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sheathing approach

merlinm | Posted in General Questions on

We normally run sheathing panels vertically and try to use single sheets where possible. This has worked well from an air-sealing perspective. 

On a current project, there is a wall with a “bank” of windows. In looking at the two sheathing approaches in the attached, would the top or bottom provide more structural strength? Wall is 2×6 and sheathing is 7/16″ ZIP SP1. 


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  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    You typically want the sheathing to tie together as many pieces as possible, which usually includes the top and bottom plates to lock the structure together to prevent racking. For your wall, I would do a combination with vertical panels on the ends, and horizontal panels above and below the windows in the middle area of the wall. This is a bit more labor, but should be stronger.

    The vertical panels in the middle don't do a lot, because the columns end up being too narrow. The vertical panels need to go on the ends where there will still be enough of the panels intact to lock things together. Horizontal panels above and below the window area will lock everything into the solid header and keep that area rigid.

    I would try to cut the center two horizontal panels to land on that central double stud, then tie the two studs together with stuctural screws too.


    1. merlinm | | #2

      Thanks, Bill. This makes sense.

      Perhaps something like the attached.

      1. Expert Member
        BILL WICHERS | | #3

        Yes, exactly like that. If you can keep the top and bottom horizontal panels as one piece (no seam at the middle stud), that's even better than the screwed-together double stud I described originally.


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