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How to improve the walls for a 1000-square-foot house near Asheville?

What would be the best way to improve the walls in a 1000-square-foot house that currently has 2x4 walls with fiberglass batt insulation covered with OSB, felt paper, and vinyl siding?

I want to replace the vinyl siding with fiber cement plank siding, and thought this would be a good time to add some XPS insulation between the OSB and the siding. The felt paper undoubtedly will be damaged by removing the vinyl siding, so I am guessing I need a house wrap (Tyvek or other) and then the XPS sheets.

Should the XPS be taped at joints and windows and doors? Do I need a rainscreen gap between the XPS and the siding? The exterior walls are sitting on a concrete block foundation, and there is a crawl space under the floor.

Asked by Stuart Murray
Posted Jul 10, 2014 8:34 PM ET
Edited Jul 11, 2014 7:00 AM ET

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Stuart,
Q. "Should the XPS be taped at joints and windows and doors?"

A. It's a good idea to improve the airtightness of your wall assembly when you do this work, so I would say yes.

Q. "Do I need a rainscreen gap between the XPS and the siding?"

A. I think it is a good idea. Here is more information on the topic: All About Rainscreens.

You probably also want to read this article: How to Install Rigid Foam Sheathing.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Jul 11, 2014 5:48 AM ET

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