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Old 08-31-2008, 11:40 PM   #1
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Replacing homasote with plywood sheathing


Hello! I'm looking to sheath my entire house with plywood (pressed or the regular, more expensive stuff) and replace the tired, brittle 37-year old homasote sheets. I'm on Long Island, in NY. My exact zip code is 11784. What thickness sheets should I use? What sort of tools will I need (i.e. table saw, horses, etc.)? I am reasonably handy, but not a pro carpenter. I don't have the money to hire someone to do the job. I can measure and cut wood- are there any more key factors to doing this? I know about housewrap-which type/brand is good for my application? What technique(s) should I use to hang the boards (i.e. top, or bottom first; vertical or horizontal positioning of the sheets)? How to go around things like sillcock/spigots, cable wiring, etc.? Any caulking or sealing areas? Also, I had the American Craftsman Home Depot windows on the house when I moved in a year ago. I'll need to remove them, probably- correct? (because some are not flush, meaning a space was left between the "flange" and the existing shingles, then caulked). Let me know if I left anything out. All help is certainly appreciated, thank you in advance to all!

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Old 09-01-2008, 06:59 AM   #2
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Replacing homasote with plywood sheathing


AH! your out in SELDEN You are looking to take on some task, your going to be up against the gun once you start this project,(weather). Its more then a DYI project i my opinion. But here goes.
I assuming your going to be changing the siding on the house Also, Correct?
I have done a few of these , One comes to mind out off of Ox head road
in Stony brook. SID FARBER was the builder on this development .
What we did was increased the size of the house three fold. There was homeasote board on the house and being we were changing all the windows and siding, plus the fact the home owner was complaining the house would creak during windy days and I wanted something better to hang the siding from, I came to the conclusion that it would be better to replace the existing sheathing with some 1/2" CDX fir sheathing,
You do not need a table saw for house sheathing. it could be cumbersome to work with 4x8 sheets being a solo dyi. I like to use a sheet rock squire for laying out and marking my sheets. a skillsaw, seawall, drill with some hole saws. and an air compressor with nail gun. code now requires us to use 8D com. nails for 1/2 sheathing. so some nails of this length will need to be purchased.
I don't know what type of work force your going to muster up? so it would be best to do one area at a time. start at the bottom and work your way across and up. remove the siding then the windows, when you get to the doors remove the brick mould around the door,if they break you can always get replacements from Saint James lumber,or HD over by you on Middle Country road.
Once that is done get your self what we call a cats paw,(nail puller) and remove all the roofing nails that is fastening the sheathing to the house. now is the time if you need to do any upgrades to you electric or insulation, before you start to close things in.
When to install the sheathing start at the bottom and run your sheets horizontally! (8' laying down.) Measure from the top of the foundation up 48" and make a mark then go to the other end and do the same, then get your self a chalk line and snap across these two lines. this is your guide to hanging your sheets straight. when measuring make sure all end seams or butt joints fall on the center of the framing members. Hint!! do not cut out the windows until you are ready to install the house wrap, just in case you don't finish up in time, your house will be semi secure, when ready to cut the windows out get the sawzall and from inside run the blade around the rough opening.
as for the water spickets I usually shut the water off , remove them and reinstall after the siding is installed. cable out lets unscrew them at the incoming street location and drill a 1/2" hole and then feed the wire through.
As for the electric service the safest way would be to leave the meter panel on the existing homeasote and cut around it.cutting back on the center of the stud giving you something to nail the new sheathing to. Caution when nailing around the service area take caution as not to hit any wires that are drilled through the studs.
Also if there is a brick chimney on the outside wall leave the existing sheathing in tack. also don't cut the felt paper from behind it. leave your self about 12" so to over lap the house wrap. You are going to be pretty busy.
Good luck with your project.BOB

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Old 09-01-2008, 11:38 AM   #3
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Replacing homasote with plywood sheathing


Very good advice from Bob. Your nail pattern should be 6" at the edges of each sheet, 12" in the field. Your vertical seams must all occur at studs. I would also use full sheets at the corners for strength and work inward.

www.apawood.org has some excellent resources for wall sheathing and wall construction.
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:17 PM   #4
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Replacing homasote with plywood sheathing


