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RE: 2x4 stud walls in High Wind areas

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I know you did not ask this question, but just use 2x6’s. They work fine. OTOH, here in Houston, every 10’ wall I have ever seen used 2x4@16” oc, in a 95 mph zone.


Eric Green, PE.



-----Original Message-----
From: Nick Bingham [mailto:NickB(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, December 09, 2002 11:03 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: 2x4 stud walls in High Wind areas


I'm in 85mph exp C country and have a contractor wanting to build a home with 2x4 at 16" oc walls, with 10' plate height. I have about 550 plf down (DL plus snow). I can get close on the stress, but deflection is killing it, especially with a stucco finish. I'm getting the usual, " The last engineer I used had no problem with it". Contractors look table 23-IV-B in the '97 UBC and see that a 2x4 wall should go 10'  supporting one floor and the roof. I realize that this table does not apply in high wind areas, which I am in, and that it's the 85 mph wind that is killing the 2x4.


I'm looking for some input - have others found a way to get a 10' (plate to plate) 2x4 wall to figure?




Nick Bingham