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Old 12-29-2018, 03:30 PM   #1
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Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls


Ok, I am getting ready to start renovating my 113 year old farmhouse in northern IN. I am remodeling this house with the Hope's that if I do everything to the max in this house then it will still be around in another hundred years after I'm long dead.

The house has good bones and is constructed of hand hewn beams and rough sawn native hardwoods. The studs are true 2x4 not nominal sizes used nowadays. However as they were hand cut and finished there is alot of variance in the boards so I dont want to just add furring strips to the existing studs to build out the walls. I am contemplating adding 2x8 studs to all the exterior walls for the following reasons.

1. Added strength
2. Longevity
3. Added insulation value
4. Straight machine finished surfaces to hang drywall on

Does anyone see any problem with doing this? I am a first time home owner in my late 20s and have never remodeled a house. However, I am pretty decent with my hands.

Also, what would you recommend I do at the top and bottom of the walls where the 8" depth of the new studs will protrude past the existing sills and top plates?

Thanks so much!
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Old 12-29-2018, 03:41 PM   #2
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Re: Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls


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Originally Posted by jakojohnston View Post
Ok, I am getting ready to start renovating my 113 year old farmhouse in northern IN. I am remodeling this house with the Hope's that if I do everything to the max in this house then it will still be around in another hundred years after I'm long dead.

The house has good bones and is constructed of hand hewn beams and rough sawn native hardwoods. The studs are true 2x4 not nominal sizes used nowadays. However as they were hand cut and finished there is alot of variance in the boards so I dont want to just add furring strips to the existing studs to build out the walls. I am contemplating adding 2x8 studs to all the exterior walls for the following reasons.

1. Added strength
2. Longevity
3. Added insulation value
4. Straight machine finished surfaces to hang drywall on

Does anyone see any problem with doing this? I am a first time home owner in my late 20s and have never remodeled a house. However, I am pretty decent with my hands.

Also, what would you recommend I do at the top and bottom of the walls where the 8" depth of the new studs will protrude past the existing sills and top plates?

Thanks so much!
Sounds like a good plan for good reasons but.
Have you opened it up yet.
Do the studs go from the foundation to the roof with open hole between the studs at floors and ceilings?
Are the floors level?
Will you be changing windows and doors.


If you have top and bottom plates your house may not be that old.
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Old 12-29-2018, 03:43 PM   #3
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Re: Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls


Hi Jako and welcome to the forum.

There is a construction method called "double stud walls". Essentially you build another 2x4 wall inside of what you have and eventually fill both and the gap between with insulation. There are still issues to deal with but that nice straight 2x4 wall would solve some of your concerns.

I'll let you search and read.

Bud
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:10 PM   #4
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Re: Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Hi Jako and welcome to the forum.

There is a construction method called "double stud walls". Essentially you build another 2x4 wall inside of what you have and eventually fill both and the gap between with insulation. There are still issues to deal with but that nice straight 2x4 wall would solve some of your concerns.

I'll let you search and read.

Bud
I would like Bud's method better than 2x8s and it would be cheaper. Also if you hold the 2x4 wall off the exterior x 3/8-1/2 inch it will cut down outside sound considerable, not to mention easier to run your wire.
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:23 PM   #5
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Re: Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Hi Jako and welcome to the forum.

There is a construction method called "double stud walls". Essentially you build another 2x4 wall inside of what you have and eventually fill both and the gap between with insulation. There are still issues to deal with but that nice straight 2x4 wall would solve some of your concerns.

I'll let you search and read.

Bud
This is likely balloon framing so you would be adding all the weight to the connection from floor to studs instead of to the studs directly.
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:28 PM   #6
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Re: Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls


Neal is correct and the type of framing is part of what we need to determine. Some pictures would help.

Bud
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:31 PM   #7
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Re: Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls


Quote:
I am contemplating adding 2x8 studs to all the exterior walls for the following reasons.
1. Added strength
Keep in mind that the strength added is not vertical strength. In other words, studs don't add any value to prevent settling.
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:32 PM   #8
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Re: Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls


