Does it matter how you sheath around an exterior door? I think it would be stronger to break the sheathing over the door than at the corners, but I'm not sure.

The wall is not load-bearing. Studs are 24" O.C.

The wall is framed like this:

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Option 1:

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Option 2:

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Option 3:

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This last one may require some extra cripples at the ends of the header, as a nailing surface.

For extra credit, describe how to sheath around windows, too. (The main difference is that there's sheathing under a window, which a door does not have.

  • As an aside, if you can find a local Habitat group that is starting a new project in your area, that's a perfect opportunity to learn rough framing.
    – BMitch
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 1:33

1 Answer 1


Option 1 is probably the best and 3 is the worst. Similar to drywall, you don't want a seam at the corner. This is where the load causes the most stress and therefore cracking.

For windows, it's the same. You install a full vertical piece as if the window isn't there, and make sure the seam isn't in the corner. Use a chalk line to mark the edges of the window frame, and then you cutout the window with a circular saw.

Note that if you install your sheathing before raising the wall, be sure each corner has the sheathing extend out to overlap appropriately. I like to stagger the joints so there isn't a direct path in the corner. Installing the sheathing before raising the wall makes it heavier, but allows you to completely square the wall first, and it's much easier to nail.


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