We were SO close to getting the house all wrapped up for Christmas!  The structure of the main house is now 100% wrapped with just 2 sides of the garage that need to be covered.

I need to get a final photo of the house completely wrapped – but, I’m kind of loving the BLACK look!  Not sure if our neighbors would love it if it stayed black!  Here are some action shots of the wrapping party.

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At about 75% wrapped (Pre-Christmas photo)

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Robyn wrapping her present the day AFTER Christmas (check out her sweet new PINK tool belt!)

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(Our awesome wrapping crew!  I just watch and criticize.)

We did some research in the material we chose for the Housewrap – also known as the Weather Resistant Barriers (WRB).  Typically you’ll see the white Tyvek, but given our ideas for our siding and the rainscreen application we’ll be doing, we wanted something with a little extra protection.

The WRB has 3 jobs

  1. Provide vapor-permeable layer that allows moisture in the wood and insulation to escape
  2. Create a 2nd layer of protection behind the siding from rain reaching the lumber
  3. Work as an air barrier to reduce heating and cooling costs

A couple of the things we looked for in our wrap was a product that had:

  1. high level of air resistance – to help prevent drafts
  2. high level of water resistance – to help protect the wall cavity from water getting behind the siding
  3. moderate to high vapor permeability – to promote drying
  4. durable to withstand the rigors of construction

Vapor permeability is one of the “stats” that we looked at closely…which rates how well the product allows water vapor to pass through it.  The higher the number – the “tighter” the shell…and the less evaporation and drying will occur…but, if it’s too low – it will allow more water IN to the system.  They range from around 5 perms being the lowest to up in the 50-60’s being the highest.  After doing some reading, it seems like somewhere right in the middle of that range is ideal.  And that’s where a product from Benjamin Obdyke peaked our interest.  With our rainscreen application we felt like it should be a fairly tight barrier – but, at the same time allow for drying.  the Flatwrap HP product is rated at 35 perms which seems ideal for our circumstance.

Then looking at the durability of the product, it’s a laminated design that really is some tough stuff.  We’ve had to change several blades during construction to be able to easily cut through this stuff.  And the installation – we wanted to get a product that could be installed both vertically and horizontally.  Robyn had a great idea to lower it down from the roof in long vertical sheets, then overlap and secure the seam tight.  Made installation fly once we perfected that technique!

And then the added benefit of the product being BLACK.  Not only does it look pretty cool right now….With our rainscreen design (I’ll do a post on that later), the siding will sit 1/2″ off the wall on furring strips and there will be open 1/4″ gaps in certain locations – that will vanish with the black backdrop.

So, there you have it – one of the MANY decisions that we’ve been making over the last couple months…and a little of the WHY.