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How about a build-along?

2yKH8TUu6N | Posted in General Questions on

As I move forward with my porch renovation, I was thinking that perhaps I could be of service to GBA and make a photo journal.

I would like to think of myself as a homeowner with somewhat above average skills that most new members on this site could identify with. I want to renovate my home to be more energy efficient. As I go through the trials and tribulations and the decision-making process of renovation, members could use this journal to ask questions that might apply to their own project, with answers from the experts here. I’m sure there are people on here that are afraid to ask some more basic questions, or don’t know the exact terms of the building components.

Please be advised that this remodel will not be a 3 day complete renovation like you see on DIY. This will take some time and I’m one of those people that is absolutly meticulous with details (OCD perhaps). I’m not in a rush as I take my time with tasks that I’m not very familiar with.

This remodel will consist of demo, rewiring, new woodstove and pipe/chimney components, insulation, drywall, lighting, paint, trim, and flooring.

In summary,
I’m an average Joe that is taking on my first major renovation. I would like to document the process so less skilled/knowledgeable homeowners can learn from my mistakes, and pick up on the knowledge of the more experienced members here.

Whaddya think?

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  1. Blu | | #1

    That's great, I'm in the same boat as you, only I'm doing the gut-rehab after a garage fire left the house with water, heat and smoke damage.
    I made a Facebook Page to document the progress.
    219 Scooter Dr. Panama City Beach Florida 32408

  2. Bob the Builder | | #2

    Sure, go ahead!

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    Start posting photos, Josh -- any time.

  4. 2yKH8TUu6N | | #4

    In these pics, I'll give you a layout of the room which is 25' 9'' x 9'3''

    1. Looking North, this is the back entry door in the NW corner.
    2. The NE corner with the slider leading to the deck.
    3. Looking East, these are casements.
    4. The original back door, next to the casements, SE corner.
    5. The slider leading into the house, SW corner. There is nothing but wall in between pics 4-5. This wall was the original N exterior wall of the house before the addition in 1974.

  5. 2yKH8TUu6N | | #5

    And the Bay window looking W. (too big to add to the above post)

  6. 2yKH8TUu6N | | #6

    No pic, WTH. Try this again.

  7. 2yKH8TUu6N | | #7

    As you can see, the windows have more wood than is required, I'd like to omit some and/or build some insulated headers like advanced framing. Can you say thermal bridging? I knew you could! The only covering on the headers in both windows was drywall and some white plastic that you can see in the pics, I think its HDPE? You can kinda see in pic 3, I left it on for viewing purposes.

    In addition to insulated headers, I would like to incorporate some other advanced framing techniques. Can I re-frame 24'' oc with 2x4's? The truss' are set at 24'' and this addition isn't what I'd consider (in my limited experience/knowledge) load bearing. The only weight on the walls is the roof.

    Take a look at the pics and type out loud.

  8. 2yKH8TUu6N | | #8

    Minimum Wisconsin snow loads for my area is 40 psf. I'm not sure if I meet this requirement with the current design.

  9. 2yKH8TUu6N | | #9


    My wall plan is dense-pack with poly-iso furred under air-tight drywall.

  10. Riversong | | #10

    Any wall that is supporting a roof, or a floor and a roof, is load bearing.

  11. wjrobinson | | #11

    Josh, just an idea for you. Leave the framing alone and go with taped foam board. OK, no one thinks foam is a green product, but it is to me the best way for you to retrofit and upgrade your walls unless you are willing to do a Larsen Truss wall, which is a bit more to doing. The gain from going sheet foam would be whole assembly R value for every R of product installed obviating the reframing to advanced type.

    Josh, I see you posted your wall plan. I think it is a perfect plan. If you can fix up some of the headers and remove some wood with out lots of trouble, I would do that part of converting to Advanced but forget changing your whole walls to different spacing (24".) Another thing I do is use way fewer cripples mostly I use none. Since your drywall will hang on strapping you can gut every single non structural stud, drywall blocking, extra lower window sill jacks and all.

  12. 2yKH8TUu6N | | #12


    Of course, but not much of a load. Not like an interior wall holding up the house or load bearing holding up two stories. I'm thinking I could possibly reframe to 24'' oc. and insulate more with less thermal bridge.

  13. Riversong | | #13

    By definition: Any wall that is supporting a roof or a floor is load bearing.

    The only walls that are called non-bearing in the building trade are gable walls below the roof and interior partitions. Though even those carry some load, sometimes more than you'd think.

    There is no such thing as "not much of a load" if a wall is supporting a roof, particularly in a 40 psf snow zone.

  14. 2yKH8TUu6N | | #14


    I missed your edit.
    I'm not gung-ho on the reframing, I like your idea of removing what isn't necessary. I removed the drywall and thought, "Holy crap, thats alot!" Now I have to figure out what I can remove and in what sequence.

  15. 2yKH8TUu6N | | #15



    I'll can the idea of 24" oc.

  16. wjrobinson | | #16

    lots of cripples, drywall nailers, unneeded doublers, full wood headers on single wide windows and doors.... I would love to be there and rip it out with you... Demo is fun!

