My question right now is on removing (filling in) an existing window. I am clear on what I will need to do with the framing. My question is on the exterior sheeting. Do I need to replace entire sheets, or can I simply patch in the areas of sheeting that I must remove in order to create the new framing (and fill in the window area itself)? I'm not sure how much structural strength comes from the sheeting and how far to take back the existing sheets.
Sheathing keeps the walls plumb and square to support the weight of the top floors and roof. The sheathing is most important about 8' from the corners, which acts as a brace. When removing or enlarging windows remove the least amount of sheathing as possible, then fill in as needed. If the sheathing is OSB leave about 1/8" expansion between the joints.
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