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Community and Q&A

Rainscreen behind cedar shingles

steveworks | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I’m very comfortable using strips of wood ( usually ply) behind lap siding and it SOP for me. I haven’t done it with shingle yet. Can I assume that I nail up the strips horizontally and leave some gaps here and there so air and water can flow? Any detailed drawings or better instruction that i can check out?

I could also go with cedar breather ( spun) but not sure if that’s more expensive or not. I plan to try and push for using poly-iso boards on the exterior if I can get the client to budget for it.


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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Either approach will work -- Cedar Breather or horizontal furring strips. Horizontal furring strips require a lot more labor to install than Cedar Breather.

    I wouldn't worry about drainage. You're not talking about much liquid water; any water that gets past the shingles will rapidly evaporate.

  2. steveworks | | #2

    Thanks Martin

    I'll probably go the Cedar Breather or Home Slicker direction. Putting up horizontal furring will just suck up too much time and drive me crazy also.

  3. dankolbert | | #3

    Unless you're going with a pretty big exposure (7" or more), horizontal strapping is a huge PITA. You end up with more wood than air space with a 5" exposure.

  4. user-869687 | | #4

    Steve, if you did install exterior polyiso, then it would make sense to use the horizontal strapping rather than cedar breather, just so the shingles can be nailed into strapping. A much smaller number of screws will then penetrate the insulation, to hold on the strapping.

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