wood paneling instead of drywall

lilyleftthevalleySeptember 22, 2008

We recently acquired a fixer upper. One of the things I've been bothered by is that two rooms only have wood sheet paneling on the walls with no drywall behind them.

I suppose this is ok for interior walls, but the case is the same with three walls which are exterior as well. I have not yet pulled one off to see what kind of insulation is behind it. (And given all the other snafus we've got on our list, I am a bit fearful to see what we find.)

One particularly odd thing (to me) is that there is a half wall between the family room and the dining room, which houses one of our two circuit breaker boxes. There is nothing in between the wiring coming out of the box and this wood sheeting. To me, that's a fire waiting to happen.

Am I correct in thinking that any wall should have drywall? Or should only the exterior walls? At least the wall facing the electrical box? Or none?

Any advice on this situation would be appreciated.

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It sounds like you have some major electrical snafus. Here is what I would suggest: Since your walls probably need to be replaced anyway, use this as an opportunity to redo and upgrade your electric - it is SO MUCH EASIER with the walls exposed and much of it can be done yourself. And if you have it done later with the walls up, you will need a qualified electrician to fish the new wiring through at a cost of thousands of dollars. With an outdated electric service, you can't install appliances like electric heat and on-demand hot water in addition to many other high-amp applications - that is where we are now and I can't afford an electrician. Replace your paneling with drywall and update the insulation. If you are in a cold climate, use this as an opportunity to make your walls thicker - see the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Make Your Walls Thicker

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 8:23AM
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""Am I correct in thinking that any wall should have drywall?""

Yes, it is a fire retardent. Not much is really fireproof but the drywall slows a fire considerately.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 9:20AM
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