I will be framing my own house and haven't framed anything by code in over a
decade. I can see that I'm in seismic zone D. Question:
If a wall section is to be counted as a braced section, and it is a 4x8
piece of 1/2" osb nailed to studs - does it have to have a whole stud on
each side instead of 1/2 of a stud to nail to? Also - I understand that
nails are to be 6" on center. Is that just on the edges of the osb?
Stock answer: Go to the building inspector and ask... He/she will tell
you exactly what *they* require, and since they are the ones who will
approve or reject the work, they are the *only* ones who can give you
a truely authorative answer.
And, no the building inspector probably won't think you are an idiot
for asking, instead they will think that perhaps you want to do the
job right, and be more than happy to work with you.
I'm in southwest Washington state, and built our own house in 2003/2004.
If I remember correctly, "shear" walls were those less than 4' in length,
such as the short walls on the sides of garage doors, or in the corner of
a building between windows and the corner. Longer walls handle shear
forces by the nature of their size, and didn't need any special
In the case of the shear wall sections, the most important criteria was
tying the wall section to the foundation. So, I had to embed special
shear anchors (Simpson SSTB) in the foundation walls when I poured the
concrete. Then the shear walls had to be bolted in securely to the
foundation anchors. Our garage walls sat right on the foundation so they
bolted directly, but I had to use threaded rods and couplers to extend
the anchors through through the floor framing up to the wall section
sitting on the floor. Obviously, this required careful layout when
setting the anchor bolts in the foundation so they would line up with the
future wall sections.
The anchors attach to the wall framing with a special hold down bracket
(Simpson PHD hold downs and SDS screws). Because the screws are three
inches long and you need to drive at least 10 for each anchor, you'll
need to use 4x material for each end of the shear wall. In other words,
your 4' shear wall would consist of a 4x6 on each end for the anchors,
and two 2x6 interior studs. I think you could use doubled 2x6's on each
end, but I preferred using the 4x6's. The nailing was the same as other
walls, 6" around the perimeter of the sheet, and 12" nailing on the
Our house is single story, but I know some areas have to extend the ties
all the way up to the second floor framing.
To be honest, some of the best information I found on shear walls came
from the Simpson Strong Tie catalog. I ordered mine by mail back in 2002,
but it looks like you can download it directly from their web site now at
www.strongtie.com. They have pictures showing the shear walls and how
they all tie into the foundation.
Simpson makes premanufactured shear walls, but I've never seen them
available locally. Since the anchor bolts, ties, and screws are widely
available at any home center, it wasn't a big deal to build my own shear
In any case, requirements may be different in your area, so checking with
your local building department is probably the best advice.
If you are owner builder and working off your own plans and have no
engineer I assume you want to do a top notch job.
This would be a "Top Notch" Job:
I would double up on all layout studs.......That is every 4 ' put a double
Some put in a 4x.
I nail all nails on a perimiter @ 6"
(block all perimeter nailing not on a plate)
Field nails can be placed @ 8"
Nail size can be 8's box nails.......
If using a nail gun no penetration of ply skin permitted.
(use full head nails)
Now, if you want to get extra credit:
Some use common 8s and or 10s: This is usually specified by engineer.
Another extra credit would be using PHD2's or PHD5's They do get larger.
I always place these on a double stud or 4x and on door header double kings
and or either side of window double kings openings and or in or within 2 ft.
On some special applications we have used a 12" centers for nailing giving
the ply more holding power.
Also, the spacing of your anchor bolts are important aspect...
Using a 5/8 " HDG AB with a 3" bearing plate.....square HDG @ 4' o.c. and at
least 12" max from ends of plate.
I am not an engineer but a builder.
jloomisconstruction and concrete
Great info guys! Thanks. I'm building out of pocket and am planning on
growing old and dying in this one. This will be my 5th - from scratch
homestead and since I'm pushing 60, I think this should be the last one.
I guess they figure we are over due for a big subduction quake in the 8 or
even 9 catagory.
Always refer to your local code as minimum standard.
If IRC based code, have a look here:
You can incorporate methods 1 and 2 here. Nothing says you cannot.
"Robert Olin" < email@example.com> wrote in message
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