04:38AM | 08/02/04
Member Since: 08/01/04
1 lifetime posts

I am having a contractor build a new home for me. This home will be built in NorthEastern US (Pennsylvania). The builder normally constructs exterior walls with 2x4's, insulation, and Dow "Blueboard" sheathing. Only the corners/ends of any walls have OSB. The builder says they can do OSB covered with "blueboard" on all exterior walls but there is a cost increase for this. The builder says that they build all of their homes this way and that they see no clear benefit in doing OSB on all walls. I have asked some other local contractors and have gotten mixed results.

Is it worth the added expense to have OSB done on all exterior walls???

Glenn Good

12:40PM | 08/12/04
Member Since: 09/10/03
314 lifetime posts
Oriented Strand Board or OSB is primarily used to sheath the entire house for several reasons. Here are a few of them:

1) If the house is in a high wind area where severe weather is a substantial threat.

2) When the corners of a structure have large windows, doors, or other openings close to the corner preventing the OSB from stabilizing the wall properly.

I personally had my home sheathed entirely with OSB for better all-round structural stability and piece of mind. I have been in the construction industry for over 34 years and have seen most everything that can happen to a building.

For example:

If a foundation has a weak spot in it the OSB can help limit the amount of disruption it causes to the upper levels of the home. It is not a cure for a foundation problem by any means but it can be a big help by greatly limiting the amount of damage caused if a portion of the foundation heaves or settles slightly.

High winds caused by tornadoes or hurricanes are another big factor to consider. If you live in an area prone to either of these weather related conditions I would strongly recommend using OSB sheathing throughout on the exterior walls. OSB may not protect your house from a direct hit from a tornado but in a near miss it could make all the difference.

Earthquakes are another thing to consider although additional seismic anchors and straps should be used in addition to the OSB in high risk areas.

Just a few things to consider.


Moderator: Construction Systems, Foundations, and Masonry & Stone

For more information about me and/or my qualifications please visit my website at:


06:39AM | 08/26/04
Member Since: 02/13/03
90 lifetime posts
Why not use 2x6 exterior walls. That extra 2 inches adds alot of insulation value.

Had a home built last summer and used all OSB, no outside insulation but used 2x6 walls with R-21 insulation.

PA is no different than Iowa, it gets cold there. About every custom house in upper midwest has the 2x6 exterior walls. Only ones that don't are spec houses, where low bid is everything.


06:09AM | 10/12/06
Member Since: 06/19/06
26 lifetime posts
I agree with hoganem, I would not build a home without the 2x6 walls, I live in Alabama, the extra 2 inchs seem to insulate better.


Screen room | Garden room | Outdoor room | | Do-it- Yourself

Click to reply button
Inspiration banner


Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button

To test the boundaries of small-footprint living, interior designer Jessica Helgerson moved her family to a 540-square-foo... Filling an underutilized area beneath the stairs is a smart way to save space. Doing so with a stash of wood, however, is ... The Audubon Society inspired wallpaper in this Adirondack-styled mudroom will get you in the outdoor mood. Grab your coat ... Chalkboard paint opens up endless possibilities for customizing your dresser time and time again. Use chalk to label the c... A fireplace in the bathroom creates the ultimate setting for relaxation. Homeowners often choose electric or gas over wood... This roomy boot tray made from punched metal stands up to all the elements. Station it in your mudroom or at your back doo... There’s nothing like a new set of cabinet hardware to refresh a room. The possibilities are endless: Go modern, rustic, or... FLOR tiles are an affordable way to customize a carpeted floor covering for any space. Make anything from runners to wall-... Chalkboard paint features prominently in this elegant yet unpretentious headboard design. Add a new message daily to reflec... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... The indecisive homeowner need not fret over choosing one (or even two) cabinet colors. The kitchen cabinets in this artist... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... Simple and striking, a couple of pieces of "lovingly used" furniture creates a special kind of charm. A weathered chair fo... First dress up your metal shelves with a coat of paint in an accent color that complements your kitchen decor. Then arrang... Dark wood shelving and a matching upholstered bench keep this closet sleek and refined. The large window brightens the sub...
Follow banner a
Newsletter icon Flipboard glossy Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss icon