FAQs: Wall Portal Frames

Can I construct a stud/pony wall above a portal frame at a garage door opening?

Yes. A stud/pony wall above a portal frame is permitted up to 4 feet with a total wall height of 12 feet maximum.

Is there a fix for a portal frame that was constructed without the header spanning atop the panel?

No. Portal frames are laboratory tested assemblies that could not be proven using standard engineering principles. Therefore, any fix would also require laboratory testing which most builders do not have the capacity to do. So it is imperative to construct a portal frame correctly the first time.

Can a braced wall panel from a portal frame with a length less than 24 inches be used as the return panel for a perpendicular braced wall line with continuous sheathing?

Yes. A portal frame braced wall panel is considered equivalent to the return panel for an adjacent braced wall line with continuous sheathing.

More Questions?

Please contact Building Plan Review via email or telephone at 703-222-0114, TTY 711. You may also consult the Wall Bracing publication.

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