Beach house #7 – in which we learn an alternate approach to gravity

I am really kicking myself now that I didn’t get better pictures, but below are some of the reasons I was glad that we did end up opening all the walls. Check out some of the crazy framing I found inside.


framing fixed

There was no solid corner stud there. It was a conglomeration of little 6″ chunks piled like jenga blocks; the load path zigged back and forth and was bisected in two different places. It took more than an hour to rip/sawzall out all the random stuff just enough to be able to slide in this single solid stud (that part took less than ten minutes).

Bathroom wall: This load bearing wall is a ballerina.


Basement window: There’s no header or even framing on this window. It’s held in with caulk, the gap between it and the cinderblock is pasted shut with 1/4″ plywood and more caulk. The only thing supporting the (sagging) joist above? Is that 3″ chunk of 2×2 perched on the casing of the actual window itself and held in place by, you guessed it, more caulk.


Living room corner (again): The stud that this one replaces stopped 8″ short of actually reaching the top plate:


Kitchen overhead (very load-bearing) beam: This beam was only “supported” by a 10″ chunk of termite-hollowed 4×4, sandwiched between two equally rotten studs that I actually crumbled off the wall with just my fingers. I had to build temporary supports (you can see one of those studs in the middle) in order to rip it all out and jam in two sistered 2x4s as a post support. Luckily the bottom plate was still good there.

framingfixed 6

Same thing with this beam (You can’t see the actual beam here because it’s got the decorative covering on it. The actual support beam terminates on top of my two new studs):


All that was supporting it before (where the two new studs are now) was about a foot of 2×4. I thought it was a 4×4 actually, until I got closer and realized that no, it was just a bit of 2×4 bizarrely turned on its side and held out away from the wall to look like a 4×4. Just as effective, right?

So sometimes things that seem bad (having to gut the house we thought we’d pretty much just have to paint) turn out to be good things after all (having a house we’re reasonably sure won’t fall down on us any time soon).

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