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bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks

house wrap under gables


No wrap under gable
A day late and a dollar short...

I didn't get what the builder was doing under each gable of the house until after the house was completed: Why is it considered ok by some builders not to house wrap immediately under gables? What about severe weather, surely water can get in behind the siding? How does this pass city inspection? Does it really cost that
much to cover under gables?

Is this urgent enough to pull off siding and try to wrap it now @ 3 x gable... which is likely going to be on my dime if this practice is permissible.

Thanks.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
Probably considered OK by some because it is unheated and uninsulated. But I think building codes changed sometime in the last 10 years to require it. It could depend on the code in effect when your house was built. Personally I think it should be there but it would probably be really hard to go back on the builder on if the house passed all inspections.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks
The house was built in July. Apparently this is ok according to code. It did pass inspections. What a silly thing to do! I regret not being up to snuff to recognize it before it was too late. No way builder will fix this on his dime. The siding is good quality but I realize it is not guaranteed impermeable to rain. What to do....


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to bcool
said by bcool:

What about severe weather, surely water can get in behind the siding?

House wrap can prevent some moisture intrusion, but towards the top of the wall under a gable there's probably not THAT much moisture that's getting in. And depending on which way the prevailing rains come, it may not get that much water there anyways. The bigger purpose of the housewrap is reducing air infiltration.

Presuming that part of the house doesn't have cathedral ceilings, IMHO it's not THAT big of a deal with air infiltration into the attic...you already have soffit vents letting in air directly anyways.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks
reply to bcool
Thank you folks.


VioletVenom
Lets go Gators
Premium
join:2002-01-02
Gainesville, FL
reply to cdru
Not completely true. House wrap is meant as a vapor barrier and moisture. The house has to "breathe" releasing vapor laden with moisture from the interior to the exterior. While from the exterior it acts as a moisture barrier.

said by
»sustainable.cchrc-research.org/2 ··· and-why/ :

House wraps, on the other hand, are designed to be permeable enough to allow water vapor to pass through them, but will stop bulk water like rain from passing through – sort of like Gortex in clothing. In addition, house wraps can help minimize the movement of air in and out of the exterior walls. Losing air from a house in an uncontrolled manner means that you are losing heat. This loss amounts to extra fuel costs and can become a burden on your budget.

The gables need to be wrapped just like the rest of the house. Mainly for a moisture barrier and what is to prevent moisture from penetrating the siding above and running down behind the house wrap below?


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
reply to bcool
I'm assuming it's vinyl sided? If so, then it was done improperly.
Vinyl siding may not be relied upon as a water barrier. It is not waterproof. It leaks.
There should be felt paper, foam, or barrier wrap or some other waterproof underlayment.

"Code" is the bare minimum. In order to meet "code" the product has to be installed according to the manufacturers instructions. Most likely, your siding is not installed per manufacturers instructions and therefore does not meet minimum code standards. The city / municipal inspector is always protected from errors and omissions. If the inspector misses something, they can basically say "not our problem". The responsibility falls to the builder.

Your problem is a civil matter between you and the builder.

It's starting to look like you got screwed on this house.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to VioletVenom
said by VioletVenom:

what is to prevent moisture from penetrating the siding above and running down behind the house wrap below?

The same thing that prevented moisture from penetrating the siding prior to the 2006 IRC cycle, nothing but common sense and proper building materials. 2006 was the first code cycle of the IRC where asphalt felt or other approved barrier was required for most exterior wall coverings. When I replaced my 1979 original aluminum siding and T-111 paneling a few years ago with vinyl, all the plywood and celotex sheathing was in good condition with the exception of two spots where the T-111 completely turned to crap. The original builder put a seam right next to where gutter runoff would constantly splash and didn't flash it right.

I'm not arguing that it shouldn't haven't been done. I'm just arguing that it's not the end of the world if it wasn't, even if it's not up to code these days.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks

4 edits
reply to nunya
said by nunya:

I'm assuming it's vinyl sided? If so, then it was done improperly.
Vinyl siding may not be relied upon as a water barrier. It is not waterproof. It leaks.
There should be felt paper, foam, or barrier wrap or some other waterproof underlayment.

"Code" is the bare minimum. In order to meet "code" the product has to be installed according to the manufacturers instructions. Most likely, your siding is not installed per manufacturers instructions and therefore does not meet minimum code standards. The city / municipal inspector is always protected from errors and omissions. If the inspector misses something, they can basically say "not our problem". The responsibility falls to the builder.

Your problem is a civil matter between you and the builder.

It's starting to look like you got screwed on this house.


To not confuse the issue here....the house was properly wrapped with Tyvek before vinyl siding installed. The issue is whether it was a violation of code not to wrap just under each gable. The contention is that it is NOT a violation of any code to omit wrapping under gable even if the purpose for not doing so is losing favor. The builder was quite adamant yesterday that the attic/unconditioned space must be able to breath...blah blah blah.

