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WaldenL 09-22-2009 12:15 PM

Removing old wood siding under drywall
We're redoing our kitchen. We've pulled drywall off the walls and in some places there's old wooden siding under the drywall (this was an addition years ago, before us). In places where they did pull off the siding they added 1" furring strips to the studs to bring them even w/the siding. We'd love to gain back that space (it's in a small 'L' off the kitchen proper) and I'm thinking about just pulling off that siding. Any reason not to?

The only reason I can think of for leaving the siding (other than the extra work to pull it) is that it supplies lateral support to the 2x4s (they actually measure 2" x 4" :-) However, studs don't move on their own anyway, there is blocking between the studs already, and drywall would also serve that purpose. So, can we just rip the old siding?

Scuba_Dave 09-22-2009 12:27 PM

Is there sheathing on the outside of the house, or just siding?
Some houses in hurricane areas have had sheathing added on the interior for stability
I don't think you need to worry about that too much
Are they 16" OC ?

Gary in WA 09-22-2009 12:54 PM

It sounds like an older house so you may/not have a structural panel there. Check at the bottom plate along the area to be removed for straps running to the foundation. (from under the addition's crawlspace). If none are found and you meet the minimum code requirements for bracing: let-in bracing or structural sheathing (plywood), 16% of total wall length, bracing at each end and 25' on center. If these requirements are met, pull it off. If not, just plywood a 4' section or whatever is needed to meet above. (with furring strips to flush the wall)
Be safe, Gary

WaldenL 09-22-2009 01:17 PM

The wall we're talking about used to be an outside wall, and when this addition was added it became an inside wall. This wall used to be the end of the house (and still holds up the roof over the second floor, but joists run parallel, so it's only "somewhat" supporting. :-) but when the addition was added left left some of the siding up.

Dave, are you asking about this wall, or the new outside wall? If I do this, the wall in question would have only drywall on each side. The new outside wall (which doesn't hold up much) does have sheething under shingles and then foam sheet insulation and then vinyl siding. :-(

Gary, the wall in question is likely original, so IIRC, mid 40s timeframe. The bottom of the wall is "down there" somewhere in the foundation, no way to get to it. Perhaps I used the word "bracing" incorrectly, I'm referring to a piece of 2x4 stuck between two studs, like a firestop. When you mentioned let-in bracing I begin to picture a 2x4 that's on its side and diagonally recessed into the 2x4 studs. That's not what I'm referring to. Am I understanding your post to say that a supporting wall (even if not external) must have some sort of "structural" sheathing? That can't be right.

Gary in WA 09-22-2009 02:22 PM

Anytime an addition is added, the existing wall should be engineered for shear deflection to withstand high winds and earthquake. Most times, especially on the ground floor of a 2 story, some sections are beefed up for this. Because the old wall is usually removed and a bearing header or carrying truss is installed to replace that. In a first floor of a 2 story, code requires as mentioned unless in a seismic area or high wind. Brace at each end (maybe diagonals let-in) and max. 25' to next brace or ply panel. Special strapping to header is also required. I would replace the siding, sheathing with drywall and install fasteners 6"o.c., as you say it is a small area 5-6'? Or better yet, install a Simpson wall brace: from any lumberyard, maybe box store. Then drywall as normal.
Be safe, Gary

WaldenL 09-22-2009 03:11 PM

There are 4 different "products" on that page. Which applies here? It it the 'T' one that I cut into the 2x4 for (seems silly to cut into a perfectly good 2x4) or just the flat strap that looks like it gets nailed onto the surface of the 2x4? By the looks of it, it's thin enough that I could just drywall over it, no? It goes in an 'X' from top-left to bottom-right and top-right to bottom-left?

WaldenL 09-22-2009 03:35 PM

Oh, and I see that you fasten them to the plates (makes sense), but in my case the plate is below floor level. Do I need to remove the subfloor to get there, or can I just connect top plate to lowest point on the stud I can get to? And for Long Island climate is this all overkill? I'm all in favor of overkill, especially when it doesn't cost much (how much can two of these cost?) but if I have to start ripping up the subfloor...

Gary in WA 09-22-2009 10:41 PM

Buy 2 of these and I won't worry: They are made for 8' tall walls. Cut and install a solid wood block at the last stud bay on the bottom of each strap. Drive one nail into top plate almost all the way, pull strap close to final position, insert nail in last hole at a 60* angle, 3/4" from wood so as you drive that nail in, the nail head tightens the strap with no bubbles or bulges, then one nail in each stud, 2 more at top and bottom. Diagonal the other over first, then drywall, knowing you will be good in a high wind against racking.
Be safe, Gary

WaldenL 09-25-2009 08:30 AM

Grrr... I hate Lowe's website. Clicked on that link and according to the site it's not carried in my local store, so I didn't look. Stopped by HD, they had the 250' roll, but not the individuals. Stopped at the local building supply house this AM, "nope, don't carry it." Hmmm... well I need a new hammer anyway, back to Lowes... since I'm here let me check... Gee look! A 5 pack of shear wall... OK, it's USP not Simpson, but who's counting. I could have had this up 2 days ago if I'd not believed the website.

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