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How To Install Exterior Sheathing

How To Build Your Own Home e-book available

Before You Begin

Tools Of The Trade

Designing Your Home

Building Permit Plans

Excavating Home Site

Laying Drain Pipes

Prepping For Slab

Pouring The Slab

Installing Sill Plate

cutting outside Wall Parts

Building outside Walls

Framing & Raising interior Walls

Cutting out Openings

Wrapping The House

Preparing For Roof Trusses

Gettin Roof Trusses Ready

Raising Roof Trusses

Sheathing The Roof

Preping For Shingles

Shingling The Roof

Selecting Doors/Windows

Installing Doors/Windows

Preparing For Siding

Types Of

How To Select Siding

Siding The House

Siding Soffits & Trim

Installing Strapping


All of the walls are now framed and raised. They have been secured to the slab, plumbed, and braced. It is now time to place the outer sheathing on the walls. You can use a variety of materials to do the job. Most common are plywood, pressure treated plywood, and particle board. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

  • What are the different types of exterior sheathing?

  • How to select exterior wall sheathing.

  • How to calculate the quantity of sheathing you will need.

  • How to apply the sheathing to exterior walls.

  • How to secure the sheathing to the studs.

Istalling Exterior Sheathing Along A Wall

  1. Below are some of the more common exterior sheathing options you will have to select from.

    1/2 Inch CDX Plywood Is A Strong And Durable Exterior Sheathing

    Pressure Treated Plywood

    Pressure Teated Plywood Has Great Resistance To Moisture


    7/16 OSB Is Used As Exterior Wall Sheathing

    • There are two main types of sheathing; Plywood and OSB or particle board.

    • Plywood is made up of many layers of pressed wood glued together. 1/2" CDX is commonly used as exterior sheathing.

    • OSB is composed of wood chips that are compressed and glued. 7/16" OSB is used for exterior sheathing.

    • Plywood is more resistant to water but has a tendency to retain water longer than OSB.

    • OSB will have a tendency to swell and weaken when exposed to water. However when wet, OSB dries much faster than plywood.

    • Pressure treated plywood is the most resistant to water. It is treated with chemicals which create a strong water barrier. However, some say it will emit toxic fumes into the house over time.

    • As far as cost is concerned, the lowest goes to OSB at about 1/2 the cost of plywood. Pressure treated plywood is about three times the cost of CDX plywood.

  2. How to select exterior sheathing.

  3. How to calculate the number of sheets you will need.

  4. How to apply sheathing to the exterior of the house.

    Begin Sheathing At The Corner Of The House And Work Your Way Down, Ending Each Sheet At The Stud Center.

    • If the other end of the sheet ends in a rough opening, then secure it to the cripple studs, rough sill, and headers.

    Nailing Up Exterior Sheathing Over Rough Openings

    • Continue applying the sheathing in this manner around the perimeter of the house.

  5. Secure the sheathing with 2 1/2" 8p ring nails every 6", into the studs.

    Ring Nails

    Ring Nails Have Ridges That Keep Them From Pulling Out Of The Wood.

  6. Once you are done nailing up the sheathing, go inside the house to check for any studs you might have missed. Replace any nails that have missed the studs.


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