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Very good advice from Bob. Your nail pattern should be 6" at the edges of each sheet, 12" in the field. Your vertical seams must all occur at studs. I would also use full sheets at the corners for strength and work inward.

www.apawood.org has some excellent resources for wall sheathing and wall construction.
Correct . I forgot this, all seams must be 4' away from the previous one.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:36 PM   #5
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Replacing homasote with plywood sheathing


That's IT, Bob! My house is exactly a Farber design- The Farm Ranch which is all over the Pines in Medford, places in Holbrook, Holtsville, Selden, and Farmingville. You know, the one with the gambrel (barn) shape up top. My property is also in need of TLC, but the house exterior comes first for me. What's a seawall? I think I should buy a Vaughn cat's paw, any opinion? Just saying b/c the compound Stanley Wonderbar I bought from HD is crap. (I know the cat's paw is a different tool, just had to refer to my current bar) Also the skillsaw..a good buy is which? Oh- I can attach new insulation properly from the outside-in? How? And I'm assuming it would take forever to nail by hand? I ask b/c my bro has all the stuff, compressor and guns, and he's a carpenter- but getting him there is a problem. We're having a State program redo our siding and gutters..I really would hate for them to go over the old homasote crap. It's all flaky, brittle, and holey in some spots. I hear that creaking sound on the windy days as well! I may be able to get the program to replace it all. Gonna call today, 9/2. I hope to get the service done before the siding and sheathing- it's that old 4x4 wood mast which goes halfway down the house. Thanks again!
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:54 AM   #6
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Replacing homasote with plywood sheathing


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That's IT, Bob! My house is exactly a Farber design- The Farm Ranch which is all over the Pines in Medford, places in Holbrook, Holtsville, Selden, and Farmingville. You know, the one with the gambrel (barn) shape up top. My property is also in need of TLC, but the house exterior comes first for me. What's a seawall? I think I should buy a Vaughn cat's paw, any opinion? Just saying b/c the compound Stanley Wonderbar I bought from HD is crap. (I know the cat's paw is a different tool, just had to refer to my current bar) Also the skillsaw..a good buy is which? Oh- I can attach new insulation properly from the outside-in? How? And I'm assuming it would take forever to nail by hand? I ask b/c my bro has all the stuff, compressor and guns, and he's a carpenter- but getting him there is a problem. We're having a State program redo our siding and gutters..I really would hate for them to go over the old homasote crap. It's all flaky, brittle, and holey in some spots. I hear that creaking sound on the windy days as well! I may be able to get the program to replace it all. Gonna call today, 9/2. I hope to get the service done before the siding and sheathing- it's that old 4x4 wood mast which goes halfway down the house. Thanks again!
As for the seawall I did not re read my reply buy it should of been sawzall, and with the cats paw, I particularly like the sears craftsmen cats paw the point on the paws are much sharper and pointier. if the state is going to get involved, you can bet your last dollar that they will not replace the sheathing, there going to go over it with the siding.
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:16 PM   #7
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Replacing homasote with plywood sheathing


Maybe I didn't give it enough time, but I found APAwood a bit difficult to navigate through.

When you said 6" and 12" on center, do you mean down the face of the plywood boards? LIke a nail every 6" down the face at the edges, and every 12" "in the field" as in in the middle/etc. of the boards?

How do I put in insulation backward (From the outside)? How will it be fastened?

I have a CRAP B & D skilsaw...I'm gonna get a nice Porter Cable, Makita, or Milwaukie before I start..that cat's paw, and the sheetrock square. I bought a nice Milwaukie sawzall that is for tight spots...with the adjusting trigger handle; S'posed to be good for between studs, etc. Slightly shorter stroke than the standard one that is like $150

Wait- I'm on Sears.com now...which size cat's paw? There are 2 different ones..one is 8", and one is 11 3/4"

Last edited by mudpaws; 09-05-2008 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:30 AM   #8
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Replacing homasote with plywood sheathing


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Maybe I didn't give it enough time, but I found APAwood a bit difficult to navigate through.

When you said 6" and 12" on center, do you mean down the face of the plywood boards? LIke a nail every 6" down the face at the edges, and every 12" "in the field" as in in the middle/etc. of the boards?