****
As a side note...in another thread regarding a leaking walkout basement door in this very forum, I had a heated discussion with the builder what amounted to asking him why he did not install flashing around basement door and caulk before masonry rock was put up and why does the Tyvek terminate in a cavity just above the door INSIDE MY HOUSE. All along he pursued the theory that somehow water must be coming down the Tyvek from some point where the vinyl siding meets the rock work. Now when I innocently ask him how does it make sense to have the Tyvek dangle into interior space just above door (not precisely the same thing when you fold Tyvek tightly under and around windows and caulk). Suddenly he changes tact and starts arguing how remotely the possibility that water will come down the Tyvek into interior space above door. Hey man...you can't have your cake and eat too!

I think what sent him ballistic was when I, an obvious know-nothing earthling, dared to sit him down in front of my computer to show him this video:

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=naJwQRVl ··· wQRVlFsM


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
I'm not confused. There should be some sort of underlayment EVERYWHERE there is vinyl siding.

The attic is supposed to "breathe" through the required vents.

It sounds like your "builder" is an absolute idiot grasping at straws to try and explain away his mistakes.

If you'll refer your "builder" to table R703.4 in the IRC, under Vinyl Siding, you'll see that a water resistive barrier is required. Not optional. Required.

Looking at the table, you'll notice that almost every building finish now requires a water resistive barrier.

It's quite obvious he was cutting corners to save money. Just because the city / municipal inspector let it fly does not mean it's acceptable.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks

4 edits
Aside from the fact that I was ill prepared to recognize all the problems as the house was being built (my fault, my shortcoming), I am particularly disheartened that the builder who is a distant cousin and has been "building for 30 years" did not have my back. I don't know how you build like this and sleep at night. Is it because some of these omissions won't show up for a few years: is that how they get away with it? I've had the house inspected a week ago and by a reputable inspector. Checking for Tyvek under the gables or flashing around doors and windows was not in the purview of the inspection. For what it's worth though, the inspector did say that of what he inspected the house appears to be structurally sound. ha ha
Thanks for your info!

**EDIT ** -------------------------

(1.) Does violation of the IRC code afford the homeowner legal recourse?

(2.) I don't understand why, if the IRC code is cut and dry about weather resistant underlayment behind vinly siding including of course (and here's the point) right up next to gables, why do builders from what I've observed around town, get away with omitting the area immediately under gables?


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
said by bcool:

(1.) Does violation of the IRC code afford the homeowner legal recourse?

Maybe. Maybe not. Depends on local laws and precedent. Here is an example where the courts initially found that once the certificate of occupancy was issued and the owner took possession that the builder was off the hook for code-compliance related issues. But that was then overturned by a higher court.

If your issue was was something that dealt with a major structural defect or safety issue (e.g. substandard wiring, plumbing, etc) then I think your legal luck would be better then a minor defect. The cost for legal counsel may be more then what it would just cost to have a contractor fix it, or do it yourself. And I'm sure you'll argue that it should have been done right the first time and it shouldn't cost you more. And that's a logical, reasonable, and correct feeling. But life sometimes isn't logical, reasonable, and correct.

(2.) I don't understand why, if the IRC code is cut and dry about weather resistant underlayment behind vinly siding including of course (and here's the point) right up next to gables, why do builders from what I've observed around town, get away with omitting the area immediately under gables?

Because they can.

In your case, it was easy to install the house wrap around the bottom row. Either they didn't want to break open a new roll to get the gables (material savings) or they didn't want to bother to cut out pieces they couldn't easily reach when they where wrapping/taping the house (labor savings). Or both.

The inspector probably didn't flag it because he didn't see it. If he checked for wrap, he likely would have looked lower on the wall and not specifically at the gables.

There also is a chance it was just overlooked. Or the framing crew thought the siding crew would get it when they got up to that level, but the siding crew thought it wasn't needed since the framing crew didn't install it with the other wrap. Doesn't excuse it, but accidents happen.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks

2 edits
reply to bcool
Yes in subsequent conversations with house inspector, I realize the IRC code is standard but not necessarily enforceable when the municipal/city inspector doesn't flag it as a violation. The reoccurring theme from the builder is: "This is the way I've always done it."

The idea of taking down masonry rock and what that's going to do to wire/felt backing, to possibly the house wrap and maybe even the sheathing? ...well it all makes me nauseated. I'm afraid that the walk-out basement entryway will never look the same again. I fear I may just open a huge can of worms and things will become even worse.

