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Community and Q&A

Rainscreen for Zone 4 (Virginia)?

harrison55 | Posted in General Questions on

We plan to use Hardieboard on a new-construction residence in southern Virginia.  It will have “pretty-good” walls with Zip-R1.5 sheathing.  Zip recommend a rain screen behind the siding, but does not require one.

We guesstimate it would cost $1500 (on a $500k project) to put in a basic rainscreen with a 1/4″ air gap.

What say you all?  Would you do it?

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  1. Expert Member

    When our code mandated rain-screens on all houses, my reaction was to feel a bit offended - as though they were penalizing me for the poor practices of other builders who didn't detail walls properly. Once I started using them I realized how silly I'd been. They make any wall much more resilient, are easy to detail, and don't take much effort or expense. I'm sure there are dry, desert climates where they may not add much, but in both rainy and cold ones they are well worth including in a build.

  2. harrison55 | | #2

    Thanks, Malcolm. That sounds like a solid "yes".

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