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Old 10-16-2012, 07:46 AM   #1
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I'm remodeling a 1865 farmhouse and this room will become a 2nd bathroom/laundry room. It's a south west corner of the house and one I removed the plaster and lath I discovered the wide plank boards in the wall cavity's. On the exterior side of them there is plaster again from floor to ceiling but with no lath, almost like plaster siding.

Should I leave the floating boards in the wall or remove them to gain the extra inches for thicker insulation?


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Old 10-16-2012, 08:14 AM   #2
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No way to tell from here what they were put there for.
What's on the outside walls?
I've rehabed many a 100 plus year old house and I've never seen it done that way.
I'm thinking I would just leave them there so it does not also possibly effect the outside siding.

You do know your going to have to add fire blocking at the top and bottom of those walls, right?
Old walls like that are almost never flat, consider sistering 2 X 6's to what you have so you could use R19 insulation and get the walls flat.
You would just have to add jamb extentions to the window.
Your also going to find that floor is not flat or level. Fixing it now before trying to lay a floor and set a tub will pay off.

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Old 10-16-2012, 08:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
No way to tell from here what they were put there for.
What's on the outside walls?
I've rehabed many a 100 plus year old house and I've never seen it done that way.
I'm thinking I would just leave them there so it does not also possibly effect the outside siding.

You do know your going to have to add fire blocking at the top and bottom of those walls, right?
Old walls like that are almost never flat, consider sistering 2 X 6's to what you have so you could use R19 insulation and get the walls flat.
You would just have to add jamb extentions to the window.
Your also going to find that floor is not flat or level. Fixing it now before trying to lay a floor and set a tub will pay off.
Hey thanks for the reply,

The plan is to re-frame the whole room with 2x4 on the west wall where the original studs are 16"oc and on the south wall to go 2x6 where the studs are randomly spaced. Fire blocking of coarse and the floor will definitely be leveled as its almost a 3" drop across the 8' span.

The siding is vinyl then clapboard then tongue and groove then plaster/plank in between studs.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:32 AM   #4
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Use spray in foam insulation
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:45 AM   #5
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you should verify your energy code requirements with your local building department. Most are based upon the International Energy Conservation Code. Check out these links for additional information:

http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildin...eguide_7_1.pdf (see figure 2 on page 2 to determine Climate Class)

http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...9_4_sec002.htm (see Table 402.1.1 for insulation requirements).

if you have not done so already I would suggest talking with your local building department to determine what code (if any) you are required to build by, what permits are needed (if any) and what drawings you will need. Typically in areas I have worked in renovations of this scale and age of existing structure would require permitting and bringing the structure up to current code.

As Joe asked, what is on the exterior side of the walls? I'm sure you'll get more questions and suggestions.

Good luck!
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:06 AM   #6
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As Joe asked, what is on the exterior side of the walls? I'm sure you'll get more questions and suggestions.

Good luck!
Thank you for the links, Yeah I'm in zone 6 here in Maine, right on the coast.
My wife and I just purchased the home last week and without a laundry room so we're excited to finally have the space to put one in.

Currently the siding is Vinyl without any insulation under it.
It seems they just slapped it over the original clapboard. Below the clapboard is just plank sheathing.

It looks like they used plaster on the back side of the plank sheathing to insulate between each stud. The wide plank boards seem to serve no purpose except to supply me with some amazing furniture in the future but I didn't want to disturb the plaster sandwiched in between it and the sheathing.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:01 AM   #7
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I had a house that had the same plaster layered detail inside the wall cavities. I imagine it was some sort of an attempt at insulation many years ago. I tore it all out and insulated the wall cavities up to todays standards. You have a balloon frame wall construction. I would put fire blocks in the stud cavities between the first and second floors. Not only will it retard fire travel, but will help with noise transmission from floor to floor, and it will restrict air movement inside the wall cavity. Are those some really wide boards that I see inside the wall cavities?
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:07 PM   #8
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I had a house that had the same plaster layered detail inside the wall cavities. I imagine it was some sort of an attempt at insulation many years ago. I tore it all out and insulated the wall cavities up to todays standards. You have a balloon frame wall construction. I would put fire blocks in the stud cavities between the first and second floors. Not only will it retard fire travel, but will help with noise transmission from floor to floor, and it will restrict air movement inside the wall cavity. Are those some really wide boards that I see inside the wall cavities?
Talking it over with the inspector, he said to remove the boards, add fire blocking, frame out square with 2x6 and insulate. The room is large enough where I don't mind loosing the sq ft because of the extra stud thickness.

We removed the boards out last night and a couple of them are 33" wide by 82" tall!
I've set them aside for a farm table that I've been wanting to build for a long time.

Thanks!

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