Evening Out Warped Walls
LESLIE: John in Illinois is dealing with a very old home – we’re talking 110 years – and the joys of maintaining it. What’s going on at your house?JOHN: Hi, there. Listen to you guys all the time and glad to talk to you.LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Thanks, John.TOM: (overlapping voices) Our pleasure.JOHN: I’ve got a 110-year-old house. The people that owned it before us didn’t take care of the foundation and it settled on one side. And I’ve got two rooms on that side that the wall bowed out at the bottom about three feet up from the floor and about six feet in from the middle on both rooms.TOM: Are these plaster walls, John?JOHN: Well, they were lath and plaster. We’ve got it stripped out.TOM: So it’s not loose plaster that’s bulging?JOHN: No, it’s the studs and everything were bowed out; the whole wall shifted out.TOM: OK, so do you think this happened over time or did this happen all at once? I mean when – was it bowed when you had the plaster on it; you’ve just stripped that off now?JOHN: We stripped everything off. We replaced the foundation with a foam block foundation.TOM: Alright, so now you have a really twisted wall and you’re trying to figure out how to even it out, correct?JOHN: Correct.TOM: Alright. Now, is the wall covered with anything right now or is it just a stud wall?JOHN: Just a stud wall.TOM: OK. So here’s what you’re going to want to do. Now, if you’ve only got two or three studs in the middle that are twisted out, you can either fir above and below that with some additional lumber to make it all even; but an easier thing to do would be to take some new 2x4s or even 1x4s and attach them to the sides of the bowed studs and you want to pull them out about a half-inch past where the wall is right now, so you’ll lose a tiny bit of space. But basically, you’re creating a new flat wall. You do the end walls first, then you put a string across from one to the other and you make sure every one lines up at the top and every one lines up at the bottom. You’re essentially creating a new plane, if you could think of it, in the wall and the curved part now will be behind that. So you’re building it out a little bit evenly by attaching new lumber to the side of the crooked ones.