“Structural Plywood” & “Structural Siding”

Kitchen to Living Room with Structural Plywood Installed

Normally, when you are redoing an interior room, you would typically hang drywall once the wall is insulated and all interior infrastructure is installed.

Not so in an Eichler!

At least not in earthquake country.

An Eichler is a textbook example of post and beam construction.

The house sits on a slab and there are numerous vertical posts that then support large (typically redwood) beams on top of which the roof is built. The framing and walls are typically run between posts, but non-structural interior walls are often used, too.

Kitchen Walls with Insulation (and Wire Protectors)

While Eichler houses typically fare very well in earth quakes, with no shear walls to cause the house to shift off the foundation (a common failure mode).

However, the whole house can be subject to shear forces that can cause catastrophic failure.

Thus, since the original construction, building codes now require that a certain amount of shear strength be maintained.

In particular, any exterior siding work must use siding the runs the full height of the house and must be nailed to the house with #8 nails spaced at certain intervals.

For interior walls, any wall that does not have internal cross bracing, must be finished with plywood that is attached with a certain gauge of nail at a certain spacing.

So, we end up with structural plywood and structural siding.

Tub Room

As can be seen in the above photos, the electrician has been doing a very thorough job. Everything is neatly organized in the electrical panel and clearly labeled.

As well, he installed cable protectors on every joist with a cable through it, even where code did not require it.

A small attention to detail that I really appreciate. And something the cabinet installers and the rest of the crew appreciate, too, as they all have different horror stories of driving a nail or screw through a power cable near the end of a job (suddenly, not so much the end of the job anymore as cabinets/counters must be removed to repair the damaged electrical subsystem).

This is a picture of the frame into which the tub will be installed. The marks on the wall indicate where a section of wall needs to be cut out to make the opening bigger.

Of course, the drywall guys paid no attention to the instructions given and finished right over the top of that only to have the carpenter sawz-all right through everything. More evidence that I need a sawz-all, given that it took the guy about 20 minutes to mark, verify measurements, and then cut down that chunk of wall.

Of which the drywall guys will have to refinish it.

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2 Responses to ““Structural Plywood” & “Structural Siding””

  1. annbb says:


    Thanks for the update. I really would like the updates to be more frequent, and include more photos, thank you very much!

  2. bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » Damned Fine Camp Stove says:

    […] For the past couple of months, our real kitchen has either been full of holes or otherwise under construction. […]

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