If the house is really that old I'd first be looking to see if the incoming power line and the main panel have been updated, because while the walls open would be the time to install new wiring, adding or moving outlets.
Doing what your suggesting that way will be a whole lot of extra work and will cause some issues.
Every door and window opening will need to have jamb extentions added, which may cause issues with the doors not opening fully.
Insulation comes 16 or 24" wide, by adding to the side like that you would have to compress the insulation, compressed insulation loses R value and likes to pucker up.
All your outlets will need to be moved out.
Most likely it's balloon wall constrution and the top and bottom of the stud bays will need to be fire blocked.
To me it's eazyer and cheaper to add onto the studs, it's simple to check the old studs with a piece of brick string to see what needs to be done to get them closer.
An electric plain can make quick work of any that stick out to far.
Some depends on where your located, there's no location in your profile.
Most moden codes call for R19, so a simple 2 X 2 added to the studs would work. between area at the top and bottom of the studs I add a 2 X 4 laying flat to make it easer to hit when screwing.
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:35 PM   #9
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Re: Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Neal is correct and the type of framing is part of what we need to determine. Some pictures would help.

Bud
But I am not sure it wouldn't work with a few 2x8 mixed in to join the two
but the fire stopping and floor has to be consider first.
Any floor leveling would be harder after the walls are in.
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakojohnston View Post
Ok, I am getting ready to start renovating my 113 year old farmhouse in northern IN. I am remodeling this house with the Hope's that if I do everything to the max in this house then it will still be around in another hundred years after I'm long dead.

The house has good bones and is constructed of hand hewn beams and rough sawn native hardwoods. The studs are true 2x4 not nominal sizes used nowadays. However as they were hand cut and finished there is alot of variance in the boards so I dont want to just add furring strips to the existing studs to build out the walls. I am contemplating adding 2x8 studs to all the exterior walls for the following reasons.

1. Added strength
2. Longevity
3. Added insulation value
4. Straight machine finished surfaces to hang drywall on

Does anyone see any problem with doing this? I am a first time home owner in my late 20s and have never remodeled a house. However, I am pretty decent with my hands.

Also, what would you recommend I do at the top and bottom of the walls where the 8" depth of the new studs will protrude past the existing sills and top plates?

Thanks so much!
Sounds like a good plan for good reasons but.
Have you opened it up yet.
Do the studs go from the foundation to the roof with open hole between the studs at floors and ceilings?
Are the floors level?
Will you be changing windows and doors.


If you have top and bottom plates your house may not be that old.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Hi Jako and welcome to the forum.

There is a construction method called "double stud walls". Essentially you build another 2x4 wall inside of what you have and eventually fill both and the gap between with insulation. There are still issues to deal with but that nice straight 2x4 wall would solve some of your concerns.

I'll let you search and read.

Bud
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Hi Jako and welcome to the forum.

There is a construction method called "double stud walls". Essentially you build another 2x4 wall inside of what you have and eventually fill both and the gap between with insulation. There are still issues to deal with but that nice straight 2x4 wall would solve some of your concerns.

I'll let you search and read.

Bud
I would like Bud's method better than 2x8s and it would be cheaper. Also if you hold the 2x4 wall off the exterior x 3/8-1/2 inch it will cut down outside sound considerable, not to mention easier to run your wire.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Hi Jako and welcome to the forum.

There is a construction method called "double stud walls". Essentially you build another 2x4 wall inside of what you have and eventually fill both and the gap between with insulation. There are still issues to deal with but that nice straight 2x4 wall would solve some of your concerns.

I'll let you search and read.

Bud
This is likely balloon framing so you would be adding all the weight to the connection from floor to studs instead of to the studs directly. [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.diychatroom.com/images/smilies/wink.png[/IMG]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Neal is correct and the type of framing is part of what we need to determine. Some pictures would help.

Bud
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guap0_ View Post
Quote:
I am contemplating adding 2x8 studs to all the exterior walls for the following reasons.
1. Added strength
Keep in mind that the strength added is not vertical strength. In other words, studs don't add any value to prevent settling.
Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
If the house is really that old I'd first be looking to see if the incoming power line and the main panel have been updated, because while the walls open would be the time to install new wiring, adding or moving outlets.
Doing what your suggesting that way will be a whole lot of extra work and will cause some issues.
Every door and window opening will need to have jamb extentions added, which may cause issues with the doors not opening fully.
Insulation comes 16 or 24" wide, by adding to the side like that you would have to compress the insulation, compressed insulation loses R value and likes to pucker up.
All your outlets will need to be moved out.
Most likely it's balloon wall constrution and the top and bottom of the stud bays will need to be fire blocked.
To me it's eazyer and cheaper to add onto the studs, it's simple to check the old studs with a piece of brick string to see what needs to be done to get them closer.
An electric plain can make quick work of any that stick out to far.
Some depends on where your located, there's no location in your profile.
Most moden codes call for R19, so a simple 2 X 2 added to the studs would work. between area at the top and bottom of the studs I add a 2 X 4 laying flat to make it easer to hit when screwing.
Thanks so much for all the great info so far! I snapped a few pictures of some stuff.

