Can some identify this diagonal board?

mygroovyhouseOctober 9, 2012

We have a '70s era home, which I realize isn't that old, but I figured someone here would know and I didn't know where else to post this.

In this top photo (which is not my house)

there is a diagonal board in the framing. Our house has one of these we discovered when we pulled the paneling off and we can't figure out what its purpose is. Anyone know?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is your photo:

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 1:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That is really strange--on an older house, it would be a 'wind brace' which stabilizes the structure (usually balloon framed). I thought modern houses did away with that?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 2:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's a diagonal brace to prevent racking of the wall. Very commonly used if the wall sheathing was boards installed horizontally. Plywood or other sheet-type sheathing made the braces unnecessary.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 5:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

" I thought modern houses did away with that?"

Far from it.

There are now metal braces that can be let into a saw kerf.

Plywood sheathing with the correct nailing schedule limits the need for separate braces, but something is still doing the job.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 3:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Okay, thanks guys. I did some googling on wall racking and sheathing so I understand what it is doing.

I was wanting to install a window in this area of the wall and the brace would need to be cut to accommodate the window opening. Can I have someone change the type of bracing so that I can put the window in?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 7:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you put sheathing on the studs they replace the diagonal brace.

And those braces can be moved, or several smaller ones can be used if the big one needs to be removed.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 11:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The building code spells the requirement out in great detail. Since it is a 1 story house it doesn't need much lateral resistance. I believe the code will allow you to have plywood panels 2 ft wide at each corner if you nail them properly. The corners are more important for resistance than the middle of the wall.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 5:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Building codes require diagonal braces or structural panel sheathing to be at the corners of the house because that is where the strongest forces are created in a wind storm.

If you want the window to be very near the corner there is a code alternate panel design that is as small as 16" (I think) but it requires plywood on both sides of the wall with additional nailing and bolting the sill plate to the floor structure or you can use a Simpson prefabricated braced panel.

This is not a casual design issue, you must follow the code details exactly or have an engineer stamp the design.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 7:03PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need your ideas for a new-old home,...
We are planning to build a home that appears to be...
Told we had a slate roof--turns out...'s asbestos. We bought our lovely, grand 1910...
White Cedar Shingles: Best price?
Hi all, My wife and I are gearing up to restore the...
1940 house (colonial) need period lighting advice
Hi! I'm really trying to stick with lighting that would...
Dry Rot - Your Opinions, Please
Hello, Everyone... My husband and I are in the process...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™