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Rain Screen material options

I see a lot of different products commercially available to create a rain screen - basically a gap between the external sheathing and the siding. But why would I not do something simple/cheap like ripping 1/4"-1/2" pressure-treated plywood into ~2" wide strips, and nailing those up in line with my studs for my rain screen spacers? What benefits do I gain from buying a more complicated product? Separately, I still need to think through the correct kind of "bug filter" at the bottom - this is where a commercial product makes sense to me - I appreciate any recommendations on that. Thanks much, Mark

Asked by MarkM3
Posted Dec 6, 2017 11:05 AM ET

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1.

Mark,
Lots of people rip plywood into furring strips to create a rainscreen gap. That option is listed in my 2013 article, All About Rainscreens.

In that article, I wrote, "For thin furring strips, you can use 1/4-inch lath board or rips of 1/4-inch plywood. If you want a deeper gap, just use thicker plywood."

I also wrote, "Furring strips don’t have to be pressure-treated, because a rainscreen is designed to stay dry." So save yourself some money by using ordinary CDX plywood instead of pressure-treated plywood.

If you read the article, you'll find more useful tips.

Answered by Martin Holladay
Posted Dec 6, 2017 11:21 AM ET

2.

Thanks very much, Martin.

Answered by MarkM3
Posted Dec 6, 2017 11:23 AM ET

3.

Mark,
Reasons to use a manufactured product include
• time (faster to install)
• more even surface for install (better finished appearance, prevents waviness that you can see with furring strips)
• in cementitious veneers (stucco, thin stone) there is an attached fabric to keep mortar from blocking the air gap

Answered by Tyler LeClear Vachta
Posted Dec 7, 2017 11:40 AM ET

4.

Very much appreciate your input, Tyler

Answered by MarkM3
Posted Dec 7, 2017 2:57 PM ET

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