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re Plywood Shear Walls

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Dear Russell,
 
Another of my favorite mistakes in shear wall construction was doing what your clients are hoping for.  Two layers of plywood were placed on the same side of the wall, but the top layer's joints were made in the "field" of the first layer--so the shear from BOTH layers was taken by only the first layer at these locations.
 
Assuming the holdowns really have the extra capacity (doubtful), you would be much better off just adding more nails to the existing panel edges.  PRE-DRILL for these to prevent splitting the existing (very dry) studs.
 
Best wishes,
 
Thor Matteson