Get rid of ‘popcorn’ ceilings all at once

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Q: I own a 40-plus-year-old house that has been remodeled from time to time and looks modern and is well-kept. Presently, I need to remove the "cottage cheese" ceiling from one large room. Is it in my best interest to remove this from all the rooms in the house? --Lorna K. A: First of all, I need to make you aware of the fact that many older acoustic ceiling treatments -- commonly called "popcorn" or "cottage cheese" ceilings -- contained a small amount of asbestos fiber. Asbestos was common in many acoustic and drywall products until the 1970s and sometimes later, so a home that is 40-plus years old could fall into that category. Removal of asbestos is governed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and under their guidelines you have some options for professional or do-it-yourself removal. For more information on asbestos and how to have it tested and removed, visit the EPA's Web site at There are pros and cons to removing all the acoustic material a...