how to re-frame an existing house corner

46 Replies

i have a corner that has rotten wood due to long term leak (years). the bottom of 5-6 two by fours are rotten and the bottom plate is rotten.

the outside is brick, so i can't get to it from the outside. how do i replace the bottom plate and the vertical studs with new wood before i sheetrock?

i can post a picture of the studs without drywall if needed. the corner is in a closet.

At the risk of sounding trite... if you have to ask this question, you need to hire a good carpenter to do it for you and maybe watch what they do.

But the simple answer is that you remove the sheetrock, support whatever needs to be supported, remove the rotted members, replace, and then take down the temporary supports.

Originally posted by @Aaron McGinnis :

At the risk of sounding trite... if you have to ask this question, you need to hire a good carpenter to do it for you and maybe watch what they do.

But the simple answer is that you remove the sheetrock, support whatever needs to be supported, remove the rotted members, replace, and then take down the temporary supports.

 This.  On both counts.

@Aaron McGinnis  @Jason Hamrick   thanks for your replies..

i should have stated that i know i need to brace it and support it. that's not the question i had.

i was asking how to cut the bottom plate off and remove it when it's still attached to the vertical studs. 

also, how to cut off the sheeting nails that are attached to the vertical studs behind the bricks.

lastly, can i sister new studs to the current (rotten) studs or i need to completely remove the rotten ones?

Originally posted by @George P. :

@Aaron McGinnis  @Jason Hamrick   thanks for your replies..

i should have stated that i know i need to brace it and support it. that's not the question i had.

I am not a contractor, but do not let them tell you  you can't DIY.  You can learn and do just as good a job as a pro. If no one answers you here go to http://www.diychatroom.com/

I am there every day just like here.   i would say that you  do have to replace the rotten studs.  Spray the whole area with Concrobium Mold Killer and possibly prime it with oil based KILZ primer. 

i will take a few pics right now and post them on there... thanks, steve.

before i got the last 5 houses, i used to do all that stuff myself. but now i am too busy writing checks. i am just preparing to do it myself if my guy quotes me more than i am willing to spend. they know my hands will get dirty with the first high quote they give me. :)

@George P.    Do you own a Sawzall?  That's the tool you need.

The brick veneer greatly complicates things; this is not a trivial repair. The brick is attached to the wall with ties and you can't just undermine or eliminate them frivolously.  

here is how it looks. went there to install a bath fan and took some pics.

the actual corner is the worst area... it gets better from there.

@George P.  

Can you get under the house to look at the end joists as you might need to sister some more along the existing ones to shore up the floor - if they are rotted as well. I would ensure things are sound from the very bottom-up first. How about the subfloor as well.

Once that is deemed solid, what if you added new sections of plates and new supports in between the existing ones. Then tear out the rotted sections of the existing ones and sister some new studs on some new plates, etc. I like to use an oscillating saw with a tough blade to surgically remove sections like that. I have the Makita Sawzall as well but in tight spaces I beat the hell out of my blades.

You’ll probably get many opinions on how to proceed and you should be able to do this one. I thought it was going to be much worse and am surprised the top is not rotted-out as well, since the photo of the soffit looked bad.

These old houses are  a love hate thing for me. This week I finally close on something built in the 80s and all it needs is a roof, flooring, paint and some minor stuff.

This is pretty easy to fix. Work one wall, the worst wall first, then work the other. Cut out the studs as far as the rot goes up. You don't have to worry about supporting anything that is already rotten and is holding no weight. As @Account Closed  said, the sawzall is your friend here. 

I had this same scenario and the brick was actually holding up the interior wall, as the plate was completely rotten and the studs were floating. This looks like what you've got here. 

Here is what I did. 

Then start putting it back together. I also put in some strapping (diagonal 2xs) above the studs I cut, to give some lateral support in the event the wall wanted to sag. You can barely see the end of one in the picture above (top right).

Here is a similar job I did a few weeks ago. This was from termite damage. Most of this wood is just laid out, I havent secured it yet. You can see on the far left the studs are sistered with scabs once the lower portion is replaced. Also scab joints on the plate. 

@Ryan R.  

Perfect example. A picture truely is worth a 1,000 words. 

this is really good stuff...  so I don't have to nail the exterior sheeting to the new studs,  correct? 

I cut the sheeting nails off,  put new studs and go on? 

@Ryan R.   I'm sorry but that is not a proper repair method.  By doing that, you have greatly compromised the structural integrity of the wall. Why not just do it right?!

I would highly recommend that the wall studs that are rotted and you remove are sistered from the bottom sill plate to the top plate. The reason why is that the load path needs to be continuous, and the nails usually don't have enough allowable shear strength when you sister the existing studs to new studs.

Lol. It is done right. The sistered scabs are primarily for lateral support. The bottom portion of stud that is replaced is put in tightly to ensure support to the load above. 

Have you any idea what type of load it would require to collapse and or shear these joints? Not to mention the sections we are talking about make up a small percentage of the wall. 

@George P.  If you are worried about the exterior sheathing, just put some liquid nails on the back of the replacement studs. The first pictures I posted are from a shower. The new shower was put in shortly after with a 3" thick concrete shower pan, walls lined with hardi and travertine tile installed. That shower and wall are still flawless 3 years later. 

Also, this load is not being supported by nails even though nails do have decent shear resistance. 

And if someone tells you to tear out wood that isn't rotten/damaged in a situation like this, be weary of their advice. The more you tear out the more problems you will run into. Replace what is visibly damaged and leave as much of the original structure intact that you can. 

@Ryan R.    At least this is your own personal home and not some house you flipped to a poor, unsuspecting homeowner....    :)

Originally posted by @Aaron McGinnis :

At the risk of sounding trite... if you have to ask this question, you need to hire a good carpenter to do it for you and maybe watch what they do.

But the simple answer is that you remove the sheetrock, support whatever needs to be supported, remove the rotted members, replace, and then take down the temporary supports.

 Aaron already gave the answer to your problems.

You don't need to remove the studs. 

1 Support the top plate

2 Cut out the rotten sections of the bottom plate and remove

3 Sister a new wall stud where ever there is a rotten wall stud, leave the rotten wall studs in place they aren't going to hurt anything as long as the leak has been removed. (bleach the hell out of the old rotten wall studs) Make sure any of the new sister wall studs are cut properly to fit exactly between the old top plate and the new bottom plate so that they will properly transfer the building load. Set some fans and dry everything out completely before you re-dry wall it.

Also - just to be clear, the new sister wall studs run completely from top to bottom plate, do not scab them in pieces like the ones in the pictures posted.  They must be solid and complete, and touching top and bottom plate tightly in order to be load bearing sister studs.

@Account Closed  I stand behind my designs and work. Cutting out the entire studs here isn't necessary. If it was 30' of wall damage, I'd probably recommend a different solution. 

Also, my shower and wall repair will still be performing as intended many years from now, no matter who owns the home. 

Lastly, the joints in the pictures above are not dissimilar from a header used to span doors and windows. It's the same principle; weight being transferred to a stud under it. 

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

@Ryan R.    At least this is your own personal home and not some house you flipped to a poor, unsuspecting homeowner....    :)

 Art, if you know the "right" way to do this please share it.  Just saying someone has it all wrong is not helping.   What would you do? 

@Ryan R.  

Did you put treated wood in those walls in the first set of pictures?

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