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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have this wall that is bowed from water damage. This damage happened many years ago due to neglect to fix a leaking pipe. It caused the exterior wall to bow out and separate from an interior wall. This affected two rooms in the back of the house.

Over the years people have done little fixes to try and make it look better but you can still tell from the covered wall that the wall was warped and it had some issues.

I'm looking for some advice, I'm thinking there are two possible approaches to fix this well.

1. Reframe the wall in these two rooms. There are asbestos shingles on the outside so ideally I wouldn't need to remove those to put up new sheathing although I think it would have to be done.

2. Remove and seal up the window so it won't look twisted in the wall and add sister studs all along the wall to get a flat surface to hang drywall on.

Do you guys have any suggestions?

I am most concerned with how the inside looks so if there is an easier way (rather than re framing) to just get a flat surface to hang drywall on I'm all ears.
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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2 ways come to mind, both quick , cheap, dirty.

Add straight 2X4 sisters, offset by whatever is needed to make each stud look even after the drywall is hung.

Or rip 2X4 to the thickness needed to shim out each stud, and face nail to the studs individually, to bring them all even for drywall.

Then of course, support the upper with temporary wall, and tear out the old and replace it, but you say that is your last desire to do.


ED
 

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retired framer
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So I have this wall that is bowed from water damage. This damage happened many years ago due to neglect to fix a leaking pipe. It caused the exterior wall to bow out and separate from an interior wall. This affected two rooms in the back of the house.

Over the years people have done little fixes to try and make it look better but you can still tell from the covered wall that the wall was warped and it had some issues.

I'm looking for some advice, I'm thinking there are two possible approaches to fix this well.

1. Reframe the wall in these two rooms. There are asbestos shingles on the outside so ideally I wouldn't need to remove those to put up new sheathing although I think it would have to be done.

2. Remove and seal up the window so it won't look twisted in the wall and add sister studs all along the wall to get a flat surface to hang drywall on.

Do you guys have any suggestions?

I am most concerned with how the inside looks so if there is an easier way (rather than re framing) to just get a flat surface to hang drywall on I'm all ears.
Can you post a picture of the outside of the house and point out which window and wall we are looking for?

It looks like balloon framing and if it is, just replacing the wall may not be an option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've added some exterior pictures of the house. The only picture I have of the back right now is pretty blurry and the window in question is the furthest from the camera. The third one. I'll take some when I go back next weekend. Is there any other way I could know if it's balloon framing?

If I were to add sisters to each stud how would you suggest I get each sister positioned properly so that they are all in the same plane and the drywall will but up against the existing plaster walls and ceiling?
 

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retired framer
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I've added some exterior pictures of the house. The only picture I have of the back right now is pretty blurry and the window in question is the furthest from the camera. The third one. I'll take some when I go back next weekend. Is there any other way I could know if it's balloon framing?

If I were to add sisters to each stud how would you suggest I get each sister positioned properly so that they are all in the same plane and the drywall will but up against the existing plaster walls and ceiling?
A balloon frame has studs that go from the foundation to the roof and with your first picture, I would have guessed some one raised the roof on the top floor.

A platform house has the floor built on top of the walls and then build more walls above that.

So you have some other kind of odd duck.

First thing to look at is the space between the studs at the floor, if you can put you hand down below the floor with out running into wood it should be solid blocked between the studs.

I don't think you are going to fix the wall, I think I would just build a new 2x4 wall in front of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A balloon frame has studs that go from the foundation to the roof and with your first picture, I would have guessed some one raised the roof on the top floor.

A platform house has the floor built on top of the walls and then build more walls above that.

So you have some other kind of odd duck.

First thing to look at is the space between the studs at the floor, if you can put you hand down below the floor with out running into wood it should be solid blocked between the studs.

I don't think you are going to fix the wall, I think I would just build a new 2x4 wall in front of it.
You're right. I know the history is the house originally had two floors and it was in a different place, it was moved across town to its current location where a third floor was built on.

Yes I actually didn't try to put my hand down there. I know that some of the cavities I'd hit spray foam but i'm not sure about the other ones because all I saw was blow in insulation...I'll check to see what's there.

