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Old 12-01-2009, 12:06 PM   #1
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Repairing Out of Plumb Non-Flat Walls


I am going to be doing a full kitchen remodel in a little cabin that my wife and I have up in northern Wisconsin. We are installing tongue and groove knotty pine boards horizontally throughout. So far we have done the bathroom and 2 bedrooms and it looks great. We’ve been lucky so far as the existing walls in those rooms were all plumb and flat. Next on our list is the kitchen.

My problem is that one of the kitchen walls is out of plumb pretty badly and not very flat. The place was built in the mid 70s so nothing is really square or plumb anymore. From what I can tell on the worst wall, I am out of plumb about ˝ an inch, maybe a bit more. The bottom plate sticks out further than the top plate.

What is the best method for correcting this? I was thinking about adding some type of furring strips along the edge of each stud to get me dead plumb but I see that taking a lot of time.

I also thought about fastening new studs to the existing studs in such a way as to compensate for the problem (the top of the new stud would stick out further at the top than the bottom to correct the situation).

Has anyone done something like this? What approach did you use?

Also what do you do for flatness? Especially around doors and windows the walls are not super flat. For example some of the cripple studs around a few of the windows sticks out a bit where it is fastened into a bottom plate. Should I just grind or plane everything flat first? I am trying for the flattest, “plumbest” possible surface I can get so that installing all of the T&G boards goes as smoothly as possible.

Thanks in advance,
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:48 PM   #2
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Here's what I just did in my livingroom.

After the tearout I put a long screw into each corner of the room. I pulled two strings, one at the top, and one at the bottom. I put them 1.5" out from where I wanted the finished plane to be.

Then I used a cut off end of a stud (1.5" thick) as a guide and put new studs on 16" centers all the way across the room. The new wall is out from the old wall enough to clear the buldging bit in the middle. There was still some parts on the window framing that stuck into the space where the drywall was going. I used a sawzall and/or a circular saw to cut it back.

As I put in the studs, I double checked with a level to make sure they were plumb, and I ran an 8' straight edge across them. The wall looks great. There's one place where it dips in, but I think that's because the sheetrock hangers put screws into one of the old studs.
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