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Old 05-09-2007, 09:27 AM   #1
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A night of BAD discoveries tearing down walls *PICS*


Remodelling the first level of my split, I came to the two exterior walls where the freezewall is halfway up the wall and the rest is drywall. While inspecting the electrical boxes, I realized that the wall seemed ridiculously hollow. Also, I saw that the electrical wires had been nawed on and that the ground wire was coiled tightly around the cable, not grounded to the metal box. I decided that in light of this, I should pull the drywall. After removing the drywall, I found out why it was so hollow. The exterior wall was built from 2x3s with nailing blocks scarcely located around to nail the drywall into. There were hardly any nails in the drywall at all. The wall had also been insulated w. the 1 1/2" insulation I had mentioned in another post. Also, much of the insulation had been eaten away and there were nut shells all over the place. A little further down the wall, I located the responsible party - a squirrel, or at least the carcus of one. I can fix the electrical and the insulation. I can get rid of the squirrel. What I want to know is, whats the best course of action to fix the framing - Should I just add 2x4s in and cut my insulation batts to fit. With all the craziness, I didn't really pay much attention to this, but looking at the pictures, it seems like the 2x3s are not 16" oc. The top plate is 2x3 also, so 2x4s would require me to add something to the plate?

How nasty is this?




Broad veiw of the wall






Electrical ground not used, metal box?




one and half inch insulation???


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Old 05-09-2007, 09:45 AM   #2
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J....

Wow, they really cut some corners when they built your house.

Have you thought about getting that squirrel stuffed and mounted?

Anyways. I would suggest that you simply sister 2x4's next to the 2x3's snuggly. That will bring your wall cavities out to accomodate your new R-13 insulation, and will also add additional support for that wall. (note the way your overhead joists are running. They are carrying the load. If they were running the other way...you'd be in trouble with a wall like that)
Note: If you tried to change the top plates too, you would be in for a world of work. Everything including the exterior sheathing is nailed into it.
I would suggest that you simply 'notch' the 2x4's so that they go up and infront of the top plate, to act as nailers.


Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 05-09-2007 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:49 AM   #3
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Should I do anything to bring out the top plate too, so that I'll have sold surface to screw the drywall into along the top? Maybe 2x4 blocking under the 2x3 top plate?

Not sure that squirrel would hold much stuffing, especially after all the insulation he ate.

You ever seen insulation that small? What good is that?


Edit - Luckily, it seems like the corners cut where mostly done in the basement floor only - the interior walls above this room on the same wall are 2x4, nicely insulated. The electrical has been pretty sound throught the house as well. The basement just seems like a dfferent house, Even the insulation is different, maybe the did this as rework when the basement was finished...
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:55 AM   #4
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Should I do anything to bring out the top plate too, so that I'll have sold surface to screw the drywall into along the top? Maybe 2x4 blocking under the 2x3 top plate?

Not sure that squirrel would hold much stuffing, especially after all the insulation he ate.

You ever seen insulation that small? What good is that?


Edit - Luckily, it seems like the corners cut where mostly done in the basement floor only - the interior walls above this room on the same wall are 2x4, nicely insulated. The electrical has been pretty sound throught the house as well. The basement just seems like a dfferent house, Even the insulation is different, maybe the did this as rework when the basement was finished...
Read my last post, I edited it and added some info. since this reply...
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:57 AM   #5
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I would suggest that you simply 'notch' the 2x4's so that they go up and infront of the top plate, to act as nailers....

(the new studs that you plan on sistering in)
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:06 AM   #6
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Ok, notching is a good solution. The joists run parellel to the wall. The perpendicular wall is 2x4 construction. I definitely wasn't considering changing the studs or top plate for the reason that it is an exterior wall and everything is Supposed to be nailed to it, but we can only assume on this one that the sheathing is nailed to it and not held up by say bubble gum.

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Old 05-09-2007, 10:07 AM   #7
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There's no way an exterior wall built with 2x3s would pass inspection. Was there a window in that hole once upon a time that the previous home owner removed? The adjacent wall looks like 2x4s.
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:13 AM   #8
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There's no way an exterior wall built with 2x3s would pass inspection. Was there a window in that hole once upon a time that the previous home owner removed? The adjacent wall looks like 2x4s.
You are probably very correct about this assumption (a window removed by a previous home owner)....
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:13 AM   #9
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There's no way an exterior wall built with 2x3s would pass inspection. Was there a window in that hole once upon a time that the previous home owner removed? The adjacent wall looks like 2x4s.
Yeah, crazy huh. I think the builders had a surpluss of 2x3s - in a partition wall across the room, the wall was built w/ 2x3s - no big deal except afterwards the 2x3s were furred out an inch for panelling to fit over the ducts that ran down the wall - would have made more sense to just use 2x4s huh?

What hole do you mean about the window?
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:17 AM   #10
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Yeah, crazy huh. I think the builders had a surpluss of 2x3s - in a partition wall across the room, the wall was built w/ 2x3s - no big deal except afterwards the 2x3s were furred out an inch for panelling to fit over the ducts that ran down the wall - would have made more sense to just use 2x4s huh?

What hole do you mean about the window?
That area does not look like a builder constructed wall.....but it does 'scream'...of handyman or handy home owner remodeling (large window removed and wall re-framed...and I use that term, re-framed, lightly)
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:46 AM   #11
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What hole do you mean about the window?
I was thinking that maybe the previous homeowner removed a window and filled the void with 2x3s. The placement of the studs looks like inexperiened homeowner type work. Is there any evidence on the exterior?

edit: Atlantic already addressed this. Reminder to self... read all posts b4 posting.
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:50 AM   #12
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I would say this wall was "re-framed" right around the time the basement was first finished - if you remember my complaints about the soffit being drywall suspended by 3/4" x 3/4" wood with no other soffit structure at all - this is the same area and done in similar fashion w/ the same drywall, probably by the same . Those 3/4" x 3/4" were actually nailed to the side of the joist, hung down and the drywall was nailed into the end of it w/ finish nails.
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:00 AM   #13
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.... Reminder to self... read all posts b4 posting.
Yes, I need that reminder alot too....

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Old 05-09-2007, 11:05 AM   #14
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A night of BAD discoveries tearing down walls *PICS*


BTW, if you sister on 2x4s to the 2x3s you'll make the wall around 28% more efficient with heat loss. If you can replace the 2x3s with 2x4s, that number goes to 40% more efficient.
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:25 AM   #15
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IF I replace that 1.5" insulation the difference will be overwhelming.... New England is no place to skimp on the insulation.

No exterior evidence of a window, but the house appears to have been resided somewhere along its life. I tried asking the squirrel, but he's no help. My street is unusual, there are old train tracks on the right of my house making my street a dead end. And the street technically continues on the other side of the old tracks. I can drive around to there tonight. I know the first few houses on that street are identical design. I will look for windows because I am now curious.

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