Is this common?

Inspected a home yesterday, built in 1962. In the bedrooms, living room, there are long, linear cracks in the ceiling - 1 in each room. It looks like the edge of a drywall sheet. But then in the attic - there’s no insulation - I can see seams that appear to be plaster? Is it possible/common to drywall over plaster? It looks good aside from cracks…I’m not sure and the seller isn’t around to answer any questions.

It is done at times in my area. But that’s not what I see in your picture. It appears the drywall is directly attached to what could be furring strips. It just looks like there was a VERY large gap they tried to mud. Picture may be deceiving though?

There’s more going on here than is being shown in the photos. How about a pic or two of attic views, the ceiling joists, roof structure/rafters/trusses, etc. Close ups are great, but don’t help with an overview of the contributing factors/components.

I was confused by the lathe visible…for some reason, I didn’t get a pic of the word “LATHE” stamped on one piece…

Pretty typical for my area - built in 1962, block house on a slab. Plywood roof deck and the roof was re-shingled in 2011. Whole house was last renovated in 2011 - new appliances, HVAC, etc.

Looks like a wall top plate at that wide crack you were talking about. What was below?

No - I could see the wall plate - this was about 18" from the wall. This is almost dead center above the crack in the drywall below.
And 1 crack in the same location in each bedroom, all running the same direction…

I believe what you’re seeing is “rock lath”, which was common in the time period you mention for that home. It was early drywall, but still used plaster as the “mud” to fill the joints and skim coat the surface. The cracks you’re seeing are likely along the edge of one of the panels (typically 16" x 48"). The panel joint is also what you’re seeing in the attic photo.
Here’s a link to a discussion about its use:

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Thank you Terry - I believe you may be right… it’s the only explanation that seems to make sense. I have never seen or heard of that before. It doesn’t change my report - the cracks still need repair, but this seems a little less ominous. Thanks again!

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