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ken sabo
exterior garage walls

My garage is 24' x 28' and the outside walls are T111. The bottom two feet have dry rot and are pulling off of studs. I now have a new roof and gutters and plan in the future to finish in vinyl siding. In stead of replacing all the T111 can I saw off the bottom two feet and replace with plywood? Would it be O.K. of there's no blocks of wood between the studs where the seams meet or would the boards eventually warp? The walls inside of garage are covered with plywood.

Re: exterior garage walls

Since what you're doing with the rotted wood is just a temporary solution until you do it in vinyl, you could get away with cutting off the bottoms and installing plywood. Use at least 5/8" plywood (I'd use 3/4") and you shouldn't need blocking behind the span between studs. If it really looks uneven, you can throw in some blocking after you cut off the bottoms.

When you do it, I'd put a good bead of some caulking between the T111 and the plywood and push them together until the caulking oozes out. Smooth it out with your finger. Make sure you get a good coat of paint or sealer on the outside, especially around the seams. That's where it'll leak and cause the warping.

Get a good grade of exterior plywood, some good caulk, and go for it. Depending on how long your plywood has to remain in place before you install vinyl, check the caulking seams annually and make sure they're not cracking. If so re-caulk and paint again to keep them dry.

Good Luck.

Re: exterior garage walls

Yes you can cut off the bottom 2 feet and replace with plywood, I would suggest pressure treated plywood.You will need to use plywood the same thickness as the T111 and rather than caulking I would install flashing that slides up behind the T111 and hangs down over the plywood. If your butt joints don't meet a stud cut a 2 foot long piece of 1X place half of it behind the first piece of plywood and glue and screw it in place. Then when you install the next piece of plywood install screws through it into the other half of the 1X.

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