December 15, 2022

Creating a Continuous Vapor Retarder 

In this episode of Site Visit with NS Builders, I’m back in Needham and checking on the progress of the continuous vapor retarder for this new home. And I’ll explain what a shear wall is and why it’s sometimes needed.


Before our interior walls go up, we are installing the SIGA Majrex—an interior air barrier and vapor control membrane—on top of our exterior walls. Our goal is to have the interior vapor retarder be continuous. So each exterior wall is prepped with the SIGA Majrex before the interior wall is installed. Once the walls are prepped, we’ll peel back the SIGA, fill the stud cavities with insulation, then lay the SIGA Majrex back down, ensuring it creates a continuous layer throughout. We’ve been working out these details with the on-site SIGA rep. It was super important to the homeowner and us that this home be airtight—and we will achieve that with the continuous interior vapor retarder.    


The structural engineer has determined that some walls in the home need to be shear walls. For example, in the second home office there are shear walls—plywood has been installed on the back side of the interior walls. A shear wall helps with shear force—wind or something pushing on the wall on either direction. The additional shear strength is achieved by adding plywood and then calling out the nail pattern—how many nails and how far they are spaced apart. Another advantage to having a shear wall with plywood is that you don’t have to add additional blocking when you start hanging millwork. 

It’s time to discover what NS Builders can intentionally design and build for you! Contact us today to get started on your custom dream home. Together, we can make it happen. 

—Nick Schiffer


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