Quick Reference Guide
March 2017
Version 2017.0
Chapter 5 – Squaring & Sheathing Exterior Walls
Square the
Insulate the
Corners and
Stud Gaps
Attach House
Install OSB
Wind Bracing
1. Assemble each wall on the deck and erect in one complete section.
2. After the wall is assembled, align the bottom plate flush with the chalk line along the entire
length of the wall. Toenail through the bottom face of the bottom plate into the deck about
every 8’.
3. Use diagonal measurements to square the wall, moving the top of the wall until both
measurements are exactly the same. (Be sure you have good “corners” when making
4. Toenail the upper plate to the deck through the top face (don’t bury under later sheathing!)
5. Before attaching OSB, cut four 5½” x 92⅝” pieces of 1” foamboard (or two pieces of 2”
foamboard) and insert into each L-corner. Tape or tack in place.
6. Cut additional 5½”-wide pieces of foamboard to create stud-foamboard-stud “sandwiches”
where studs are less than 3” apart for conventional insulation.
7. Measure the width of house wrap and subtract 14¾” from the width—e.g., 18”- 14¾” = 3¼”.
a. Measure up that amount from the bottom of the wall and snap a line the length of the wall.
b. Staple the top of the warp to that line at each stud.
8. On the long walls, extend the wrap 12” past the end of the wall. Fold the bottom above the top
and use several staples (every 2-3 studs) to hold in place.
9. Check the House Plan to see where OSB wind bracing is to be located and secure each to the
a. At the ends of the wall, center on the stud nominally 48” from the end and flush with the
bottom plate, but not necessarily flush with the end studs.
b. The “reveal” at the wall end should be consistent top to bottom—a sign the wall is square.
10. OSB sheets not at the ends should be centered on studs and flush with the bottom plate.
11. Using a T-square or measurements, draw a line on the OSB at all studs to ensure nails don’t
miss. Fasten with 8d or 2-3/8” Paslode nails a maximum of 6” spacing.
12. After all required OSB sheets have been nailed, pull the nails securing the upper plate to the
13. On the long walls, install 1” foamboard between the OSB wind bracing, flush to the bottom of
the bottom plate. Nail with 2” button nails, 7 into each stud, 2 between each stud into the
upper and bottom plates. Around windows and doors, nail only into King studs and into the
header (2” away from opening). Do not nail into the sill plates.
14. Install ½” foamboard over OSB, flush on all sides. Nail with 1” button nails, in three rows top to
bottom, with 5-6 nails per row. Tape all seams.
CAUTION: Install ½” foamboard over OSB only if inspection is not required (see Construction
Quality Points
Chapter 5 – Squaring & Sheathing Exterior Walls