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I'm in waaay over my head.


slitscan's Avatar
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03-11-03, 02:10 PM   #1  
slitscan
I'm in waaay over my head.

Hello..

I recently moved into what appears to be a former crack den. Yeah, you read that right. I know the landlord, and I needed a place quick, and he had just evicted the previous tenants. Apparently they weren't too happy about it, and they managled and/or destroyed as much of the place as they could on their way out. All light fixtures were ripped out, phone lines torn apart, plumbing destroyed, wiring cut, etc, etc, etc.. I've since got everything working, and I'm starting to actually rebuild the place.

First off, it's extremely old. It's in center city Philadelphia, and it was built long before the power grid. There's gas lines running into each room (non-functional), some complete with gas light spigots. Anyway, my first real project with this place is the living room. The walls are cement, and were wallpapered over at least a dozen times, and finally covered with white texture paint and gold glitter. (no one ever said crack dens were good with taste)

I've managed to remove all the wallpaper, after endless hours of spraying and scrapping. Now that I'm looking at bare concrete, I want to insulate (at least somewhat), and sheetrock.

Since this is a living room, what are my options for installing over cement walls? I'd previously planned on just installing hat-channels with a masonry nail-gun, and framing from there, but I'm not sure how well that's going to work once I get to the windows + the radiators..

Any thoughts/comments/ suggestions? (other than moving out

I'll try and get some 'before' pictures as soon as I can. This place is just pretty amazing.

 
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03-11-03, 04:10 PM   #2  
Move out? It sounds as if the nasty part is over.

The walls are concrete, not plaster?

You can attach studs or furring strips to the wall with a variety or techniques, such as: construction adhesive with fasteners, the fasteners including hilti, tapcons, and others. Many on these forums have favorite techniques for this. I have done it only once, so their total experience will benefit you directly.

Having to deal with the windows and such in order to insulate makes me think of tearing out the walls to accomplish this. It may be that some form of blown in insulation may be a solution. I suppose you can move the radiators. You can always extend the framing of the doors and extend outlet boxes.

This will make a good project for others to contribute their experiences.

Good luck. Keep us informed.

 
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03-11-03, 08:40 PM   #3  
slitscan,

Hello and welcome to the fray. Wow, sounds like ya got yourself a real fixer-upper there. What 's the deal with the radiators, too close to the wall? If you go with 1"x material to fur out the wall, and add 1/2" rock on that, you'll only bring the wall out about 1-3/8" If ya want to insulate the wall behind the sheetrock, ya could go with fanfold or sheet styrofoam to conserve space. I think I''d attach the 1"x3" or 4"s to the wall with my hilti, you can also use tapcons, but I like the hilti, or other powder charged fastner. Put foam board between them, & rock the wall. If ya wanting to insulate a home, IMO, the best place to start is with the windows with modern, insulated windows. Post some pics somewhere, a pic is worht a 1000 words. Keep us in the loop & we'll get ya thru this w/flying colors.

 
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03-12-03, 09:32 AM   #4  
slitscan
Hey guys, thanks for your responses..

I just ran over there (it also happens to be directly next to my office, hence my knowing the landlord... heh), and I took a bunch of pictures.

http://www.lostsignal.com/house/index.html

chfite: As far as I can tell, they're completely concrete- but, that's really not saying much. When removing the wallpaper, chunks would come off, but I didn't find anything underneath.


Dell: The windows are relatively new believe it or not.. But, I completely agree about using the foam boards. In fact, I already have a large supply of them sitting in the neighbor's basement from their own reconstruction. The place heats up very well, but the exterior walls are very cold to the touch. I just figure a buffer inbetween the cement (or whatever it is) and the sheetrock would do it some good.


Thanks again for all your help..

 
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03-12-03, 05:07 PM   #5  
They look to be plaster. But given the overall materials you have and the disaster that exists and the need for insulation, furring out and sheetrock seems like a good move. The trim won't be much to redo. The benefit of insulation is a plus.

Excellent photographs. Good pictures really help.

 
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03-13-03, 07:14 PM   #6  
slitscan

Excellent pictures I really like that archway. Use a roto-zip to cut out the shape for the walls. When you get ready to wrap the face of it you'll need to wet your sheetrock, yeah I said wet it good, this will make it plyable and you'll be able make it form to the curves in the arch.

You're on the right track, une the hilti, fasten the hat channel up, put up your foam w/liquid nails, and screw off your drywall witth self-tapping drywall screws. Might have to get those at a drywall supply place, not sure if the big boxes carry them. Bout the only thing I buy from those places is tools, so I'm not sure what they carry.

Let me know if ya got anymore questions.

 
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03-13-03, 07:30 PM   #7  
Walls

Great pictures. Walls look like some of those faux painting techniques and textured walls some folks are trying to achieve here on the forums. And, you want to cover up these works of art? LOL!

I leave you to the hands of the experts here. My only concern is to make sure there is no gas in the old gas pipes that are running in the walls. I once moved into an old house that had gas pipes running everywhere that once fed gas chandeliers and gas heaters. First thing I did was have all gas pipes cut and capped off for safety.

If you attach furring strips and install insulation, vapor retarder is recommended on the heated side of the wall. Then, you can install sheetrock.

Take heart. Be patient and keep us posted. It is interesting that I had a discussion today with a landlord about renters. He reported to me about a renter who moved out and pulled all plumbing and wiring. Now, what do you suppose they plan on doing with that?

If you have moved into a rental, I hope you have worked out a good deal with your landlord for labor and materials to offset rent. I live in a rental, and have made many improvements without any breaks on the rent. I plan on moving soon. The only consolation was that I left my mark on the place and raised it to my level of expectations while here. The next renter will probably have to pay more rent and the landlord's property was improved.

 
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