Curb Appeal in Lawrence>Question Details

John Olmstead, Real Estate Pro in Lawrence, KS

Any builders using concrete board in place of OSB sheathing on new construction?

Asked by John Olmstead, Lawrence, KS Thu Sep 13, 2007

I know there is at least one architect floating around here...Any engineers? I am curious if anyone is familiar with builders using concrete board (such as the James Hardie "BackerBoard") in place of OSB or plywood sheathing on new construction? In some areas of the country having basements is more important for safety than for the extra room they provide; such as here in Kansas, North Texas, Oklahoma, etc. where we are in the heart of Tornado Alley.

In some cases, due to poor soil tests, or incredibly rocky soil, the excavation costs of a given lot do not permit a home to have a basement. Having said that, I am curious if using 1/2" concrete board versus 3/4" OSB would offer any additional protection to homeowners that are forced to buy on slabs in areas such as mine?
Please do nto confuse my questions with concrete siding. I am aware there are concrete siding products, but I am referring to the underlayment. This would apply to stucco or stone veneer applications. Thanks!

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Mexicovsafricao’s answer
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 10, 2010
check it out...i just watched the video again...

i have learned the hard way that MOST carpenters overdrive the fasteners, so have a talk with your guys on nail schedules and cranked up compressors.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
I'm not sure I understand your question? Do I know of anyone who used backerboard as "underlayment" for the exterior of a house? And you're not interested in actual exterior material? And you also imply that backerbord will protect against tornadoes.

The answer is no. Because backerboard is not for that purpose.

Hardie has exterior products:
Some of their products are sort of like concrete.

The term "backerboard" usually refers to the material that goes under ceramic tile.

Perhaps you would simply be interested in a concrete house. This is very possible. And with the proper (above ground) construction will survive a direct tornado hit.

Concrete is not as expensive as you might believe. Do I know someone who does that? Yes. 913 662 1114
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 30, 2010

Fixing OSB and nailing 16" on center epecially at the corners of structure give it its rigidity. Harding plank at 1/ 2inch and in it's siding form would not improve structure alone. Osb as the sheathing and Harding plank as the facia would help, brick facia also. Straps on the base plates nailed into the slab can prevent twisiting & Lifting of the frame of the frame this compliments the nailing of the sole plate. There is alot of wind shear design going on in architecture right now especially in high rised & commercial. In residential we still insist on placing a box on the prarie and hope nature will forgive us.
In GA I am seeing more and more poured basement pan & well structures under the proch. This provides an almost bunker type protection. Hope This Helps.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2007
Believe it or not, I am using the 3/4" as a base on my mini-golf course...and I am saving about $75,000!! Works great.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
in related news i saw a video on the stanley website for nails that were far more wind resistant than ringshanks. the video is impressive and shows the trusses breaking before the nails fail...since carpenters have long experience with ply and engineered woods i'd be more inclined to have them stay in their comfot zone and carefully adhere to the nail schedule with the stanley nails.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
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