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Old 05-09-2011, 09:09 PM   #1
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No sheer strength in Garage walls


I have a stick built garage in a house I just bought. I was starting to get more and more curious about why the walls feel so flimsy and are so easy to shake. Turns out the 2x4 walls only have siding over them. So they put up the walls, covered in house wrap, and then put up the siding. NO PLYWOOD, NO OSB.

The guy at Lowes said that's why everything feels like it could fall over and you probably could push it over with your car or with a really high wind.

His idea was to rip off external siding and osb the whole garage and then put siding back up or new siding. Or he said put OSB on interior wall that way at least there would be sheer on one side. However that option destroys my 2x4staggered stud wall plans I was going to do. Not enough room on footer for that.

What is the best way to resolve this? Should I just bite the bullet, tear down all the siding and OSB the entitre exterior with screws and then put the hardiboard back up over it?

Isn't normally the process 2x4 framing ----> OSB ----> Tyvek/Typar ---->siding ?
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:33 PM   #2
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No sheer strength in Garage walls


Please, for the love of Pete, do not take advice from a guy from Lowes. It was a great idea to ask around here. Hope someone can help.



PS - I'm not a Lowes hater. Just a some-guy-at-Lowes-said-I-should-do-X hater.

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Old 05-09-2011, 11:01 PM   #3
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No sheer strength in Garage walls


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Please, for the love of Pete, do not take advice from a guy from Lowes. It was a great idea to ask around here. Hope someone can help.



PS - I'm not a Lowes hater. Just a some-guy-at-Lowes-said-I-should-do-X hater.
The guy at lowes is a professional contractor with 20 years experience and works at the pro-desk.
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:18 AM   #4
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No sheer strength in Garage walls


You can add wind braces on the inside - a 1x4 angled across several studs and let into the studs.

Also not sure what you mean by staggered stud plan?
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:28 AM   #5
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No sheer strength in Garage walls


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You can add wind braces on the inside - a 1x4 angled across several studs and let into the studs.

Also not sure what you mean by staggered stud plan?


Yah the pro at lowes mentioned that too. Doing something like an X over several studs. However, if I do that on the inside than I will take up room over the sill plate and not be able to do the staggered stud 2x4 wall on the 2x6 bottom plate. That's why I'm hopefully looking for options that can be done without adding material to the inside.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:46 AM   #6
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No sheer strength in Garage walls


Avadon, how about a picture or two inside and out standing back far enough to see the wall. It appears that your siding is a sheet product. If so then the siding also acts as the sheathing and is pretty common for a detached garage. Not sure what your version of “flimsy and shaking” is but the walls should not be moving based on the detail you show in the picture.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:40 AM   #7
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No sheer strength in Garage walls


There may very well be greater issues here. What is your existing siding? I can't tell by the photograph, but it does look like a sheet product which should have a good shear value.

A properly constructed building shouldn't be shaking even without any type of shear panel. My house was built in 1986, and is cedar bevel siding over felt and studs. It has minimal let-in x-bracing, and has withstood earthquakes.

Why do you need staggered studs in a shop? If you are adding thermal or sound insulation, you could achieve the same thing by sheathing the interior with ply and then using foam, or by using 2 x 3 studs on the interior
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:24 AM   #8
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No sheer strength in Garage walls


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Yah the pro at lowes mentioned that too. Doing something like an X over several studs. However, if I do that on the inside than I will take up room over the sill plate and not be able to do the staggered stud 2x4 wall on the 2x6 bottom plate. That's why I'm hopefully looking for options that can be done without adding material to the inside.
You don't need an X - one 1x4 angled down from each corner will do.

Ah, I get the staggered stud thing now, 2x4's offset on the 2x6 sill. You could Let in (recess) both the existing and new studs - but that would cut into the studs to far.

Again, from me and others - why the staggered studs?
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:53 AM   #9
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No sheer strength in Garage walls


That is how homes were built in the old days. 2x4 walls, with 1x4 planks either placed horizontal or on a 45 degree angle, then siding placed over that. If the home was built correct, the house was very stiff, and did not flex that much, unlike homes built these days.

My garage is built with metal straps across from the corner to the top plate at a angle, but the outside is covered with "Car Siding". It does not flex, so it sounds like your garage was not built by plans, but sounds more like it was a diy build.

Last edited by gregzoll; 05-10-2011 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:57 AM   #10
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No sheer strength in Garage walls


is the wall flexing or moving corner to corner?
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:32 PM   #11
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No sheer strength in Garage walls


Besides needing details about the staggered wall, what do you mean by "shaking?"
The siding bounce if you knock on it from inside? How long are the walls?
Ceiling joists and/or double top plates?
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:12 PM   #12
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No sheer strength in Garage walls


If have seen 4x8 sheets used on the interior for added shear strength.

If you are doing an "after the mistake" fix, you can add a new plate (width optional) and attach the inside stude to both plates/sills.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:25 PM   #13
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No sheer strength in Garage walls


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Avadon, how about a picture or two inside and out standing back far enough to see the wall. It appears that your siding is a sheet product. If so then the siding also acts as the sheathing and is pretty common for a detached garage. Not sure what your version of “flimsy and shaking” is but the walls should not be moving based on the detail you show in the picture.
Well it just does not feel extremely rigid. Maybe for an attached garage it's pretty common to just use 1/4 siding/sheeting (cementboard) and no OSB first. But i'm turning this into a metal shop and I want really strong construction.

The walls are not moving perse' they are just easy to shake with your hand. I know putting osb on the inside will solve a lot of that but I was planning on a decoupled wall for sound suprression.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:36 PM   #14
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No sheer strength in Garage walls


I was planning on doing a 2x4 staggered stud wall on the 2x6 footer because I thought that would give me the best STC value in my blacksmithing shop. I was planning on using batt insulation inside and then OSB or even better cement board inside to get a fire rating.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:42 PM   #15
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No sheer strength in Garage walls


Isn't it going to immensely help the overall structure to have OSB over the 2x4's, then house wrap, then the siding? Won't that give me a great deal more mass for sound suppression?

here are more pics. Again I looked at some John Mansville insulation systems and they said for a 2x6 space that 2x4 staggered stud wall offered the best stc value, even better than just doing a 2x6 wall. If you put one layer of 5/8's drywall up it gets better, 2 layers with overlapped seems even better.

Here is the link
http://www.specjm.com/files/pdf/wood_framing.pdf
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