previous
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • 12 Remodeling Secrets
    12 Remodeling Secrets
  • Shorten a Prehung Door
    Shorten a Prehung Door
  • Remodeling in Action
    Remodeling in Action
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Play the Inspector Game!
    Play the Inspector Game!
  • Buyer's Guide to Insulation
    Buyer's Guide to Insulation
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • Video: Build a curved step
    Video: Build a curved step
  • The Hobbit House and More
    The Hobbit House and More
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • How to Install Housewrap Solo
    How to Install Housewrap Solo
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Electrical Articles & Videos
    Electrical Articles & Videos
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • The Passive House Build
    The Passive House Build
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
next
Pin It

A Better Wall with Exterior Foam

Why a longtime SIP builder turned to rigid polyiso for insulation

Builder Jonathan Orpin was a diehard fan of SIPs and used them in countless projects. Over the years, though, he started to realize that manipulating SIPs for sidewalls required a lot of work when cutting openings and routing mechanicals. To get around this problem, Orpin developed what he calls the matrix wall, which consists of conventionally framed 2x6 walls with either wet-sprayed or netted dense-pack cellulose in the cavities and polyisocyanurate foam in the exterior. Housewrap and a rain screen of 1x strapping serve as a weather-resistant barrier. Orpin says the assembly yields an R-30 wall with negligible thermal bridging and a managed dew point. This article includes sidebars on controlling moisture in walls and describing a better way to install windows.

A Better Wall with Exterior Foam

Become a Fine Homebuilding Member

to view this article and over a thousand more

Learn More