How do I put in insulation backward (From the outside)? How will it be fastened?

I have a CRAP B & D skilsaw...I'm gonna get a nice Porter Cable, Makita, or Milwaukie before I start..that cat's paw, and the sheetrock square. I bought a nice Milwaukie sawzall that is for tight spots...with the adjusting trigger handle; S'posed to be good for between studs, etc. Slightly shorter stroke than the standard one that is like $150

Wait- I'm on Sears.com now...which size cat's paw? There are 2 different ones..one is 8", and one is 11 3/4"
as for nailing yes you are correct.
As for the insulation. you can only staple the one side of the staple hem. then you must swing it into the stud space and rely on the insulation snug fit to hold it in place.
Any skill saw will work just fine.
And as for the cats paw. I personally like the 8" single head one.
Good luck bob. P.S. i hope you didn't start yet , with Hana coming through yesterday evening??
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:16 PM   #9
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Replacing homasote with plywood sheathing


Nope, didn't start yet. I'm still in the planning stages. I have to take sq ft measurements for material order..Then I have to see if I can "nail down" some friends to help, maybe I can stagger them different days...this way one or another won't have to help me all the time. Can you post a picture of that exact cat's paw you got? I figure that any pro's tool ought to be good for me so I want the exact one! OK-I'm almost ready. The windows should come out fairly easy...The people they had do them before I bought the house were real hacks! Thanks for all the help...Ralph

P.S.- You know what's awesome? On the largest areas of the house (rear and front) I only have four windows on each. Only one door in front. In the rear I prob will close two windows, to relocate them at another time; And on the patio (surrounded by 3 walls), I will close that up in a few years~ I'll save myself the trouble one those 3 walls! So now we're down to 7 surfaces + three little ones (front entryway) . Again, there's currently only windows on three of the seven-front (North), west side, and rear (South)

Last edited by mudpaws; 09-07-2008 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:58 PM   #10
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Replacing homasote with plywood sheathing


Hey Bob and everyone..just updating everyone: I decided it definitely was more than I can do, so I didn't end up doing the sheathing job. Bob, I'd like to give you some pictures of what the contractor did to my house. They did the siding, replaced a load of trim board, and capped everything. It really looks mint, with the new shutters and all. There are a few little things I wanted to take pictures of to show you. The side trim surfaces aren't really out over the siding (a Farber built-in characteristic) so they had to better cover an area near the front, but not in front. I'll take a photo of it. It seems the two sides/soffits aren't exactly the same, and the trim/corner that meets up with the siding and corner post top had a 1" space viewable from the top. Better seen in the photo- that they couldn't do anything short of rebuilding the soffits, trim, and roof sheathing to overhang more. That will have to wait til another time down the line when I extend out back and repitch the roofline. Let me know what you think once I post some pictures. Thanks!
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:22 AM   #11
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Replacing homasote with plywood sheathing


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Hey Bob and everyone..just updating everyone: I decided it definitely was more than I can do, so I didn't end up doing the sheathing job. Bob, I'd like to give you some pictures of what the contractor did to my house. They did the siding, replaced a load of trim board, and capped everything. It really looks mint, with the new shutters and all. There are a few little things I wanted to take pictures of to show you. The side trim surfaces aren't really out over the siding (a Farber built-in characteristic) so they had to better cover an area near the front, but not in front. I'll take a photo of it. It seems the two sides/soffits aren't exactly the same, and the trim/corner that meets up with the siding and corner post top had a 1" space viewable from the top. Better seen in the photo- that they couldn't do anything short of rebuilding the soffits, trim, and roof sheathing to overhang more. That will have to wait til another time down the line when I extend out back and repitch the roofline. Let me know what you think once I post some pictures. Thanks!
Hello mudpaws I'm glade you decided to farm it out. it would of been a big job for a DIY. looking forward to seeing the photo's, BOB
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:53 AM   #12
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What's a seawall?
A seawall is a barrier now required by code to protect against sea level rise as a result of global warming for anyone that lives at 30 feet above sea level or lower.
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:15 PM   #13
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Replacing homasote with plywood sheathing


bumpin this bad boy....How do you post pictures here?

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