Wavy, not plumb, level or square mystery walls

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Trailrider

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So here it is. Truly horrifying walls I found while taking down wavy paneling. I secretly hoped it was just improperly installed panelling. But no. I’d like to ask your advice. I’m thinking that the only correct way to handle this mess is to go all the way. Tear out that old nasty wall board. See what’s behind. Likely rotten studs. Or studs placed too far apart. Probably remove any damaged studs and add new ones. Also add studs next to improperly placed studs. Add insulation. What kind? Then cover with ? Dry wall board? How will I get the walls close to straight, level, smooth? I have no idea what lies behind this.....see next to door opening.
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Snoonyb

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Welcome.
Well. to say the least, we've all come across this and in varying degrees of severity, however until you have decided upon a particular coarse of action, an determined the severity, be it replacing framing or simply shimming the studs before adding drywall, it will be difficult to correctly state options.
 

Jeff Handy

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What city?

How old is the house?

How long have you lived here, or is this a job, a relative, an inheritance, a friend’s house?

Lots more info gets you lots better help.
 

Trailrider

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I have lived here since 2004. My first home of my own. I have a little farm house and barns on 10 acres. The house was sound but needed A LOT of work. It needed everything. The house was built in 1921. It has an interesting story. Not sure when electric was added. I know it only got indoor plumbing around 1950. It was originally a basic four room farm house and two rooms were added in the 50’s. There was a hand pump in the yard then. There is still a cistern but I no longer use it since having county water added. It has a dirt floor cellar and two bedrooms. Nothing fancy here. But I love it. Even though the original hard wood floors are mostly intact, I chose to cover them up with luxury plank flooring....for easy care and easy installation. Two floors down and the rest to go. The walls were all covered with wallpaper glued to unpainted, unfinished drywall. Tearing down wall paper took some wall too. I’ve been going room by room. Repairing walls then painting. Leveling floors and then laying flooring.
My biggest challenges are nothing, I mean nothing is square. Nothing is level. Nothing was done properly the first time. You never know what you will find. For example there is a door or window framed inside a laundry room wall! But that is the way with old houses like this one. And although I find it funny now, every single electrical outlet, light switch and door frame is lower on the left side significantly. Someone didn’t like to use a level.....or maybe had one leg longer than the other. I’ll add a pic or two later.
 

joecaption

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None of that surprises me after working on nothing but 100 year old houses for 15 years.
I'd just rip out the old, fire block, up grade the wiring, insulate if it's an outside wall, and add new sheetrock.
 

havasu

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Can't wait to see pics. Sounds like you've done real well.
 

Trailrider

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None of that surprises me after working on nothing but 100 year old houses for 15 years.
I'd just rip out the old, fire block, up grade the wiring, insulate if it's an outside wall, and add new sheetrock.
I agree. Might as well get to the bottom of it. The walls will never be right if the inside isn’t right. Good to have a look at the wiring too. When I did my kitchen update I found cloth covered ungrounded old wiring. I had been living with that unsafe wiring in a kitchen for all those years. Thanks for your advice.
 

Trailrider

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With the exception of the kitchen which had two outlets. Every room in this old house had one light switch, one over head light fixture and one electrical outlet. I guess when electric was added they didn’t feel a need for much more : )
Now would be a good time to add an outlet in each wall when I have access to the interior of the walls.
 
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