Drilling and notching of studs shall be in accordance with the following:
- Notching. Any stud in an exterior wall or bearing partition may be cut or notched to a depth not exceeding 25 percent of its width. Studs in nonbearing partitions may be notched to a depth not to exceed 40 percent of a single stud width.
- Drilling. Any stud may be bored or drilled, provided that the diameter of the resulting hole is no more than 60 percent of the stud width, the edge of the hole is no more than 5/8 inch (16 mm) to the edge of the stud, and the hole is not located in the same section as a cut or notch. Studs located in exterior walls or bearing partitions drilled over 40 percent and up to 60 percent shall also be doubled with no more than two successive doubled studs bored. See Figures R602.2.3(1) and R602.2.3(2) [IRC Figures R602.6(1) and R602.6(2)].
Exception: Use of approved stud shoes is permitted when they are installed in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
When piping or ductwork is placed in or partly in an exterior wall or interior load-bearing wall, necessitating cutting, drilling or notching of the top plate by more than 50 percent of its width, a galvanized metal tie not less than 0.054 inch thick (1.37 mm) (16 ga) and 11/2 inches (38 mm) wide shall be fastened across and to the plate at each side of the opening with not less than eight 10d (0.148 inch diameter) having a minimum length of 11/2 inches (38 mm) at each side or equivalent. The metal tie must extend a minimum of 6 inches past the opening. See Figure R602.2.3.1 [IRC Figure R602.6.1].
Exception: When the entire side of the wall with the notch or cut is covered by wood structural panel sheathing.