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Old 06-04-2007, 04:01 PM   #1
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Distance between Party Walls


Hello,
I often wondered what the distance is between my neighbors side of the wall and mine is? I know its got to be at least six inches because when the house's were built in the 1950's, the electricians placed short box's in the wall for the recepticals and they are approximately three inches deep. This is a row house in Philadelphia, Pa. Anyone know?

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Old 06-04-2007, 04:46 PM   #2
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Distance between Party Walls


If it is a Philly row house, you could have masonry between the two sides of studs for fire protection. If that is the case, you are looking at a total of about 14 or 16".

The only way to find out for sure is to cut a small hole in an out of the way location.

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Old 06-04-2007, 07:30 PM   #3
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If it is a Philly row house, you could have masonry between the two sides of studs for fire protection. If that is the case, you are looking at a total of about 14 or 16".

The only way to find out for sure is to cut a small hole in an out of the way location.
There are no studs. the party walls are plaster directly on masonary. While I was chiseling a hole out for the short box in the party wall, I heard my neighbor voice through the wall saying to his wife; "he better not come through the wall"
I knew I would be ok as long as I did not make the hole deeper then previous holes that were made elsewhere on the party walls. So I made sure I was careful.
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:15 PM   #4
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Distance between Party Walls


The odds are that it is a 8" block wall (actually 7-5/8" thick plus the plaster). There is a remote possiblity that it is 6" or 12", but a typical row house probably would be 8". A plastered 8" wall would exceed the 2 hour fire rating that is common for party walls.

That block would probably have a minimum face shell of at least 1-1/4". The actual faces shell would be in excess of that since most of the block made in Philly at that time had 2 or 3 cores and the old fashione "pear shaped" cores resulting in a rather brutally heavy unit compared to modern block with the same strength.

Both 6" and 8" block should handle a normal electrical box, but 6" were not commonly used for the higher party walls.

Last edited by concretemasonry; 06-04-2007 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:56 PM   #5
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Distance between Party Walls


Wow I have heard of close neighbors but that is crazy. Don't you talk to your neighborers aren't they your Friends. Where I live we all know each other. We take out the garbage if one of us is not going to be home. Take care of pets feed the horses or whatever is needed. Can't you just talk to the neighbor and let them know what you are up to. It seems pretty simple to me.
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:57 AM   #6
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Distance between Party Walls


My neighbor's are not skilled in the knowledge of building construction and the use of tools needed in the trades like I am. For that reason, I don't discuss anything when I am remodeling. They only know me as a firefighter and they don't realize that I learned a few things about tools and their use from my Father when I was younger and also had ten years experience in the sheet metal trade and assembling machinary before I became a firefighter. The rest of my ability is self taught by reading books. My best project was replacing my old stairway with a more modern look. You can see it at:http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeqx2eq/bobssite2/

As for being neighborly; I once took care of mowing, watering and feeding a lawn for a elderly neighbor for eight years. When both passed away, I expected some gratitude by being mentioned in their will. A couple of hundred would have been nice but their total estate went to a neice who never bothered to visit them.
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:54 PM   #7
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My neighbor's are not skilled in the knowledge of building construction and the use of tools needed in the trades like I am. For that reason, I don't discuss anything when I am remodeling. They only know me as a firefighter and they don't realize that I learned a few things about tools and their use from my Father when I was younger and also had ten years experience in the sheet metal trade and assembling machinary before I became a firefighter. The rest of my ability is self taught by reading books. My best project was replacing my old stairway with a more modern look. You can see it at:http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeqx2eq/bobssite2/

As for being neighborly; I once took care of mowing, watering and feeding a lawn for a elderly neighbor for eight years. When both passed away, I expected some gratitude by being mentioned in their will. A couple of hundred would have been nice but their total estate went to a neice who never bothered to visit them.
Nice job on the stairs. I have only lived in one city in my life. Madrid for 4 years when I was in the service. It is just a different world than I am used to. I can tell you the name of everybody in my development and have worked on a project with over half of them. Some of the projects where as big as building a 48 by 48 pole barn or just helping out getting a garden going. We all understand that when the next guy needs help they will have it. No $ ever changes hands. That is not what neighbors do.
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Old 06-05-2007, 04:26 PM   #8
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Distance between Party Walls


I would say we are in the same church but differant pews. When I ask for a favor, some people expect money right away for doing you a favor. The way I look at it is: When I get the oppertunity, I will return the favor and no money changes hands. I done more favors in my lifetime then I asked for; That's Life. But when one takes care of anothers property for years, its not unreasonable for one to expect some form of compensation from another's estate.
The world's changing; Its hard to be neighborly. Just last year, a neighbor, two houses away, moved and did not even bother saying goodby.
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:38 PM   #9
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I would say we are in the same church but differant pews. When I ask for a favor, some people expect money right away for doing you a favor. The way I look at it is: When I get the oppertunity, I will return the favor and no money changes hands. I done more favors in my lifetime then I asked for; That's Life. But when one takes care of anothers property for years, its not unreasonable for one to expect some form of compensation from another's estate.
The world's changing; Its hard to be neighborly. Just last year, a neighbor, two houses away, moved and did not even bother saying goodby.
Really. Money from ones estate for helping out. Hope my friends and neighbors do not read this because the daughter and wife are getting it all. But I know what you mean about change and it is going to keep changing. My old man thinks the world is way to fast and can not believe the things I buy. He raised 6 kids on nothing and never let us kids know we did not have $.
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:42 PM   #10
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I heard my neighbor voice through the wall saying to his wife; "he better not come through the wall"
That is really funny... did you stop chiseling for a moment or just continue when you heard that?
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:02 PM   #11
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That is really funny... did you stop chiseling for a moment or just continue when you heard that?
Yes, but I let it go. But I felt like yelling; Three inches of this wall belongs to me stupid". The wall is about six to eight inches thick from my surface to his. He must think its only two inches thick.
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:07 AM   #12
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Distance between Party Walls


It's just noise...don't fret it until he comes over and says there's dust...sound travels through concrete stuff very easily.

Nice job on the stairs...I love the lawn...somedays I'd rather have it than the 4 acres of mowing I have....oh well.

First thanks for your service of the public as a FF...many times a thankless job.

With regard to the neighbor, eh...it happens. All too often neighbors don't see or feel strong connections to a neighborhood. I lived in a place for 10 years and in a few years I had lived there the longest. Many don't want to make friends with their neighbors because they know they won't be there long, and don't want to go through the separation when they leave. Others just want to be left alone.

The bottom line is don't take any of this personally. Find peace in helping others do something they may not be able to do. Man I wish I had you for a neighbor....it's amazing what one can get done with a little GOOD help.

Hang in there...don't poke holes through your neighbors wall!
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:20 AM   #13
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Distance between Party Walls


<Nice job on the stairs...I love the lawn...somedays I'd rather have it than the 4 acres of mowing I have....oh well.>

Nice lawns are the result of purchasing a book on lawn care.
1. Watering using a sprinkler for up to an hour in the mornings once a week during the summer. Never during evening when humidity is high.
2. Fertilizing in Spring , early Summer and Fall and based on type of grass you have. Water it in well.
3. Dethaching. (removing dead grass) At least once every two years.
4. Aeration when its needed.
5. Applying lime or sulfer to adjust the pH.
6. Applying grub control at least once a year.
7. If you have bluegrass, mow it down no lower then 2-1/2 inches during hot weather. In Early Spring and late Fall, you can mow it to 2 inches.
Any good lawn book will describe all above in detail.


Last edited by rjordan392; 06-06-2007 at 08:36 AM.
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