Moving cripple studs

brn3aMarch 11, 2009

My house is drywalled and finished and I'd like to retrofit this type of built in fire escape ladder Installation Information on the PEARL-Permanent Escape And Rescue Ladder.

The ladder box goes between 16"OC jack/cripple studs below the window:

I know what my current stud arrangement looks like as I photographed the pre-drywalled wall many years ago. I do have jack studs on either end of the window sill and one centered cripple stud:

I'd like to disturb the current drywall as little as possible. I know I can cut the drywall and remove the centered cripple stud, but (hopefully) using the same drywall cutout for the fire escape ladder (R.O. ~ 16"x16"), is there any way I can install the new studs necessary to mount the ladder box (16' O.C.)?

The window sill to floor distance is about 40" and the window is about 38" wide. I am trying to think through how I will fit a 40" stud in a 16" hole and to secure it. I am not sure there will be enough room in there to "swing" a hammer. Can I "toe-screw" the studs?

Please let me know if I would be better served posting this in another forum.

Thanks in advance.

Here is a link that might be useful: PEARL Ladder installation instructions

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i think you are going to have to open it wider than 16". you will spend 1/2 the time opening it wider and doing it right than trying to fight in a narrow opening. been there, done that in teh past with other things. drywall is easy to fix so skip the aggravation!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 12:03PM
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Since those studs hold the ladder they need to be fastened in solid. You could probably cut the hole you need. Cut the existing stud and pull it out. Cut two new studs the proper length and slip them in at an angle and stand them up. Put some drywall screws into them through the drywall. Then from inside the hole fasten them to the top and bottom with screws. Replace the insulation and install the ladder.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 3:00PM
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I would also screw sideways through the new studs into the existing ones on the side, apologies is that's what Joed means - you don't want to be just fastening to the window frame.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 7:51PM
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It is foolish to try to disturb the drywall as little as possible. Remove the drywall from jack stud to jack stud and from the baseboard to the sill. Install framing as needed, then install a panel of drywall with a hole cut out for the device, then tape and finish the edges. Don't waste time trying to make the job easier.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 8:06AM
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It's not even a matter of trying to make it easier/less work. Take D&K's and M.A.'s advice so that you can get connectors in there as well. You want this to be safe. In the event of an emergency and in panic mode situations, there could be more than one person on the ladder getting out. You want to go overkill here on your support system!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 11:03AM
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That's a good point. At the very least those studs the thing mounts to should be BOLTED with washers through the fullsize existing stud. Better to be safe.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 2:03PM
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"those studs the thing mounts to should be BOLTED with washers through the fullsize existing stud."

I'm not sure I can do that. The ladder mounting cripple studs needs to be 16' OC, while the full size studs are lateral to the jack studs (at least 10" from the ladder box)

So the consensus is, tear out the drywall to the jack studs and install my new cripple studs and re-drywall. Will do!


    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 3:19PM
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