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Old 02-23-2009, 11:42 PM   #1
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Particle Board Acceptable for wall covering in House?


I am looking at buying a house in which part of the basement walls are covered with Particle board/Strand board. I am wondering if this is code-compliant and acceptable or if it needs to be replaced with sheet-rock. See the attached pictures, this is in the walk-out basement.
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:43 AM   #2
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Particle Board Acceptable for wall covering in House?


The code doesn't dictate what the wall finish/material on the inside of your home is. The only room where sheetrock is actually required is the garage (for fire resistance).

Personally, I'd want to know why they covered the walls with a cheap product like particle board. What is being concealed? Cracked foundation walls? Mold? Water infiltration? There's the possibility that they just wanted it as a shop area and needed a wallcovering that would be good for nailing into.

Another thing to check is that the electric boxes are flush mounted with the face of the particle board. If the boxes are not flush then spark rings are required. With sheetrock there is a little allowable tolerance, but with wood products there is not...Can't have any electrical exposed to that wood.

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Old 02-24-2009, 12:44 AM   #3
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Particle Board Acceptable for wall covering in House?


No problem using OSB for interior walls......... of a barn. You can even use it for flooring. But you will never get it to look like anything other than what it is.... u-g-l-y!
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:54 AM   #4
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Particle Board Acceptable for wall covering in House?


I do have full intentions on replacing it with sheetrock, but the reason I am asking about if its a code violation is with the FHA loan I will need to have the house fixed up to standards before I can move in, and if this is not a code concern or issue, then I'd like to put it off until a later date. It's the family room space down in the basement, I have no idea why someone would want to cover the walls with this stuff inside a house and yes I do agree it looks ugly. I doubt this was intended for a shop space but who knows, maybe they didnt want to tape and top the sheetrock down here for some strange reason.

I was recalling the garage had to be covered with sheetrock becuase of the 15 minute fire rating, I assumed it applied inside the house as well.

I am getting a 203k rehab loan on the house and I want to keep the loan as small as possible and fix what needs to be fixed now before I can move in, then worry about anything extraneous later after I close and have moved in. My plan would be to turn this space into a home theatre room, there is a built-in bar around the corner, its just not a wet bar .... yet!
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:20 AM   #5
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Particle Board Acceptable for wall covering in House?


i saw it used as a counter facing in a chinese restaurant a while back.....
you know what? when it has a nice, high gloss thick coating of polyurethane..... it's STILL ugly! lol

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Old 02-24-2009, 07:17 AM   #6
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Particle Board Acceptable for wall covering in House?


That is OSB, not particle board. I would never use it below grade, and definitely not touching concrete.
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:24 AM   #7
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Particle Board Acceptable for wall covering in House?


true... big difference between strand board and particle board.

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Old 02-24-2009, 08:43 AM   #8
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Particle Board Acceptable for wall covering in House?


Either way its still ugly in the basement and I really would like to replace it, but if its not a requirement to replace it before I can move in, then its probably something that will be put off for later. Just trying to keep the initial rehab costs down since it will be a loan on top of my mortgage there by increasing my monthly mortgage payments. Granted it doesn't really matter what I think needs to be done or what anyone else says needs to be done its what the appraisal says needs to be done. I already have a pretty good idea what the list will include, just trying to get some information on some of the stuff that may or may not have to be on that list. And it appears from the comments here that this particular issue can be dealt with later.
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:02 AM   #9
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Particle Board Acceptable for wall covering in House?


i wonder what the original owner had planned for it? mud/texture? panelling? i might consider another route if it meant tearing all that down.
maybe a faux finish would be cool?

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Old 02-24-2009, 09:07 AM   #10
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Particle Board Acceptable for wall covering in House?


I suspect its possible they had planned on wood paneling, but looking at the fact that there are shelves hung on the wall in this area and the drop ceiling is also installed over the OSB I suspect they fully intended to keep it like this. Which I can't think of a reason why anyone would want this on the walls in the living space of their house! Like someone else said it would be OK for like a work shop or a BARN, but this is what would be considered the "family room" in the basement of this house. There is a fireplace in the room next to this space, along with a bar that they built out of brick.
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:18 AM   #11
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Particle Board Acceptable for wall covering in House?


Quote:
Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
the drop ceiling is also installed over the OSB
i noticed that too, maybe they were just going to PAINT it???? *yuk*
well, anything you decide to do short of using dynamite will surely be an improvement! let us know what you decide.

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Old 02-24-2009, 01:16 PM   #12
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Particle Board Acceptable for wall covering in House?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
i noticed that too, maybe they were just going to PAINT it???? *yuk*
well, anything you decide to do short of using dynamite will surely be an improvement! let us know what you decide.

DM
Yeah, painting it would look *slightly* better, but it would still be rather ugly. It will be removed at some point during the first couple months, i'll be installing some additonal outlets and some ethernet runs as well and running new RG6 coax through the wall not ON TOP of the wall! I can't imagine the coax really went in after the OSB was installed, looks like they didnt really want to put the coax behind the wall for some reason.
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Old 02-24-2009, 03:03 PM   #13
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Particle Board Acceptable for wall covering in House?


I've seen it mostly installed in work areas
It was sanded & stained, looked OK
Main reason was the ability to hang things up & screw in anywhere to wood
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:46 PM   #14
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Particle Board Acceptable for wall covering in House?


Quote:
Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
Either way its still ugly in the basement and I really would like to replace it, but if its not a requirement to replace it before I can move in, then its probably something that will be put off for later. Just trying to keep the initial rehab costs down since it will be a loan on top of my mortgage there by increasing my monthly mortgage payments. Granted it doesn't really matter what I think needs to be done or what anyone else says needs to be done its what the appraisal says needs to be done. I already have a pretty good idea what the list will include, just trying to get some information on some of the stuff that may or may not have to be on that list. And it appears from the comments here that this particular issue can be dealt with later.
You would have to check with your local code official to see if it is ok. You can also check with FHA. Typically the residential code is fairly lax when it comes to rated walls (smoke or fire) with the garage as the only exception but unless it is a storage space or shop area you would want to sheetrock anyway to use it as livable space.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:48 PM   #15
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Particle Board Acceptable for wall covering in House?


FYI, you don't need to remove it, you can just sheetrock over what is there but ad any electric before you rock.

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