I wonder if it would be a stupid idea to accept from the builder an extended warranty on the entryway/door for like an additional 5 years in writing. If the leak returns, he has to fix and/or replace anything that gets damaged. Is there even any good in that idea?
My bottom line is NO WATER INTRUSION EVER! How that is accomplished is not precisely my biggest concern so long as there is no water inside my house.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
said by bcool:

The idea of taking down masonry rock and what that's going to do to wire/felt backing

Wire/felt backing? Could you explain what your are describing here.


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to bcool
said by bcool:

The idea of taking down masonry rock and what that's going to do to wire/felt backing, to possibly the house wrap and maybe even the sheathing? ...well it all makes me nauseated.

I wasn't suggesting taking down the stone. Just take down the siding where the housewrap wasn't used.

Did you see what's behind the stonework when that went up? Did they put the metal lathe directly to the sheathing or did they put some type of wrap or felt paper behind that?

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric

1 recommendation

reply to bcool
said by bcool:

I wonder if it would be a stupid idea to accept from the builder an extended warranty on the entryway/door for like an additional 5 years in writing.

That'll work great until he declares bankruptcy, moves out of state or otherwise just goes away.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Really. Based on the quality of this guys work, it's only a matter of time before it catches up and he bails.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks
reply to bcool
1. I'm sorry; I'm discussing two separate issues here that are related.

The discussion about no house wrap under gables was instigated by the fact that I have had a bad leak coming in over my walkout basement door now for 9 months! Nobody has had a clue nor have they spent a lot of time trying to find out UNTIL NOW how the water was actually getting in over the door. One theory was that rain water was somehow trickling down the exposed sheathing FROM up near the gable OR that the water was getting in at the J-channel where the vinyl siding meets the masonry rock. The masonry rock fills the bottom portion of wall and surrounds the basement door and windows. Finally when the builder was willing to test with simple garden house, we determined that water must be coming in between rock and brick molding. Then the plot thickened when builder admitted and my pictures revealed that he did not flash the door or even caulk it before having the masonry rock installed. Gable issue is secondary and off shoot of this main problem.

2. What I'm describing in my earlier post is the backing behind the masonry rock. It was some kind of wire mesh on FELT and it was attached over house wrap on sheathing. And on that felt the masonry rock was mortared in. Where there was only a concrete wall, the masonry rock was mortared directly to the concrete wall with no backing that I remember.

3. The extended warranty idea came out of left field and I knew once I posted it that it was not good idea at all. Thanks.


35245635

join:2013-03-04
North Reading, MA

1 edit
reply to bcool
*double post*
--
"Everyone has his day and some days last longer than others." - Winston Churchill


35245635

join:2013-03-04
North Reading, MA
reply to bcool
I've been watching 30+ houses built across the street with the same issues. This is the reason I buy older houses and avoid new like the plague.

Just wait until the ground shifts and cracks the foundation or walls inside. Hopefully the doorways are square. I put a level on a few in the new houses across the street after I had to jam a closet door closed. Most of the doorways were close to square but off. They cut the siding too short to save money so when it gets cold the siding contracts and you can see small gaps. They don't come with gutters and all they get is a lovely contractor grade lawn. They installed the bare minimum electrical so rooms like the living room don't have enough plugs. They are selling these houses for $490,000 to $850,000 so they should be prime houses given the neighborhood median price is about $400,000.
--
"Everyone has his day and some days last longer than others." - Winston Churchill


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks
reply to 35245635
Thanks for another insight concerning shifting earth which is another reason that slathering on caulking to exterior is a half-assed solution to this problem.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks

3 edits
reply to 35245635
thank you all. I have blended two separate posts albeit related so I will continue the discussion about leaking door in its original post.

The NO house wrap under gables issue seems a lot easier to fix than this basement door problem.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks

1 edit
reply to 35245635
said by 35245635:

I've been watching 30+ houses built across the street with the same issues. This is the reason I buy older houses and avoid new like the plague.

Just wait until the ground shifts and cracks the foundation or walls inside. Hopefully the doorways are square. I put a level on a few in the new houses across the street after I had to jam a closet door closed. Most of the doorways were close to square but off. They cut the siding too short to save money so when it gets cold the siding contracts and you can see small gaps. They don't come with gutters and all they get is a lovely contractor grade lawn. They installed the bare minimum electrical so rooms like the living room don't have enough plugs. They are selling these houses for $490,000 to $850,000 so they should be prime houses given the neighborhood median price is about $400,000.

What you describe here is depressing especially for homes in that dollar range which mine obviously is not. Yet, (and maybe I'm naive here) whether you're having a $500,000 home built OR a $100,000 dollar home built, there should be some basic, good construction ethic that does whatever necessary according to a higher standard in order to protect doors, windows, siding, roof, concrete walls FROM WATER INTRUSION. I'm not asking for an indoor swimming pool. All I'm asking is that my basement walls do not exhibit wet spots in less than 6 months of ownership of the new home and that my walkout basement door does not leak since the very first rainfall.


