Relocating cripple studs


Old 03-10-09, 11:33 AM
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Relocating cripple studs

My house is drywalled and finished and I'd like to retrofit this type of built in fire escape ladder Installation Information on the PEARL-Permanent Escape And Rescue Ladder for Homeowners

The ladder box goes between 16"OC jack/cripple studs below the window.:

I know what my current stud arrangement looks like as I photographed the pre-drywalled wall many years ago. I do have jack studs on either end of the window sill and one centered cripple stud:

I'd like to disturb the current drywall as little as possible. I know I can cut the drywall and remove the centered cripple stud, but (hopefully) using the same drywall cutout for the fire escape ladder (R.O. ~ 16"x16"), is there any way I can install the new studs necessary to mount the ladder box (16' O.C.)?

The window sill to floor distance is about 40" and the window is about 38" wide.

Please let me know if I would be better served posting this in another forum.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 03-10-09, 11:51 AM
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So you are trying to cover up the cut edges of your drywall with your ladder box? A good idea, but IMO, the drywall seams should really be taped and finished. If it was me, I'd remove the drywall from trimmer to trimmer and open it up so that you could easily do your work. Plus the joint would be far enough away from the ladder that it would be easy to tape.

But yes, you could cut the drywall down, remove the center piece, remove your center stud, and then slide in a stud on each side. You'd only be able to toenail one side, but if you'd nail a short block of 2x4 to the sole plate at the bottom and the window sill framing at the bottom, it would keep the 2x4 from moving back into the wall as you go to toenail it.

Keep in mind that you "may" have some electrical lines in the wall underneath the window. They are often about 16" high if you have outlets along the wall. Try not to cut them in half when you cut your drywall.
Old 03-10-09, 01:10 PM
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Thanks for the input. I'd like to avoid patching, taping and painting the drywall and with the "routine" installatoin of this product you can avoid it (at least per the instructions). Consequently, I'd like to avoid all that with the more involved installation described above.

In any case, I appreciate the hint to add blocks to the top and bottom sill. I am a bit worried as to weather I'll be able to squeeze a 40"+ 2x into the small rough-in cavity, but I suspect the only way to know fo rsure is to try it (and cut out the drywall to the trimmer as you suggested if I can't).

I actually know where the electrical is (based on the pre-drywall photograph) and so (hopefully) will avoid it when cutting! Power off to the outlets anyway during "demolition"!

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