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.

Address All Your Building Challenges with Profitable Wood Wall Sheathing

Builders today must face challenges on multiple fronts. Can you meet energy codes and reduce your exposure to mold and moisture litigation? How about reducing warranty work and insurance claims on your projects across the board? How do you offer allowable customer changes, yet still meet code bracing requirements?

You can do all these things profitably by fully sheathing with wood structural panels. Seventy-eight percent of U.S. builders know that plywood or OSB walls solve a majority of the challenges they face every day 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 with wood walls. Protect your customer’s home against airborne debris in high wind regions, while reducing vandalism and theft. Damage assessment studies prove time again that wood sheathing reduces property loss. References:


Design & Production Advantages

Reduced Callbacks

Wood panels provide the needed rigidity to prevent exterior problems under brittle surface siding and interior drywall cracking caused by humidity changes and uneven settling. Stiff walls reduce the potential for warranty work. Reference:


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. Fossil fuel based sheathing will suffer price and supply problems as resources diminish. Plywood and OSB are exempt from HUD and CARB formaldehyde regulations. Reference:


Durability NAHB’s life expectancy study indicates a lifetime of service for wood sheathing if properly protected from moisture. 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. References:


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:


APA Delivers Confidence

When you see fully sheathed wood walls with APA’s stamp, you can be confident the home is built with the materials required to meet the most stringent bracing methods. Since the early fifties, APA has collaborated with code bodies to improve wall performance. This collaboration has included a significant evolution in the use of prescriptive wall bracing techniques specifying plywood and OSB. In high wind and seismic events, APA’s expertise is on display with products that meet the industry’s highest performance standards and wall bracing applications aimed at reducing the risk of catastrophic home failure.

Learn more about APA.