First pictures show the dining room wall construction which goes up and becomes the exterior wall of the second floor. I've already removed the brick chimney downstairs that has been capped off. The house has a chimney in every room.

Next, if you look closely at those wall pictures you can see that the studs stop at the fireblock.

As for the electrical question the wiring is updated but aging and problematic.

I am literally taking this house to the studs and starting over with everything new. Electrical, windows, doors, etc.

The house is rock solid though and doesn't creak or groan even in strong winds. Its is about as weather tight as a screen door though. Going through about 180 gallons of propane a month right now.

Also, I snapped a couple pictures from the basement where you can see one of my favorite things about this house. The whole house sits on large wood beams all the way around.

It's also had a second brick foundation installed inside of the original foundation as you can see.

I love the potential and feeling of this house or I would just bulldoze it and build new.

For the guy that asked about location.

I am in Northern Indiana in no man's land.

Also as far as insulation goes I am making sure the electrical and everything in the walls is exactly how I will want it for the long hall as I am strongly considering open cell foam. I am shooting for an R vakue of no less that R-24 in the walls.
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Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls-20181229_174324_1546124278005.jpg   Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls-20181229_174518_1546124301435.jpg   Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls-20181229_174436_1546124315486.jpg   Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls-20181229_174405_1546124328501.jpg   Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls-20181229_174402_1546124345336.jpg  

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Old 12-29-2018, 04:55 PM   #11
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:07 PM   #12
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Re: Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls


It does look like platform framing so it isn't that old, Bud's suggestion would be good to stop a lot of bridging warn to cold, windows you match the old framing size and the doors might be better if you just add to the studs to make the 5 1/2 for a regular door frame for about 4 or 5 inches around the door. That is what we do in concrete basements.
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:17 PM   #13
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Re: Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls


Got a price on spray foam yet?
Great way to go, just really expensive.
I'm seeing uninsulated rim joist and heating ducts.
Unless that door was removed and reinstalled even with the new sheetrock there is no great way to just notch around the hinges.
Have the windows been updated?
Once you pull the trim off around the the windows you'll be shocked at all the open voids around them.
Huge gap under the stool to the outside, empty pockets for the weights where you can see light outside.
All just guesses from someone that only worked on 100 plus year old houses for 15 years.
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Old 12-29-2018, 07:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
It does look like platform framing so it isn't that old, Bud's suggestion would be good to stop a lot of bridging warn to cold, windows you match the old framing size and the doors might be better if you just add to the studs to make the 5 1/2 for a regular door frame for about 4 or 5 inches around the door. That is what we do in concrete basements.
Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Got a price on spray foam yet?
Great way to go, just really expensive.
I'm seeing uninsulated rim joist and heating ducts.
Unless that door was removed and reinstalled even with the new sheetrock there is no great way to just notch around the hinges.
Have the windows been updated?
Once you pull the trim off around the the windows you'll be shocked at all the open voids around them.
Huge gap under the stool to the outside, empty pockets for the weights where you can see light outside.
All just guesses from someone that only worked on 100 plus year old houses for 15 years.
Thanks for the advice! I definately plan on replacing all of the old windows, doors, and woodwork. I am planning on using clad wood windows and fiberglass wood look doors. Planning to use oak for all trim and keep with the age and theme of the house.

Once the upstairs of the house has been totally redone I plan on digging the rest of the crawl space out and extending the basement to the rest of the house where it is only under the two story section of the house currently.

The old ductwork as it is now is not routed effectively. Part of the house is way too hot while other parts are 12 degrees cooler than others. I think it is not just a matter of insulating the existing duct work but the routing and whole design of the system seems ineffective. Thus I plan on replacing the furnace and all ducting with all new and routing it so that more air gets to the cooler parts of the house that are furthest away.


This house will definately take a few years and alot of money and time to restore but it has good bones and a great exterior. I think it will be worth it in the end.

Thanks for all of the advice!!
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:41 PM   #15
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Re: Adding 2x8 studs to 100 year old 2x4 walls


I would start with the basement, myself.
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