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Mid build switch to Tyvek? So Felt + Tyvek.

tundracycle | Posted in General Questions on

Our house in Minnesota is mid build. Framed, windows in, most of the exterior trim done, stone going chimneys, most mechanicals rough-ins complete except for some AV stuff. Time to insulate.

Yesterday our builder said that getting the siding shingles painted (dipped & brushed on all sides) and installed will be about 6-12 weeks and that to move forward on the interior (insulation, etc.) he needs to get a WRB on.

Windows & trim have all been done w/ felt but it sounds like continuing with felt given how long it will be before shingles are on is not a good option. He suggested doing Tyvek and then something like cedar breather (he mentioned a specific produce that I failed to write down) over that before shingles are installed. Additional cost will be about +$6k ($3k credit for DD, $3k for Tyvek + $3k for breather).

– What problems will there be interfacing Tyvek to the felt used on the windows & trim?

– Any thoughts on Tyvek+breather vs felt in general? 

Image of exterior from late January:


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  1. Expert Member

    W. Ramsay,

    You will have no difficulty mixing the two types of WRB. Many builders here line their window openings with felt, but after that use house wrap. I'd suggest using Commercial Tyvek, rather than the regular type. It has a lower perm rating and is a lot harder to tear.

    Including something like Cedar Breather is money well spend. It makes no difference whether it goes over felt or house wrap.

  2. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #2

    Keene Driwall is a near-clone of Benjamin Obdyke's Slicker Classic (often called Homeslicker, though that product has a WRB attached, or Cedar Breather, though that product is for roofs.)

    I agree with Malcolm--no issues with mixing WRBs.

  3. tundracycle | | #3

    Thank you both. That makes me feel better (though still not happy about the extra cost).

    I thought Keene Driwall was really just for masonry. Will it work well for cedar shingles?

  4. Expert Member
    Peter Yost | | #4

    Hi W -

    I have never used the Keene Driwall spacer mesh product but since it's 10 mm (3/8-inch), that makes the free-draining space pretty similar to just about all of the spacer mesh systems.


  5. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #5

    W Ramsay, Keene's products were developed for masonry, but like Peter says they will work for cedar as well. 3/8" is a bit squishy for shingles with 3/8" butts, though; it's better for thicker shingles or shakes. I thought they had a thinner one but it looks like a new product that might work for you:

  6. tundracycle | | #6

    Thanks all. Our shingles are "thicker" but not sure it thicker than 3/8" or not.

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