Seal Hole in the Wall
I need to patch this hole in the wall on both sides that was left after the removal of an old furnace. There are studs immediately on both side and the top of the hole. I was thinking about installing 2x4's horizontally along the bottom for the baseboards to attach to.
Should I just expand the hold and expose the studs to which I will nail the drywall? The problem is, the existing plaster is between 3/4" and 1" thick. Would I just shim the drywall until it is flush with the plaster?
Thanks for any input you can provide...
I hope there is some sort of header hiding under the top edge of the drywall because that span is not kosher. You are going to end up buying a sheet of drywall anyhow so don't be shy with your drywall saw.
You are going to need to anchor a 2x4, 2x6 or whatever footplate across that gap (I cannot tell your wall thickness from the photo). To do it right, you really should anchor it to the subfloor but that would mean cutting away your finished floor. I guess since all you need it for is to have a place to screw drywall?
Once you find the header that should be there for the furnace opening, you will want to run a vertical 2x4 or 2 by whatever matching your wall thicknes to bring the framing to somewhat civilized standards.
You then should should cut and mount some cleats to either side of your opening so you have somplace to screw your drywall patches. There is no reason to try and cut the existing and proven drywall down midpoint of a stud you cannot see and then try to put a perfectly cut patch in place? No way you can expect a drywall to hold in such a situation with screws or nails at its very end. Never works out. Screw the patches to the cleats.
Once drywall is in place, mud and tape sanding existing surface if need be so the tape works.
Assuming you used 5/8 you still have some repair to do to bring the surface up to what is plastered on. You could use either hot drywall mud or repair plaster for this. I usually like using plaster for plaster repairs but your situation would have me leaning to something like 20 minute drywall compound. Comes in a bag. You can get it with working time from 5-120 minutes.
Let it all cure. Obviously you need to track down some matching baseboard trim. Prime and paint. Nobody but you will ever know the furnace was there!
Just one question. It looks like you had a cold air return on the backside of a furnace? Did your HVAC guys compensate for this and tweak or move your thermostat when you made changes. Does your system monitor the actual cold air returns? Please tell me the central one is not by your front door so your entire HVAC system kicks on whenever you leave or enter. Moving the thermostat just a few feet back from the front door could save you oodles in energy bills.
Thank you very much for your detailed answer, it is very helpful! There is a header directly above the hole that I will be able to attach vertical supports to. The wall thickness is 5.25" from surface to surface, but the plaster is 1.75" of that, so it looks like i will have to create the supports, then shim the drywall to be flush with the surface.
In regard to the furnace; the air return is almost exactly in the center of the house, nearly equidistant from the majority of the registers (which were all newly ducted and installed.) The thermostat is actually just a few feet away from this location, which probably led to horrible cycling before, but is quite ideal now.
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