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In opening up an exterior (load-bearing wall) to re-insulate it and replace wood paneling with drywall, I found a weird piece of blocking towards the top. It doesn't look like it's supporting anything, and there's nothing nailed to either side of it. I'd like to remove it, as its presence reduces the amount of insulation I can put there.

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What's to the immediate right? looks like a door frame? –  The Evil Greebo Jun 6 at 18:36
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Blocking is generally added in that fashion to ensure that the studs don't twist out of position, although in this case it MAY have been added to create a backer board to hang something from. –  The Evil Greebo Jun 6 at 18:37
    
Yeah, the door buck for a sliding door is to the right. It's possible they intended to use this has a backer board for the outside light (whose box you can see below it) but they didn't end up actually attaching it that way. –  iLikeDirt Jun 6 at 19:30

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I would normally say yes but it appears the 2x4 on the right is heavily notched in a weird fashion. I would keep blocking across from this to make sure that vertical 2x4 is stable. Not really sure you need a piece that big though.

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Unfortunately that weird notching is termite damage. –  iLikeDirt Jun 6 at 21:36
    
Right by your blocking the 2x4 is cut out to like less than a 1/2 inch and a cross board is in it. I think this needs support. –  DMoore Jun 6 at 21:39
    
Oh that thing. It's actually nailed onto the surface of the 2x4, not cut into it. It's just a spacer they used so that they could affix 1/4" wood paneling in line with 1/2" drywall. You can see two more nailed to the top plates. –  iLikeDirt Jun 6 at 23:40
    
Ahhh I get it. You can remove block then. –  DMoore Jun 6 at 23:42

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