A.Tim Uhler, a lead framer for Pioneer Builders in Port Orchard, Wash., responds: Most of the time, we frame walls with a “California” corner — just two exterior wall studs nailed together in an L shape, with another backing stud (see illustration). Compared with a traditionally framed four-stud corner, this method uses less lumber and provides room for some insulation.

In cases where the corner doesn’t have to transfer shear loads between adjoining walls, the IRC allows the backing stud to be replaced with scrap lumber or with metal or plastic drywall clips (R602.3[2], 2006 IRC). Using drywall clips leaves the corner stud bay completely open for insulation, but it also increases the drywaller’s labor. For this...

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