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Too much lumber in exterior 2x4 wall--weighing pain vs. gain.

Too much lumber in exterior 2x4 wall--weighing pain vs. gain.

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  #1  
Old 05-10-18, 07:00 AM
S
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Too much lumber in exterior 2x4 wall--weighing pain vs. gain.

Hello,

I'm prepping for replacing the sheathing and siding on a section of my house that was really poorly conceived. I live in Western New York where we have cold and snow in the winter and hot and humid in the summer. The section I'm working on is a converted garage, so it's slab on grade. The rooms are always cold in winter and hot in summer, so poor insulation and HVAC layout are factors.
Inside the 2x4 wall, I see a double 2x8 header that is around 10' long (was the garage door header). It is positioned above a window that is 5' wide, so there is around 5' of excess header in the wall.
It looks like the previous owner had a window that is taller than the current window, so there is a sill within the wall and a couple of inches above that is another sill.
There are also several places where the vertical 2x4's have another 2x4 sistered onto them--maybe for nailing.
It's around a 16' wall, 8' high, with one 5' x 4' slider window. I will be replacing the window with a similarly sized set of casement windows.

In order to fit more insulation into the wall, I've considered a few things--each with varying degrees of effort and mess.
  1. Rebuild the entire wall with 2x6" studs (taking 2" out of the interior). Pros: Should result in sturdier, better insulated, wall. Opportunity to have a better finished interior wall. Cons: BIG mess. BIGGEST expense.
  2. Shorten the existing header and remove "false" window sill. Pros: Removes excess lumber that only contributes to thermal bridging. Gain a small amount of space for insulation. Cons: Will be messy. May be harder to patch the interior wall than re-sheetrocking it.
  3. Button it up "as is". Maybe "picture frame" the stud bays with spray foam. Pros: Least expensive. Least labor intensive. Cons: Missing an opportunity for making an improvement, i.e., I won't be re-siding the house again ever.

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.

Thanks in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-10-18, 10:18 AM
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option #4 - fur the exterior walls out to allow for more insulation.
 
  #3  
Old 05-10-18, 11:24 AM
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I like the way you're thinking @marksr
The problem with furring out the exterior wall is that there isn't any room at the corner of that wall where it meets the garage that was added when they converted the original garage to a living space.
To try to explain that a little better, the exterior wall that I'm working on is perpendicular to the front of the new(er) garage. The front of the garage butts into the face of the wall that I'm working on. In the corner where they meet is a door for humans. The hinge side of that door is only a few inches from the face of the wall I'm working on.

Thanks for your ideas.
 
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