Furring Out Exterior Walls

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“Furring out” is the process of building a wall inside another wall.  In renovations, this often takes the form of a new 2×4 stud wall built adjacent to an existing exterior masonry wall . Furring out allows for HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems to be run easily and also for insulation to be added to increase energy efficiency. Carefully consider the following implications as you are deciding whether to fur out the walls in your project:

  1. You will need to drywall the new wall (even if the plaster on the existing exterior wall is in good condition).
  2. You will need to install new interior stools and casings at any windows affected because the new wall will be thicker than the existing.
  3. You will need to remove and reinstall all the base moldings and trim.  Some of the trim may not fit back, particularly on outside corners.
  4. The room will be made smaller.
  5. You may need to move doors, switches, radiators, or other elements impacted by the new construction work.

Benefits include better energy efficiency, ease of installing new systems, you can provide a new flat wall surface, and you can cover damaged plaster easily. Carefully weigh the costs versus the benefits.

See also the article on vapor barriers.