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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    2

    Question "box" type construction?

    OK.....here we go....the wife and I have lost our minds and bought a two story house with dormers and crows nest roof built in 1912....we have been told it is "box" type construction. the house is a project for us....and among other things, it needs to be leveled. after leveling, i am wondering if anyone has experience with "framing in" on the interior walls of the house...we have been told this is the way to go....the contractor estimate for this is over $30K just for this portion of the remodel.....i am wondering if this is really needed....i mean...the walls have been there almost 100 years!!! are there any alternatives? is this required? does anyone out there have any advice or experience with this situation?

    please lemme know

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,381

    Default Re: "box" type construction?

    If you are going to get into this, I recommend that you get a copy of the book "From the Walls In" by Charles Wing. It is out of production but new and used copies are available at amazon.com. You might find one in your local library. It is the best book on restoration that I've seen yet.

    The author looked at how houses have been built over the years and why things were done the way they they were done in those times. Often he would here answers like, thats the way it has always been done, so he got help from structural engineers to figure out the whys.

    He has an excellent explanation of how heat flows in a house and explains why adding more insulation often does not have the desired results.

    I don't know what "box" construction is, but balloon framing was common in the era your house was built in. I wouldn't mess with the interior walls unless you want to remove, move or add them as part of your remodeling plans.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    975

    Default Re: "box" type construction?

    I know of "box" construction, but the type of house that went by that name was only 1 story. Since yours is 2 story, I think we would be talking about two different things. It also went by the name "single-wall" construction.
    Essentially vertical 1x12 sheathing boards with horizontal siding applied; no studs. The spiking of the 1" planks to the sills and top plate was the only thing holding up the roof. No insulation space. Doors and windows were sort of framed in with 2x3 posts/bucks. Very easy, fast and cheap to erect. Most people who were living in box houses sought to frame them in ASAP, when they could afford the studding and plaster.
    I encountered them as a college student (studying historic preservation) in Arkansas, but they were widespread in the delta southern US. The surviving box houses I knew of dated to around 1880 to 1900.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: "box" type construction?

    well i do thank yall for the info.....not real sure what or how we gonna go about it...have some time to figger this one out....does anyone out there have a recomendation for a restoration contractor in north texas?

    thanks much

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,381

    Default Re: "box" type construction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sombreuil_mongrel View Post
    I know of "box" construction, but the type of house that went by that name was only 1 story. Since yours is 2 story, I think we would be talking about two different things. It also went by the name "single-wall" construction.
    Essentially vertical 1x12 sheathing boards with horizontal siding applied; no studs. The spiking of the 1" planks to the sills and top plate was the only thing holding up the roof. No insulation space. Doors and windows were sort of framed in with 2x3 posts/bucks. Very easy, fast and cheap to erect. Most people who were living in box houses sought to frame them in ASAP, when they could afford the studding and plaster.
    I encountered them as a college student (studying historic preservation) in Arkansas, but they were widespread in the delta southern US. The surviving box houses I knew of dated to around 1880 to 1900.
    Casey
    I know what you are talking about, when I first moved out here about 25 years ago, there were a bunch of old sharecropper shacks like that. One old guy up the street had been born in his and lived in it all of the 92 years of his life up till then. His parents were born as slaves.

    They were tough old houses. We had some squatters move in just down the street into one. I'll tell you, I used to laugh at those "woe is me" segments on "He Ha", but is looses its funny when they live next door. Anyway, one day they all piled into their old car and went to town to pickup their welfare checks and get liquor and the place just fell down, after it accidently got hit by a runaway bulldozer, 5 times.
    Last edited by keith3267; 11-02-2011 at 11:57 PM.

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