” drywall


Step 1: Remove the Old Plaster

Figure out where new plumbing will run so you know how much of the wall needs to be removed, and then mark the area.

Put drop cloths down to protect the new underlayment while removing the old plaster and lathe.

Remove the old plaster and lathe using a pry bar and a hammer. Be careful for electrical and gas lines.

Clean up debris as you go to keep dust out of the rest of the house.


Step 2: Install Fire Blocks

Note: To prevent a fire from spreading up to the attic, install a fire block. Old walls are open all the way up through a house. To prevent fire from spreading, install fire blocks between studs in the wall.

Measure the space between the studs and cut 2×4” pieces to fit. You may need to notch out for pipes or wire.

Make sure the blocks fit snug, pound into place.

Toe-nail them into the studs on both sides.


Step 3: Cut the Drywall Pieces

Have a plumber run new water lines and a gas line. While the wall is open, mark where the studs are so you know where to attach drywall screws. It will also come in handy later when you are trying to anchor cabinets.

Cut 1/2” drywall pieces to close up the wall, mark and cut out water pipes, electrical boxes and gas line connection.


Step 4: Secure and Finish the Drywall

Screw in the drywall using ½” drywall screws. Tape the seams with self-adhesive fiberglass tape. Mud the joints and screw holes with joint compound and mudding knife. Let it dry and then sand the mudded area smooth using a sanding block.