A.Bryan Readling, P.E., responds: Studies have shown that walls containing garage doors perform poorly when subjected to lateral wind and seismic forces. This is especially true when the wall containing the garage door is offset by more than a few feet from other braced wall lines parallel to the garage door (see illustration, below).

In that case, the open-ended side of the garage enclosure is not braced well by the remainder of the home, and the often narrow walls on either side of the door are subjected to relatively large lateral and uplift forces collected within the garage portion of the structure.

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