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Old 09-08-2010, 09:29 PM   #1
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1990s house with NO SHEATHING!


Greetings, I'd appreciate the opinions of others out there. I live in Wisconsin. Earlier this summer I purchase a 1996 forclosed home (hence, I have no recourse for the problems I find). Tonight I was replacing some outdoor lighting, only to find, to me surprise, this house has NO ouside sheathing. The construction, from outside-in is: vinyl siding, house wrap, ~1 1/4 pink hard insulation foam board, 6 inches batt insulation and the inside sheat rock. CRAP. I spoke with my father in law, a part time general contractor who claims "this is how they built things in the 1990s".

Is this true? Am in for some big problems? Will heating be a nightmare? Should I forclose on this house also (just kidding!) Thoughts and opinions are greatly appreciated.

D Groshek

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Old 09-08-2010, 10:21 PM   #2
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1990s house with NO SHEATHING!


Seeing vinyl siding is a tip-off of cheap construction because it leaks and requires a very good moisture barrier, while still allowing the siding to move as it does in your climate.

The sheathing gives a nailable surface and structual support, but there are other methods to provide stability (especially lateral).

Dick

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Old 09-08-2010, 10:37 PM   #3
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1990s house with NO SHEATHING!


my house is a cheapie ~1995 build with vinyl siding. The 4 corners have OSB to add rigidity; the rest of the house has some crap type board that is not structural. I can't remember what it is called but AFAIK it is not used anymore; it has a black outer facing and is like cardboard inside; it won't hold a nail. Anyway, you are not alone. My house has been thru 60+ MPH winds and did not seem to be affected. I'm not saying your house is right, but it should be ok for all but the most severe storms. That should be obvious since it made it this far .
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:42 AM   #4
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1990s house with NO SHEATHING!


D Groshek,
don't panic.

how was the siding fastened to the ridgid foam? roofing nails?

"concretemasonry" alluded to the point that maybe at least the framers of this house added a few let-in braces somewhere.

look on the bright side: at least you've got a real nice R value and draft protection. sheathing wouldn't help this a bit, in my opinion.

my house was built in about 1900. hey, i've got sheathing, but not a speck of insulation anywhere.

don't worry about it. enjoy your new house and new light.
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:01 AM   #5
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1990s house with NO SHEATHING!


Any steel straps diagonally? If nothing is there, I'd at least install these straps; lots of 'em. Either that, or sheath it w/ plywood, 15 lb felt, and put some good siding on. This will generate problems w/ windows and doors, perhaps, but maybe not too bad? At least steel straps, IMO. One good 100 mph wind and you could be in for some serious tweaking.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:19 AM   #6
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1990s house with NO SHEATHING!


The 90's was when the building boom hit, and they were building them as fast as they could, and as cheap as they could.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:01 AM   #7
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1990s house with NO SHEATHING!


its common with mobile homes. When you replace you cheap siding (and I can pretty much garantee you it is cheap crap), you can do something about it then. untill then, live with a bit more movement in the wind and a bit higher energy bills. And next time you buy a house, look a little closer at it. If you think buying a forclosed home has some risk, I've been looking at bidding at a tax sale for an investment. they don't even show you a picture when you bid, just a number and a legal description of the land.
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:31 PM   #8
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1990s house with NO SHEATHING!


As long as the corners of the house are reinforced with plywood, I wouldn't worry about it. Most spec home builders in my area build like that as standard. Look at the price of 1" rigid insulation vs 1/2" OSB - they aren't using the rigid insulation to save money. They are using the rigid to boost the R-value. I'm not saying I would prefer that method of construction, but it's not the worst thing either.
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:28 PM   #9
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1990s house with NO SHEATHING!


Just because the entire house is not sheathed with plywood does not automatically make it a piece of crap. If you have 6" walls and 1 1/4" foam sheathing, it sounds like someone was making an effort to build a reasonably energy efficient house. Code requires for lateral stabilty through either plywood sheathing at the corners, let in diagonal 1 x 4 braceing(not common today because of labor costs), or approved metal strapping. Total plywood sheathing came into practice after WW II with the huge demand for new housing required faster, less skilled labor intensive building parctices. Frame the wall, sheath it, stand it up, throw on a wrapping of felt paper and a veneer of red or blonde brick, and you had an instant post war ranch home. As for the statement in one of the posts that plywood gives a nailable substrate, all manufacturers of all types of exterior cladding require per their installation guide lines that the product be fastened into the studs, not just haphazardly nailed into 1/2" plywood.
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:05 PM   #10
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1990s house with NO SHEATHING!


Check for osb or ply at the corners as mentioned. Each corner would have +3000# shear resistance.

With a strap or "T" diagonal you only get 195# shear.

With a 1x4 let-in you get 600# shear. http://bct.nrc.umass.edu/index.php/p...n-the-outside/

Depending on where you live for the wind rating, here is 90mph winds: http://www.awc.org/pdf/WFCM_90-B-Guide.pdf

Gary

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