What is a good way to improve the strength of a stud wall so that it can better support the roof ?

On this 20'x20' garage, there is a wall with only 33" of non-opening.

Is there a super strong steel stud that can be used instead of 2x4s to make it stronger?

Side View

  • You ask "instead of 2x4s", but your drawing shows some beams, seemingly not 2x4s over the open sections. Were you planning to sandwich 2x4s into beams? Commented Apr 16, 2020 at 20:02
  • I'm concerned that there aren't any shear walls on 3 sides of your building....
    – represton
    Commented Apr 16, 2020 at 20:03

2 Answers 2


Your studs will support anything you throw on top of them. No need to strengthen the studs. What you need is more wall space on 2 of the walls with large doors in them so it will keep the walls from racking, and thereby allowing the building to twist, and have it all come down.The simple way to do it is design enough wall space to set 4'X8' plywood at the corners so the walls will not rack. There are metal accessories from vendors like Simpson Strong Tie that does the same thing in a smaller space, but that is were an engineer comes in. Plywood=no engineer, metal alternatives=engineer

  • In order for the studs to have the same capacity, one should take the (opening length) / (stud spacing) / 2 trimmers. Wind blowing against the face of a garage door supported by only 2 studs will almost certainly fail under code wind loads. It's more than supporting the self weight of the structure over the opening.
    – represton
    Commented Apr 16, 2020 at 21:50
  • That is regarding headers When there are headers present then the jack studs need to be doubled or tripled on either side to compensate what studs should be doing. The OP's question was referring what to do with the studs, presumably around the openings not the jack studs that support the beams. If the OP builds the opening the way the building code dictates, there will be no issues. BUT the code will not allow a wall built the way he has that one drawn, not enough wall space for diagonal bracing.
    – Jack
    Commented Apr 16, 2020 at 21:58
  • I agree with Jack but I also understand that I have been offered up 100s of schemes for garages (on flips its very common to make garage part of house and put new garage behind or in front of house). That being said I have had many houses where something like this would have been cool. Not once did anyone show me a double opened garage. Can it be done? Sure. I am guessing there would be some very high requirements for the front right corner and extending a beam a certain depth in the footing. 2/3s of the garage... almost nothing attached.
    – DMoore
    Commented Apr 16, 2020 at 23:27
  • @DMoore, Yes indeed, if it was attached to a home to "anchor" it and that depends too, whether or not the tie in is suitable enough to keep the added structure standing. We might be getting off topic here, but it is helpful.If the OP attached it to an exiting structure, even if by the roof only, perhaps... Your mention about the anchored post(s) in the footing is an interesting Idea, but then again, engineer....
    – Jack
    Commented Apr 17, 2020 at 0:52
  • I found an engineer who is going to design it to code. He mentioned something that is 2' wide that anchors the corner specifically to counteract shear. Commented Apr 17, 2020 at 17:54

I suggest that you hire a structural engineer for this situation. There's too many factors that go into this for both gravity and component and cladding forces. You also need 4 shear walls. Right now it looks like you only have the aspect ratio for 1.

  • 1
    Great advise but it should be posted as a comment, not an answer.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Apr 16, 2020 at 21:05

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