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jlawrence42 08-05-2006 11:55 AM

Replacing a corner post, Reinforcing the wall?
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My name is Jacob and I am new to this forum. I have attached a couple of pictures of a room that I am renovating. I had a suspicion there could be water damage at the corner of the house because the gutter downspout on that corner had gotten clogged and burst its seam, leading to some water damage on the exterior trim. When I pulled out the room's carpet and the baseboard trim and cut out some drywall, I found that the sole plates at the corner are rotting away (and still moist.)

My house was built in 1975 and seems to be a normal platform framing. I assume that I need to replace parts of the sole plates (probably about a foot in either direction) and also the corner post, which I haven't actually seen yet but I assume the base of it must be rotting just as much as the sole plates.

My main question is this - how do I go about properly reinforcing the walls before I replace the corner post? Does the corner post bear more weight because it is on the corner or do I just consider it to be similar to another stud? My carpentry books give examples for putting windows or doors in an exterior wall and show how to put up a temporary stud wall for reinforcement. But they don't mention my scenario - having to replace the corner post and sole plates.

Any suggestions would be more than welcome since I am still very new at this. I hope my pictures make what I said more clear.

Square Eye 08-05-2006 12:16 PM

You need to find your ceiling joists first.
Run a 4x4 header across from the wall out past the first or second joist.
If you have to lift the wall, I'd recommend a-frame supports. Lay a 2x4 or a 2x6 on the floor. Each a-frame support is 2 2x4s touching at the top and spread apart at the bottom, drive the bottoms closer and it will lift the ceiling for you. Alternate from side to side or you will lose your lift and possibly have a 2x4 dropped on your head. Nail the bottoms in place when you get the lift you need.

The down side to this is that you will have very little room to work.
If the repair can be done from outside, you will be better off to do it that way. You will be able to see any further damage and the nails will be easier to pull.

Good luck buddy.:)

Welcome to the forum,

jlawrence42 08-05-2006 02:20 PM

Thanks for the reply. How close to the existing wall do I need to make this temporary a-frame support? Your recommendation sounds good and I do think I will be able to do most of the work from the outside, although that will mean removing lots of siding, some of which is water damaged in that corner anyway. I know the direction the joists are running and I know approximately where they are in the ceiling above. Can I leave my ceiling drywall intact or is that just a bad idea? I wasn't thinking I would need to lift the ceiling, just support that wall as I replace the studs and corner post.

Also, since I will be working on two walls, what should I do for the other wall that runs parallel to the joists? Is it necessary to build another support structure for that wall, too?


Square Eye 08-05-2006 02:34 PM

Leave the ceiling alone as much as possible. If you can, Lay a piece of carpet on the 4x4 to protect it. Towels will work.

Your other wall should be fine. The ceiling joist on top of the wall/gable truss/whatever has the entire wall for support. It should be OK.

How close you build the support to the wall is kind of a matter of, opinion vs. necessity. If you do the repair from outside, you can get pretty close. If you need to be able to work between the support, leave yourself just adequate room to work and to escape if all goes wrong. In general, closer is better.

Be prepared to do some repairs around the ceiling. Mostly cracks around the corners. Caulking will go pretty far in a corner repair. Just plain old painter's caulk like Alex Plus will work.

jlawrence42 08-05-2006 06:26 PM

Thanks for the ideas. I should be setting up the temporary wall tomorrow and hopefully making the repairs on Monday.

inspectorD 08-05-2006 09:23 PM

Looks easy..
This is a typical framework repair. Like Square Eye said if you tackle this from the outside you end up with a better picture of the damage and it is easier to work at that level than from on your knees all day.

From how it looks as long as you have some decent support on the load bearing wall you will be ok. Use some pressure treated wood where it contacts the concrete.And some pl400 glue will help to keep it in place and act as a seal against the concrete.

Keep us posted.:D

jlawrence42 08-06-2006 09:19 AM

Yikes! I just started to pull away the siding from the outside corner there and I discovered that the corner post is nothing more than a 2x4. I was expecting it to be at least a 4x4. As expected that corner post is completely water damaged and needs to be replaced. What should I replace it with? Another 2x4? I was thinking something a bit sturdier like a pressure treated 4x4?

inspectorD 08-06-2006 10:44 AM

Nope... All you need for support is the 2x4.
This is stick framing/platform construction.
If you had a post and beam home this would be a concern.
This is typical stuff like I said, your doing fine.:D

No need for PT unless it is exposed to the weather or against concrete.Like the sill plate you will replace at the bottom.

Dont forget to also re-insulate before you close it up.
Then paint all cuts and sides on your trimm and exposed siding before you install it.

Have fun.:eek:

jlawrence42 08-21-2006 10:39 AM

I was able to complete the project before going on vacation last week! It took me a full two days of work to do it all. I built a temporary wall, cut through a portion of the siding, pulled out the old studs and cut the sole plates. Then I replaced the sole plates with pressure treated 2x4's and put in a new corner post with a PT 4x4, even though I had been advised that it wasn't necessary and I could just use 2x4's. Next I drilled holes for the electrical cable I had pulled out and put up new 2x4's and ran the electrical cable back through. For now I have temporary plywood covered by plastic where I cut through the siding.

Thanks very much for the advice and you may be hearing from me sometime in the fall as I continue work on my bathroom remodeling project.


Square Eye 08-21-2006 11:00 AM

That's GREAT!!

I'm glad this one worked out for you. We never know if some folks ever do their projects. You have kept us posted and that's FANTASTIC!!

The PT post will be fine.
We'll be watching for you, and don't be afraid to chime in with advice that may be helpful to others. The professionals see things every day that they don't consider worth mentioning, you may have a perspective or a friendly warning that may help someone else prepare for a project like this.

Thanks again for letting us know how it came out!

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