Solo housewrapping - Fine Homebuilding Tip
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Solo housewrapping

Carpenters end up doing a lot of four-handed operations with only two hands, a couple of sticks and a few C-clamps. Here's another example. It was time to install the housewrap, there was a slight breeze in the air, and I was working solo. Typically, one person staples the housewrap to the wall while another person stays out front, unrolling the roll and keeping the housewrap smooth and level. I was missing the other person.

As shown in the drawing, the other person turned out to be a 1x3 with a small crossbar to act as a shelf for the roll of housewrap. I clamped the shelf at a point that corresponded to the bottom of the housewrap with the 1x3 resting on the ground and leaning against the wall.

To use the setup, I unroll a couple of feet to start. Then I staple it in place, unroll about 15 ft. and lean the rig against the wall. I used lumber offcuts to prop up the thing when I hit some low spots. I've used this method mostly with 36-in. and 54-in. rolls of housewrap because they're easier to handle. I've also used it with 9-ft. rolls. This works, but I wouldn't recommend it. The 54-in. rolls are ideal for solo work.

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