Can I rip the studs and plates in a shear wall section to a narrower width so that I don have to furr out the rest of the wall area?

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Can I rip the studs and plates in a shear wall section to a narrower width so that I don have to furr out the rest of the wall area?

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For 2×4 walls, this would be questionable. For 2×6 walls, the answer is probably “yes”. This should be discussed with the engineer who designed the building. Cutting part of your studs away weakens them for two reasons: First, obviously, you have less wood. But the bigger issue has to do with the way lumber is graded. Knots up to a certain size are allowed in lumber of a particular grade, as long as they are a given distance from the edge of the board. If you cut away straight-grained wood and leave a knot at the edge of your narrower stud you do not have nearly the strength that you did before. 2×6 walls less than 12 feet tall are usually much stronger than needed for typical construction. For eight or nine-foot tall walls, ripping 1/2-inch off 2×6 studs would probably not be noticed.

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