This post might not be exactly what you expecting, given the title and all...
When an array of studs is used as support under major load points, they are just nailed together and need some help.
The help comes in the form of straps. Ideally the straps should be placed high, middle and low. The purpose of the straps is to prevent spreading out of the studs over time as weight and gravity do what they do best.
This is an array under a steel beam in a garage on a recent pre-drywall inspection. The steel beam is visible on top of the array.
You can see that the first attempt just missed by a bit!
The second attempt did get strapped, but with only two. That was not my biggest problem with the job. The strapping should wrap completely around the array and be nailed on each end and into each stud. This will prevent separation. It appears correct, doesn't it?
But what if the studs are not really nailed at all?
What if the nails are into the seams instead?
Now I'm no engineer, but does this seem right to you?
Yeah, not to me either.
On top of it, there were other stud arrays in the house, similarly under major load points, which were not even strapped at all. I know, they should be. ALL stud arrays should be... The supervisor said that it was just my opinion that they need to be strapped. Opinion?
Mother Nature will enforce her laws, with or without our opinions.
If stud arrays aren't strapped, again, over time, weight and gravity will work and settlement will occur as the studs separate inside the walls. Have you been in a recently-built house and seen what appears to be crushed drywall? That is more than likely from an improper structure UNDER that drywall.
My recommendation: Hire a home inspector! Even what might appear to be correct can be caught with an experienced eye and exposed as not correct at all.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560