35245635

join:2013-03-04
North Reading, MA
said by bcool:

said by 35245635:

I've been watching 30+ houses built across the street with the same issues. This is the reason I buy older houses and avoid new like the plague.

Just wait until the ground shifts and cracks the foundation or walls inside. Hopefully the doorways are square. I put a level on a few in the new houses across the street after I had to jam a closet door closed. Most of the doorways were close to square but off. They cut the siding too short to save money so when it gets cold the siding contracts and you can see small gaps. They don't come with gutters and all they get is a lovely contractor grade lawn. They installed the bare minimum electrical so rooms like the living room don't have enough plugs. They are selling these houses for $490,000 to $850,000 so they should be prime houses given the neighborhood median price is about $400,000.

What you describe here is depressing especially for homes in that dollar range which mine obviously is not. Yet, (and maybe I'm naive here) whether you're having a $500,000 home built OR a $100,000 dollar home built, there should be some basic, good construction ethic that does whatever necessary according to a higher standard in order to protect doors, windows, siding, roof, concrete walls FROM WATER INTRUSION. I'm not asking for an indoor swimming pool. All I'm asking is that my basement walls do not exhibit wet spots in less than 6 months of ownership of the new home and that my walkout basement door does not leak since the very first rainfall.

It's very depressing. The quality just isn't what it use to be. Hopefully you'll have better luck. I just wanted you to be aware of some of the new house issues so you can notice them early and get them fixed should they happen.
--
"Everyone has his day and some days last longer than others." - Winston Churchill


StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL
reply to bcool
Why would there be a need for house wrap above the attic joists? Is that an insulated space? Maybe I missed that when I read through the thread. If not, you maybe should be looking for more attic vents rather than house wrap up there.

On the other hand, if you insulation is in the roof rafters making the attic space insulated, then I understand why house wrap would be appropriate.


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to 35245635
said by 35245635:

I've been watching 30+ houses built across the street with the same issues. This is the reason I buy older houses and avoid new like the plague.

My house is 34 years old and build by one of the areas largest home developers. They aren't cookie cutter homes, but they aren't custom homes either. I've owned the home for about 12 years now and have done more than enough home improvements inside and out to officially know that a lot of corners were cut where to do things right would have been negligibly more expensive.

If you prefer a older house, I helped a friend reside a 1920's balloon framed home. The sheathing consisted of 1x4 and 1x6 with between 1/4 and 1/2 gaps between boards. Original insulation was none. It was typical for a house of it's time here. Is that the better quality you're referring to?


CFoo

join:2008-03-19
Nepean, ON
reply to bcool
said by bcool:

I don't know how you build like this and sleep at night.

They sleep well because of their money filled mattreses.


CFoo

join:2008-03-19
Nepean, ON
reply to 35245635
Its the same in my neighborhood. Because of the low interest rates in Canada, the housing economy has been in a boom. One builder told me directly that there are not enough labourers around of all of the new houses going up. 4 bedroom homes are going for $500,000 and up and that's typically for a 40-50ft wide lot. I have inpsected a few homes and I found so many issues that it was scary.


35245635

join:2013-03-04
North Reading, MA
reply to cdru
said by cdru:

said by 35245635:

I've been watching 30+ houses built across the street with the same issues. This is the reason I buy older houses and avoid new like the plague.

My house is 34 years old and build by one of the areas largest home developers. They aren't cookie cutter homes, but they aren't custom homes either. I've owned the home for about 12 years now and have done more than enough home improvements inside and out to officially know that a lot of corners were cut where to do things right would have been negligibly more expensive.

If you prefer a older house, I helped a friend reside a 1920's balloon framed home. The sheathing consisted of 1x4 and 1x6 with between 1/4 and 1/2 gaps between boards. Original insulation was none. It was typical for a house of it's time here. Is that the better quality you're referring to?

WAY better construction back in 1920. It's much cheaper to add insulation then fix problems that can't really be fixed as easy like mentioned. Nothing is perfect but the goal is to pick the path of least resistance.
--
"Everyone has his day and some days last longer than others." - Winston Churchill


gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

1 edit
reply to bcool
Its like a big scoop for water to get into the building.
Eventually the water will get right through the tyvek tape applied to the top of the wrap and the wrap will grab the water going down the wall. The glue on the tape wont stick after its wet, especially to wood(expansion/contraction), as its designed to stick to tyvek.
It should not have passed inspection, who knows why, could be a lot of reasons to speculate.

Did he specifically say they didn't put wrap on the gables? Cause they could have put it on when they setup to side the gable.

You can test for leaks with a hose. If its not fixed in a reasonable time you can hire another contractor to do the repairs and sue the builder and his subs. It will be a long, drawn out, expensive process.
It's likely he has been sued before and knows the ropes and has a good lawyer. A big pita most people wont have resources for.
--
Let them eat FIBER!