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Old 08-29-2008, 08:46 AM   #1
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Help with straightening studs before drywalling

Hello everyone,

First post here!

So, I decided to rip out the 70s style wooden paneling in a 200 sq. ft. family room in the house I bought a year ago and replace it with drywall.

Aside from some powder post beetle damage I found in a 2x6 and the horribly old-house smelling insulation which I replaced with brand new batts, I found that

1. Quite a few studs are not plumb
2. In a couple places the HVAC ducts that are in between studs are protruding out farther than the studs. NOW I know why the paneling never seemed to be straight! Grr.
3. Some studs are sticking out farther than others, perhaps by more than 1/8" in places.

So, I'm just looking for some advice on how to best straighten out the studs and make them good enough for drywalling. I know the basic idea, by using shims or furring strips and such, but I don't really have a clear picture of what to do and I'd like some advice from other people.

Thanks so much!


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Old 08-29-2008, 09:50 AM   #2
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you could try to sister some 2x4s to the existing studs and instead of lineing the new 2x4s up with the old 2x4s slide them out past any existing protrusions (duct work and such). Use a string stretched across the entire wall to make sure everything is in line.


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Old 08-29-2008, 10:35 AM   #3
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Put a small nail in the furthest left stud, and furthest right stud and leave it sticking out 1" and the same distance off the floor on both. Tie a string between the nails taughtly. You now have a straight reference (according to the wall). Measure the distance between the string and what's protruding most from the wall. Let's say it ends up being 1/2" away from the string. You now need to go stud by stud measuring, cutting and installing shims until everyone of them ends up 1/2" away from the string and you will have a straight wall side/side. It's not as important for up/down but if you want it level that way as well you'd use the same techqnique but with two or three strings placed low & high and make sure all the strings are levelled vertically before measuring for the shims.

Last edited by Piedmont; 08-29-2008 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:12 PM   #4
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Both above replies are good advice, but to be honest, 1/8" out isn't that bad even by new construction standards. You should be using 1/2" drywall in your walls and it won't show the difference nearly as bad as (I'm assuming) 1/4" paneling. I would worry more about where the ducts, etc. protrude past the stud. That will prevent you from getting the drywall pulled tight to the studs.
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