  17. 2yKH8TUu6N | | #17


    Just for clarification.
    Both windows are single units.
    Detailed pics arriving shortly.

  18. 2yKH8TUu6N | | #18

    Hmmm.....where to start?!?

  19. wjrobinson | | #19

    Josh, I have built my share of solid wood homes (Lincoln Log Kits.) You my friend have some crazy huge amounts of wood in your walls! If you have the time and energy to peel it all apart, go for it and reuse what you can, burn the rest for heat. Framing is the least expensive part of a structure. Up my way Lowe's puts out cull wood daily. Buy long culls and skill saw it to size. I never pay them what they are asking for it. They barter with us builders to get rid of it quick.

    Nice pics.

    I was just thinking of a job decades ago where we tore out an huge dock and the old timer/dockbuilder/farmer had me save every fricken nail including minorly bent ones. But he did laugh when I asked about saving the totally destroyed ones saying that would be silly to save them. LOL

  20. Riversong | | #20


    I never suggested you couldn't reframe those walls at 24" oc. That's up to your local building inspector. I would have no qualms with advanced framing in that addition. But I wouldn't want you telling the inspector that the walls were "not really" load bearing.

    The amount of framing in those walls is a crime against nature.

  21. Riversong | | #21

    Besides excess framing, can anyone spot what else is wrong with the picture in image 004 in post 18?

  22. 2yKH8TUu6N | | #22

    I have all the time in the world, I became unemployed awhile back and decided to go to school for HVAC, more specifically building automation and controls. It starts in a couple weeks.

    Don't laugh, my Uncle also saves all of his nails, even the rusties. Both he and my Aunt are very frugal and don't waste a thing. He built a 2000sf timber frame with oak harvested off his land and did everything himself (including building his own SIPs) except the concrete walls and the crane to lift the bents. He uses wood heat and has no HVAC system. I remember a quote from him when I was hunting up there in Nov., "I've spent maybe $2000 to heat this house and we've lived here over 30 years." Old-school environmentalists that migrated to Western Wisconsin from Madison in the early 70's. I admire the spartan lifestyle.


    I was going to tell the inspector that the guys from GBA said it was alright! ;-)
    I have to go down to city hall tomorrow to get my electrical permit and was going to ask if 24'' oc would be acceptable for this structure and pick his brain. I could go either way.

  23. 2tePuaao2B | | #23

    To #21~ Looks like load is being transfered to points on the window jamb to me.

  24. Danny Kelly | | #24

    Robert - love trivia games.
    Post 18 - Pic #4

    Trusses should have hurricane clips
    Trusses should have a "rasied heel" to allow enough room for insulation plus ventilation
    Baffles should be installed to prevent wind washing
    Chinked (sp?) insulation around window
    I would say something about a lack of a double top plate but from the looks of it was probably framed as an open porch which is why the trusses are bearing directly on the 2x10 beam - everything else was probably added when the porch was enclosed and windows were installed so will give them a break on that one.

    Josh - That is a lot of wood and blocking in those walls - I would worry so much about 16"OC vs. 24" OC, just remove all the redundant headers and sills and you increase the overall wall insulation by about 50% - deleting a few extra studs in such a small area is not worth the hassle in my opinion.
    When you go back with your cripples - install those at 24s if you like.

    Good luck with your project

  25. 2yKH8TUu6N | | #25

    Good morning Folks,

    Danny, thank you for the kind words and your contribution to the discussion! I can't say for sure on how the porch was put together. My wifes father built this house and, I tell you what, he overbuilt everything and used copious amounts of caulk. If you look close in that pic, you can see a bead of caulk on the plate in between the 2 headers.

    On the agenda for this morning: Take out the redundant "reinforcement" in both the East/West walls, and address the plywood on the South wall.

  26. 2yKH8TUu6N | | #26


    I have some issues with the structure and I called a carpenter for a consultation.

    The truss' are, I believe, resting on the exterior sheathing. No support that I can see or feel. I find it odd that there is no top plate.
    I don't know what the top header is supporting, it runs into the house and I cant tell exactly what it's function is.
    The bottom header is not supporting anything. I removed the caulk and there is a gap between it, and the 2x between both headers. It is however, nailed into the king stud and the trimmer. If I can call it that, I guess I could say two trimmers then a king stud, whatever.

    Bill might be here this afternoon, if not tomorrow. Today I guess I'll do some clean up and work on the South wall.

    Thoughts please

  27. 2yKH8TUu6N | | #27

    I've decided to leave the framing as is. I would have to take out the window and rebuild the frame. I don't like the extra wood, but, I don't think that completly rebuilding the wall is worth it. I'll take out what I can and do the best with what I have when it comes to insulation.

    I'm going to fur out the wall and place foam around the windows (headers) on both walls. I will also fur out the rest of the room along with the ceiling.

    It's nice to have grandiose plans, however, sometimes reality smacks ya upside the head. When I have some measurable work accomplished, I'll post new pics.

    Cheers and Go Packers!

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