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I recently redid my kitchen, which included removing the back splash and putting in new tile, but when I went to remove the old tile, I found that the tile is only attached to drywall. Knowing this was weird, I cut a small hole in the drywall and on the other side was only insulation which led directly to the plastic siding on the outside of my kitchen wall!? I could push the insulation and my brother could see the plastic siding move on the outside.

I know that my neighborhood was build by a cheap contractor, but no plywood or anything? I pulled out all the sheet rock on the wall below the hanging cabinets (above the counter) and found nothing but the occasional stud, which weren't even properly spaced, (they were too far apart.) The summary is this, the only thing keeping the outside for getting in, is plastic siding, insulation, and drywall with tile on it. And the plastic siding isn't water proof.

What do I do? I have owned this house going on four years and I haven't noticed any problems, and the heating bill isn't outrageous. Am I okay or disillusioned. Do I have walls put in before a major incident occurs or do I do nothing?

Edit My concern is with what I need to do, if I need to do anything. Do I put in walls myself because I have been lucky thus far because the water hasn't made it past the siding, or is this system going to hold. I relaize the obvious nature of the question, but has anyone encountered a similar problem, and if so what was the outcome of either side?

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Is this the only "Wall" like this? I would go around poking at the siding looking for soft spots to make sure. Is the whole wall like this, or could it be just a small section where a door or window used to be (and was improperly covered up)? –  Tester101 Mar 21 '11 at 16:31
    
I believe you're describing our walls except it's stucco instead of plastic siding. –  Loren Pechtel Mar 21 '11 at 18:16
    
I will look into this. –  allindal Mar 21 '11 at 23:37
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2 Answers 2

It depends partly where you live whether it is up to code or not. In Mass. for example exterior bracing (plywood is required)

http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eopsterminal&L=4&L0=Home&L1=Consumer+Protection+%26+Business+Licensing&L2=License+Type+by+Business+Area&L3=Construction+Supervisor+License&sid=Eeops&b=terminalcontent&f=dps_faq_bbrs_one_two_family_dwelling_code&csid=Eeops#B6

Where is the house? I could probably dig out the building codes for you.

As far as what to do? I'd call a lawyer if it isn't up to your city/county/state building code. You probably don't want to fight that battle yourself.

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Currently in Vermont, which is half the reason I'm worried, as snow and ice could end up inside the siding. –  allindal Mar 21 '11 at 2:48
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Time for bed for me, but I did find these quick: List of contacts in vermont...reedconstructiondata.com/building-codes/vermont and they could certainly answer your question. The energy code is available online here publicservice.vermont.gov/energy-efficiency/ee_files/rbes/… but I haven't run across the fire code yet. If you have better luck tomorrow then I won't look in the evening. If you're still looking though - I'll see what I can dig up. –  iivel Mar 21 '11 at 3:39
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Additional comment: the purpoxe of the sheathing is to keep the house dry - a good read is here inspectapedia.com/BestPractices/Sheathing_Wrap.htm –  iivel Mar 21 '11 at 3:40
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If your entire house is like that, it's missing a few layers to the wall structure.

Given the tiles were put directly onto sheetrock, my guess is the contractor was cutting every corner he could. Which is bad news.

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I've heard of contractors cutting corners, but not installing walls?! how did it ever pass inspection?! –  Tester101 Mar 22 '11 at 1:29
    
Right, but what do I do next? –  allindal Mar 22 '11 at 17:37
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I'd get a inspector out to the house to give you an idea of the magnitude of the problem. –  DA01 Mar 22 '11 at 18:45
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