Hmm well that's unfortunate. Building a new wall 2x4 framed wall inside is definitely possible. The bad thing is two of the rooms are affected. One of them has two windows so loosing one window isn't too bad but the other room only has one window so It'd be unfortunate to loose the one in that room.

You think it'd just be too much of a pain or more work to try to position sister studs to get a flat surface? I can see that it would be difficult to get them all positioned properly for sure.
 

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retired framer
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You're right. I know the history is the house originally had two floors and it was in a different place, it was moved across town to its current location where a third floor was built on.

Yes I actually didn't try to put my hand down there. I know that some of the cavities I'd hit spray foam but i'm not sure about the other ones because all I saw was blow in insulation...I'll check to see what's there.

Hmm well that's unfortunate. Building a new wall 2x4 framed wall inside is definitely possible. The bad thing is two of the rooms are affected. One of them has two windows so loosing one window isn't too bad but the other room only has one window so It'd be unfortunate to loose the one in that room.

You think it'd just be too much of a pain or more work to try to position sister studs to get a flat surface? I can see that it would be difficult to get them all positioned properly for sure.
So this was the basement and when they moved it, they raised it and added the lower walls and this floor.

Do you have a basement in that house?

Is the wall flat in the room above this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So this was the basement and when they moved it, they raised it and added the lower walls and this floor.

Do you have a basement in that house?

Is the wall flat in the room above this?
From talking to the previous owner who's family owned it for many years what I gathered was the first and second floors are original to the house and the third floor was built on top of the second floor. The previous owner was a heating installer and he installed baseboard heating throughout the house. He mentioned to me how difficult it was to plumb in heating to the third floor because of the way the house was built.

I do have a basement in the house.

Looking at the same wall I didn't see any bowing on the second floor. If there is any it must be far less than on the first floor and well concealed by the wood paneling. On the first floor it was obvious even with the wood paneling on the wall.
 

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retired framer
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From talking to the previous owner who's family owned it for many years what I gathered was the first and second floors are original to the house and the third floor was built on top of the second floor. The previous owner was a heating installer and he installed baseboard heating throughout the house. He mentioned to me how difficult it was to plumb in heating to the third floor because of the way the house was built.

I do have a basement in the house.

Looking at the same wall I didn't see any bowing on the second floor. If there is any it must be far less than on the first floor and well concealed by the wood paneling. On the first floor it was obvious even with the wood paneling on the wall.
Is the basement finished or can you see those studs?
Does the wall in the room with a single window have a top plate at the ceiling too?


Which direction do the floor and ceiling joists go?
 

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Hammered Thumb
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So this is on the 1st floor, not the 3rd? The entire exterior wall or just 2 rooms?

I think Neal's guesses with limited info is probably spot on, he just didn't want to scare you with the word "hinge." The wall bow is not from water, the old top plate near the bottom of the window is acting as a hinge point. You would need to sister new full length studs from the floor to the bottom of the "upper" top plate, which would also give you a straight wall. You might even be able to pull that "hinge" back in a little with a come-along and proper footing for it, if it's just a small portion of the wall.

The new studs should probably anchor to the floor joists because the stud alignment is off, so being able to stick your hand down there should make it easier.

The window is racked because there are no king/jack studs and the header is holding on for dear life by its nails.
 

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retired framer
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So this is on the 1st floor, not the 3rd? The entire exterior wall or just 2 rooms?

I think Neal's guesses with limited info is probably spot on, he just didn't want to scare you with the word "hinge." The wall bow is not from water, the old top plate near the bottom of the window is acting as a hinge point. You would need to sister new full length studs from the floor to the bottom of the "upper" top plate, which would also give you a straight wall. You might even be able to pull that "hinge" back in a little with a come-along and proper footing for it, if it's just a small portion of the wall.

The new studs should probably anchor to the floor joists because the stud alignment is off, so being able to stick your hand down there should make it easier.

The window is racked because there are no king/jack studs and the header is holding on for dear life by its nails.
And this is just one wall, they all may have the same construction. :surprise:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is the basement finished or can you see those studs?
Does the wall in the room with a single window have a top plate at the ceiling too?


