Scenario: One-story ranch house, 25 feet front-to-back, on a concrete perimeter foundation, in California (seismic loads). T-111 plywood exterior.
I would like to maximize the glazing area of the back wall for at least a 20 foot stretch, starting near one corner.
I know how to install headers and windows, but I know that headers move continuous loads on the foundation to be point loads at the sides of the windows... and I know that windows don't have the shear performance that plywood sheathing does.
I'd like to install a series of sliding doors and/or windows with minimal gaps between them, but I don't want to pour additional foundation to pick up the loads created by wide header spans, and I'm concerned about the shear capability of the wall once that much plywood is removed... not sure which becomes the limiting factor here.
So, for starters, is there a rule of thumb for how wide each window in a series of adjacent windows can be before a foundation upgrade to handle the transferred loads is required?
And second, is there a rule of thumb for how much area can be sliding glass doors vs. wall for shear performance? And/or can I use Simpson Strong-Wall the way garage door shear is handled at the ends and/or middle?
(Even if this requires structural engineering, a rough idea of what can/can't be done impacts a whole lot of other design work for a kitchen remodel, so even rough answers are helpful)