Anyone have plank construction?

hisgal2July 16, 2008

Hi....I'm new to this board. My DH and I bought a house that was supposed to be built in 1901. We just started modeling the kitchen and found newspapers in the walls from 1892. ...did they save newspapers for years and years before they built houses or did we just get wrong info on the year it was built??? Anyways, the house is plank construction and part of the kitchen was an addition and the wall that we need to remove is part of the original plank constructed rear wall of the house. Does anyone know how structural the actual planks in this type of construction is? As soon as I get the old newspapers off of the wall (trying to be careful as the historical society might want them), we're going to take off a couple of planks to see just how it was built, but was wondering if anyone else has this type of home? Here is a pic of the house......our town has many houses that look like this...its a quaint, small type of town. :)

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At each corner of the house there should be a diagonal brace let into the wall framing. The boards are not structural. When plywood came into the market the diagonal bracing was discontinued.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 11:26PM
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I don't know what you mean by plank. Do you mean a "box house" where there are no proper studs, the walls are formed ny 1x12 noards nailed to the sills and the top plate and (usually) wallpapered inside and horizontal siding outside. Other type of plank construction is the walls are stacked horizontal planks (1x6's) this other style is sometimes called "corn crib" construction, as the walls are immensely strong, able to resist extreme side loads.
If your house is stud walls sheathed with planks, there's nothing unusual about that- the studs bear the load, the planks provide racking resistance and give a flat base to nail the siding to.
Box construction houses should not be able to stand, but they do. They rely on the strength of the fasteners, all of the roof load is transferred through the nails; no wood bears on wood as in conventional construction. If the nails rust out, the structure will fail. The box-constructed house should be modified with great care. Usually, modernizing these houses involves installing studs from the inside, making for conventional structure at the expense of smaller rooms.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 7:16AM
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