Which direction do the floor and ceiling joists go?
The basement isen't finished. I probably could see the studs but I didn't take a close look. I can take some pictures.

About the other room with the single window I'm not sure. I haven't opened up that wall yet. That will be a task for this weekend and I'll be sure to post some pictures.

I know for a fact that the floor joists are running perpendicular to this bowed wall. I saw that in the basement. The ceiling joists also go in the same direction. I have a hole in my kitchen ceiling that I was able to see this through.
 

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retired framer
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The basement isen't finished. I probably could see the studs but I didn't take a close look. I can take some pictures.

About the other room with the single window I'm not sure. I haven't opened up that wall yet. That will be a task for this weekend and I'll be sure to post some pictures.

I know for a fact that the floor joists are running perpendicular to this bowed wall. I saw that in the basement. The ceiling joists also go in the same direction. I have a hole in my kitchen ceiling that I was able to see this through.
I have a plan that you can consider with what you find.



If you build a new 2x6 wall from the foundation up to the floor and support the floor with that.

Then build a 2x4 wall on the floor up to the top plates without attaching anything to the old studs.
Then you would have the house supported and could cut out pieces of that double plate and pull the wall in to straight and tie it to the new wall.
Many details to figure out for this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So this is on the 1st floor, not the 3rd? The entire exterior wall or just 2 rooms?

I think Neal's guesses with limited info is probably spot on, he just didn't want to scare you with the word "hinge." The wall bow is not from water, the old top plate near the bottom of the window is acting as a hinge point. You would need to sister new full length studs from the floor to the bottom of the "upper" top plate, which would also give you a straight wall. You might even be able to pull that "hinge" back in a little with a come-along and proper footing for it, if it's just a small portion of the wall.

The new studs should probably anchor to the floor joists because the stud alignment is off, so being able to stick your hand down there should make it easier.

The window is racked because there are no king/jack studs and the header is holding on for dear life by its nails.
Yes this is on the first floor. It's just these two rooms. The worst part of the bowing seems to be centered right at that dividing wall.

I also noticed that the stud to the right of the window that goes from the top plate near the bottom of the window to the header above the window was wiggly. None of the other studs had much play from what I could tell. This is where the majority of the bow is happening too.
 

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You haven't mentioned how much bowing exists. If the amount of bow (from straight) is greater than 1/3 the thickness of the wall (i.e. 1.33" for a 4" thick wall) then it is in danger of structural collapse. The danger is compounded by the axial loads due to second floor, third floor, and roof loads.
I would recommend that you consult a structural engineer.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am planning on having a structural engineer come take a look this week. It's always good to get other people's opinions on the best way to fix this though, The wall is bowed out about 3" from where it should be.

I opened up the other wall this weekend in the bedroom. The window seems better, at least there are king studs. Was it normal not to use jack studs back in these days? I only have experience with new construction.

Also I'm not sure why in the bedroom I opened up this weekend the studs end at the top plate?? This is different than the other room. Looking at the other room it looks like the house is balloon framed and the studs go all the way up to the top of the second floor.

I also took some pics of the stud cavities of both rooms. It seems like a contractor did some kind of repair where they cut away part of the sill plate in places and added something kind of like a band joist which sits on the ledge of the foundation. It connects to the studs instead though by scabbing on sisters onto the original studs where the sisters rest on the top of the band joist.

PIC 1: Wall I opened up this weekend in the bedroom, this wall is not as bad.

PIC 2: Shows the stud cavity far from the bow, see the original sill plate.

PIC 3: This is the stud cavity at the epicenter of the bowing wall on the badly framed window.

PIC 4: Basement. It seems like someone wedged a piece of plywood under the floor joists.

PIC 5: Shows PIC 2 but viewed from the basement

PIC 6: Shows a stud cavity where the sill plate was cut out.
 

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retired framer
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Yeah; me too.

The more I see and hear, I'm thinking that this house has seen major reconstruction more than once, in it's lifetime.


ED
We have had framing crews that never get the foundation right and they lean the basement wall in or out to fit the floor above.

It's tricky read the minds of people 100 years ago and who knows what experience they had.
 
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