Plywood sheathing is tops.
But shear panels and let-in
bracing do well, too.
by Harris Hyman, P.E.
A wood-frame house is a surprisingly
safe building. It is almost impossible to
construct one that will fall down. Most
builders instinctively work with lumber
that is heavy enough to do the job. In
fact, the wood is usually much, much
stronger than the bare minimum that is
needed to hold things up. Failures are
generally water-related-rotting or
Structural problems in a house
almost always relate to deflection-that
is, unwanted movement of the framing.
The most annoying of these unwanted
movements is a bouncy floor, but the
one that is most noticeable and causes
the most deterioration in the house's