I have an old 1920's house in the Chicago area with many lath-and-plaster walls and ceilings. We are going to be removing a whole-house fan, which will leave a 3' square opening that will need to be patched. There are also a few other spots, such as the area around the thermostat and some electrical boxes that need to be filled.
How important is it that I find someone who is skilled at plaster repair? Is it something a typical handyman or painter can handle, or do I need to find a specialist?
Also, I've seen several contractors who specialize in plaster and stucco; are they similar skill sets? Should I assume that someone skilled at stucco work is also skilled at plaster work?