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Community and Q&A

Rain screen furring strip attachment

user-4885540 | Posted in General Questions on

For our project we are using Zip R12 panels over 2 by 6 walls. I’m almost at the stage of installing furring strips for the rain screen and was wondering if there is any reason not to attach them with 5 inch nails instead of five inch screws? I used 4 inch nails to attach the Zip so the idea of long nails doesn’t bother me, but it seems in all of my searching I can’t find others who have used nails over the typical Headlok or GRK screws for furring strips. In case it’s relevant the strips are 3/4 inch plywood ripped 4 inches wide.

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  1. creativedestruction | | #1

    I would first check the ZipR installation data, but if that has nothing in the way of furring/rainscreen fastener recommendations, your idea seems fine. 1" depth into solid stud and I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

  2. Expert Member


    How thick is the OSB on the Zip-R, and what siding are you using?

    The worry about sufficient attachment on rain-screen walls come from either fastening furring directly over foam, or having sufficient bite on the furring to attach the siding.
    Our code allows the furring strips to be attached to the sheathing if it is 1/2" thick or more. Builders here typically use ring-shank framing or siding nails, and don't worry about hitting the studs.

    If you are a bit wary of that approach, I's suggest a hybrid one using a long screw every six feet or so, and 2 1/4" nails in between.

  3. woodputtie | | #3

    Hey Peter, Here's some stuff. first link is a guide by the city of Vancouver on the fastening and detailing for a rainscreen over exterior insulation. in general if the exterior insulation is less than 2in, you can attach your furring strips with #10 screws spaced 16in along the furring strips. (screws will need at least 1.25in inbeddment into the stud.

    The second link is to Hillman screws. You can order them off of amazon. and they run about $.13 a screw.

    Best of Luck


    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #4


      I think Peter is in a slightly different situation - using Zip-R, where the sheathing is adhered to the exterior of the foam layer. So as long as the Zip-R is properly fastened to the underlying studs, the fasteners for the strapping don't have to resist bending, just shear and pull-out.

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