I loved David Joyce’s article “Building a High-Performance Shell” (5/10). I am a big fan of advanced framing techniques and learned a thing or two from his article. But when it comes to using single top plates, it seems that the extra studs needed to carry small point loads from upstairs would cause you to wind up with as much lumber in the wall structure as if you had just doubled the top plate. The doubled plate also provides significant strength to the wall, while the extra studs only increase thermal bridging. And using a double top plate saves the labor of site-cutting all those studs.

Bruce Donelson A Better Builder Selma, Ore.

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