Stone house with "hollow" sounding exterior walls

old_house_j_i_mSeptember 6, 2013

In my escapade of looking for an old house to call a new home, I came across one I really like. Its stone on a poured concrete foundation, circa 1900 - built by a contractor (and the front porch is steel/concrete).

BUT - when you tap on the interior of the the exterior walls there is a distinct hollow sound. Not as void as in a balloon framed house, but nonetheless, hollow. Where the stone chimneys are the sound is totally solid (they are within the walls and plastered over).

Someone suggested that the interior was furred out and lath and plaster added. In another old house I had once upon a time (1893) plaster was put directly on the solid brick exterior walls - thats what I was expecting in this house.

Could it be a balloon framed home with stone "veneer" ? or something else?

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Plaster over lath was as common as plaster right over the stone.

It minimized the amount of plaster needed to get a flat wall if the stone was uneven. The lath bridged the gaps.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 12:32PM
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can you look into the walls from the crawlspace or basement? if walls are open with no bottom plate they will
be balloon framed.
pretty common back then.

if they are balloon framed it will be costly to heat & cool
and costly to retrofit so it isn't so expensive to heat &cool.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 10:15PM
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Thanks - I knew about plaster right on the exterior masonry walls with regular wood/lath/plaster on interior walls, but never heard of plaster/lath for the "exterior" walls.

The more I think back through my time in the house, the less I think its balloon framed. The sounds was just not open enough. Probably too late to worry now, ha ha, our bid on it was accepted so, as long as everything moves ahead smoothly, its ours.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:26AM
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