Fully Sheathed Wood Walls

Wall sheathing is a home’s single most important element. No other component plays such a beneficial role in overall building integrity. Structural wood panel sheathing contributes to the structure’s ability to handle uplift loads, lateral loads, and wind pressures while providing secure connection to the roof and protecting the occupants. Fully sheathed wood walls solve a majority of building challenges by delivering multiple advantages in these critical areas:

Code & Safety Advantages

Code Required Wall Bracing

Wood sheathing is the easiest and most economical way to meet IRC prescriptive bracing requirements. References:


Code Required Wall Strength Code requires wall sheathing and/or cladding to resist being sucked away during high wind events. Plywood or OSB meet this sheathing requirement for any siding. Reference:


Code Reports APA’s long history as a code developer and technical trade association provides your building department with a credible resource for up-to-date home design code options, including special applications. Reference:


Insurance Minimize insurance losses to homes with wood walls. References:


Design & Production Advantages
Aesthetics Plywood and OSB are the most recommended nail base for lap and shake siding made of vinyl, cement-fiber, aluminum, steel and wood. Codes permit some siding to attach to wood sheathing in addition to studs. Reference:


Curb Appeal Whether high-end or starter home, during construction, wood sheathing leaves a lasting impression of strength and high quality at an affordable price. Reference:


Window Upgrades Wood structural panels offer the widest possible latitude to change window configurations, size and placement. Make money on upgrades, minimize downtime. Reference:


Quiet Interior The acoustical properties and tight construction of wood panels reduce unwanted exterior noise in urban environments. Reference:


Allowable Changes Make minor field changes without extensive redesign or lost time in code approvals. Reference:


Value Engineered Improve efficiency and avoid metal connectors interfering with siding fasteners. Reference:


Wall Height Tall walls offer spaciousness and increase the “wow” factor. Wood sheathing, available in 10-foot lengths and longer, provides strength and stiffness to handle the imposed loads of gravity, lateral, transverse (wind presure) and buckling. Reference:


Energy Efficiency & Green Advantages
Energy Efficiency Builders in any climate zone can easily take advantage of plywood or OSB wall sheathing to comply with stringent energy requirements, both code and beyond, using 2x4 or 2x6 framing. Reference:


Green Building Wood walls are constructed with products from a renewable, sustainable, and readily available resource. Plywood and OSB are exempt from HUD and CARB formaldehyde regulations. Reference:


Durability To prevent moisture intrusion and its subsequent decay, mold and insect problems, APA offers step-by-step construction details for roof valleys, overhangs, window flashing, house wraps, rainscreens and other home preservation elements. Reference:


Sustainability Strong homes have long life cycles and wood has the highest Life Cycle Assessment ratings for any structural building material. Trees are a renewable resource. Wood waste is used to power plywood and OSB mills. Reference: