GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

REX Wrap Fortis housewrap and solo installation

etting | Posted in General Questions on

Does anyone have experience with REX Wrap Fortis housewrap, not the brand-new version that comes in three variations, but the one that’s currently in stock at Ace and other outlets? I’m debating between it, Tyvek CommercialWrap, and Typar Buildingwrap. Compared to CommercialWrap, the Fortis has roughly twice the tear-resistance, which is an especially important consideration for my one-story house in central Arizona, where the WRB will be applied not to sheathing, but directly to stud framing, before being covered with SmartSide panels. It may take me a while to get the SmartSide up, and in the meantime, the WRB will be subjected to significant winds without sheathing to support it. Typar’s testing indicates it’s the strongest of all, but I’m told it’s harder to install because it tends to snag.

A second consideration is roll size. I’ll be installing the WRB by myself. Will a 9′ width be so difficult, I should limit myself to 5′ widths?

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    I've never used Rex Wrap Fortis, but either Tyvek CommercialWrap or Typar should work fine. Ask a buddy to help you if you get 9-foot rolls. If you can buy 5-foot rolls, they'll be easier to handle on your own.

  2. CMObuilds | | #2

    You can put a roll of housewrap on a chopsaw and cut it clean to whatever length you want. It will not grab the material, doesnt melt the roll or anything wacky, actually cuts really nice but could save some time and money if the short stuff isn't stocked and has an upcharge.

    Can you apply the housewrap before you stand the walls up? That is your ideal situation, especially for solo install.

  3. etting | | #3

    Sorry for the delay in thanking you, Martin and T.; I must have missed a setting to be alerted to replies.. Sawing a roll in half is a great idea! I've also been imagining devices I might make to hold a 9' roll for me while I attach it; if I try 9' and come up with one, I'll post it for the benefit of anyone else for whom help isn't really available.

  4. CMObuilds | | #4

    Jeff, for wind use cap nails. Why cant you build walls, wrap and install smartpanels all at once and stand it up? Make it easy on yourself.

    My go to is Typar, Ive never had a snagging problem and been using it since maybe 2004?, lots of houses and additions. 2nd choice is Tyvek but the obnoxious noise it makes when its flapping drives me nuts, plus its so slippery in a case where you are putting it on yourself it slides easily when you are resting it against something to fasten it then it falls to the ground and that will really get you going. I believe cheap Rex is woven, you dont want woven housewrap, especially since you dont have any sheathing behind it, which is another topic in itself. Smartpanel laps are not very deep to deter water intrusion at laps.

    To put it on yourself tack the top corner with a cap nail, use top of framing or something as a level reference, peel off 4' or so, line up the top and use the roll as a grip to pull it taught and fasten it at least half the width. After that you can go 8-12', pull tight, fasten half and repeat until you are done. Then go back and pull it tight along bottom and fasten, then tight along top or vise versa and finish fastening as you go. If its windy forget it or try 4' or less.

    If this is your first go do maybe 20' and cut it off and make sure you are nice and straight, its not going to be easy if you want it to look nice.If you are not keeping it level and tight you will find youself with pockets you will have to fold over onto itself and fasten down, not a real big deal but it looks terrible, I guess looks wont matter, I do this professionally so I expect a house to look like a brochure picture after its wrapped. If you can get 1 person to roll out and stretch it tight while you adjust and fasten makes this 1000x easier and faster.

    And dont put the letters upside down.

  5. etting | | #5

    Thank you for the tips and the endorsement of Typar, T. The walls are already up, and I do plan to use cap nails. The REX Fortis is their best product, presumably much better than their very inexpensive basic wrap, but I can't find a single comment on it anywhere, so I won't take the chance.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |