Why’d they do that?

February 6th, 2008 by Peter Schmelzer

Intermediate lath and plaster

We came across this condition in an historic house we are remodeling.

The wall is balloon framed, then sheathed on the outside. That’s the sheathing in the background. The face of a stud is marked with an ‘X’; wood lath and finish plaster used to be in that plane. The plaster you see is about in the middle of the stud. This was achieved by adding a nailer on both sides of the cavity, attaching wood lath, then plastering.

The process would have been a tremendous amount of labor. Why did they do that?

Perhaps someone out there knows the exact reason, but we can only speculate.

It could have been to provide insulative value, or it could have been to add shear strength to the wall. Perhaps this was a noisy neighborhood, so they tried to shut out sound. Maybe it was a way to train apprentices without having the product visible upon completion!

If you know what the intent was, we would be glad to know! We’re also open to your best guesses…

Posted in All Entries, Materials, Products + Finishes 1 Comment »