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I just built a 10' load-bearing wall section and realized I made a mistake. I knocked it apart and would like to re-do it, but I'm worried that end-nailing into the studs (where I can't be sure I'm avoiding existing nail holes) goes against code. But I can't find anything that says that's the case.

Can I re-build it using the same lumber?

  • If you are worried about the nail holes from the original end nailing, you could use Simpson Strong Tie right angle fasteners for the second assembly. – Jim Stewart Nov 23 '17 at 10:56
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    Wall studs are under compression. The fasteners at the ends of wall studs are to keep them from slipping sideways. There is no force acting to pull the sill or cap away from the stud. - Even if a nail goes into a previous hole in the end of a stud, it will not work loose because part of the shank is in the fresh hole through the cap plate. – A. I. Breveleri Nov 23 '17 at 21:57
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As long as the studs were end-nailed (not toenailed), they will be fine for re-use. If you are remotely concerned and time isn't really an issue, cut 3/4" off the ends and put in an extra plate. (The extra plate might help with raising the wall, too.)

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    If you use twice as many nails as in the first construction, you can be sure that at least half of them will not slide into the existing nail holes. – A. I. Breveleri Nov 23 '17 at 18:45
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All the experts here are 100% wrong! LOL That hole makes no difference on code in any State in the USA. However for most code you are going to be required to fill the holes. You do not need an expensive medium. Great stuff for moisture and rodents passes all code in most cases. If commercial, you will need a fire code foam. So do what you need to do and fill the holes with great stuff from home depot. I recommend buying the contractor sprayer and the contractor refillable tanks as they get a lot of coverage and are reusable and controllable on the amount used...And the guy above about the toenail has no clue on structural inspections.

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    I would pay good money to watch an instructional video showing how to get Great Stuff to flow into a nail hole. – A. I. Breveleri Nov 26 '17 at 4:11
  • Since I appear to be "the guy above", I'd love an extended explanation of how/why you think previously toenailed studs would be in good enough shape to re-use. – Aloysius Defenestrate Nov 26 '17 at 4:52
  • If the board is intact, the only issue with a hole is the ability to allow damage to the board from moisture or bugs accessing the soft core. In insulation we use Great Stuff to fill these holes and gaps to code regulations. But by no means am I saying a compromised board can be fixed with sprayfoam. As with any structure, the board should be determined sound. – CobraBarriers Nov 28 '17 at 0:16

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