Improvements You Can
Sheathing Grade - Using Structural I sheathing for low shear installations is a waste of money. Use the Structural II / CDX panel that meets your shear requirements. Its durability will be comparable in all respects to the higher priced panel.
Hold-down Type - Regardless of particular manufacturer or style, the best hold-down is one that stays out of the way of your sheathing nailing. It should exert a simple axial force on the tiedown stud to avoid wrenching the important end studs out of position during use. My vote is for exclusive use of the HD type hold-downs.
|In this construction, the cripple studs have been
replaced with metal hangers
at the header and framing clips at the window sill. This clears the way for the
hold-down to be moved to the opposite side of the end post. The increase
in distance between hold-downs increases the resisting moment oof the wall
and may permit you to reduce the size of your hold-down. Also, the edge
members of the wall are more clearly defined.