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  1. #1
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    Jan 2012
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    Default isulating walls with no studs

    I've searched for endless hours trying to find the answer to my unique situation. I have a house that was built in the early 30's. There are no studs in the walls. I get lots of raised eyebrows when I say that to people. I'm not a carpenter so I don't know what the name is of this type of wall structure would be ( as in balloon etc ). The walls are horizontal slats. As a matter of fact, under the house, many of the floor joists look like Abe Lincoln carved them with an ax. Not the typical house. But its sturdy and in great shape. I've insulated the attic well and added new windows.
    I'm wanting to insulate my walls from the inside. I've done lots of research on Foam board, vapor barriers, moisture getting trapped etc. Most of what I find is insulating basement walls. I don't want to hire someone to spray foam. I'd like to do it myself with rigid foam board or something by fur stripping or studding out the walls. On the outside there is vinyl siding. On the inside there is paneling. Can I stud right over the paneling? I also don't want to use sheetrock if possible. Hope someone can help me. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Default Re: isulating walls with no studs

    How thick is this wall made up of so-called "horizontal slats"?
    There's the grain bin construction style that used flat stacked 2x6's with overlapped corners. That's a lot of lumber.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Maryland
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    1,159

    Default Re: isulating walls with no studs

    Are you sure the horizontal slats that you see aren't plaster lathe that is attached to studs. That would be typical for a 1930's house.
    Have you opened up a portion of the wall to the exterior sheething to see what is really there?
    BTW- balloon framing uses studs full height from the first floor throught the second floor to the roof. Not used much today for a number of reasons, but mostly for the premium price and availabilty of long studs.
    You could have a post & beam house, but the interior finish(plaster & lathe) has to be supported by something.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Default Re: isulating walls with no studs

    All I have to go by is a hole in the wall where a vent pipe from an old stove use to go. My mistake on the horizontal slats. There are vertical boards 3/4" thick and then siding (slats) on the outside of that. There is 1/4" sheetrock and paneling over that inside. All that together equals 3", paneling and all. So take off the sheetrock and paneling, the walls are 2" thick at the thickest point. There is no plaster.
    I may be able to get pictures later.

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

    Default Re: isulating walls with no studs

    Do you live in the South? TOH did a house with this type of construction that was located in New Orleans. I have seen this in some old sharecropper shacks that used to be located around here.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: isulating walls with no studs

    Quote Originally Posted by keith3267 View Post
    Do you live in the South? TOH did a house with this type of construction that was located in New Orleans. I have seen this in some old sharecropper shacks that used to be located around here.
    I live in Ky. I've read a lot about walls getting condensation in them after using rigid foam board. Looking for the best way to insulate the walls.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2012
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    Default Re: isulating walls with no studs

    No suggestions?

  8. #8
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: isulating walls with no studs

    "Have you opened up a portion of the wall to the exterior sheething to see what is really there?"
    Until you put out a little effort how can you expect anyone to help.
    A small hole in the wall where a stud can't be seen means nothing. Something that's at least 16" to 24" wide and 12" high should do it. Or even a mirror & flashlight in the flue pipe hole might. I've been in the construction business for 40 years and have not seen a house built without studs unless it was built with stone, block, structural tile, etc.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2010
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    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: isulating walls with no studs

    They call that a "box house" or "box construction". Most people would upgrade it by framing in on the interior surface with 2x4 or 2x3 walls with top & bottom plates, then wire, plumb, insulate and drywall.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    9

    Default Re: isulating walls with no studs

    Quote Originally Posted by ed21 View Post
    "Have you opened up a portion of the wall to the exterior sheething to see what is really there?"
    Until you put out a little effort how can you expect anyone to help.
    A small hole in the wall where a stud can't be seen means nothing. Something that's at least 16" to 24" wide and 12" high should do it. Or even a mirror & flashlight in the flue pipe hole might. I've been in the construction business for 40 years and have not seen a house built without studs unless it was built with stone, block, structural tile, etc.

    With all due respect. A wall that is only 2" thick cant possibly have studs in the wall. My window casings stick out into all the rooms 3 1/4". My electric and my outlets are run in the casings of the windows.
    There is nothing to shine a flashlight down in the hole because its a solid wall.
    Not meaning to sound rude here, but just because you've been in the construction business for 40 years and haven't seen a wall with no studs, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Come to my house, Ill show you one. Thats why in my first post I said I get a lot of raised eyebrows when I tell someone that.
    I'd post photos but I haven't had 10 posts yet ( which is required )..

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