How to Install a House Wrap

House wrap is common in the building industry today.

It comes in rolls that are 9 feet wide and 150 feet long. The main purpose of house wrap is to prevent water infiltration coming in from the outside, while still allowing air flow to and from the home's wood sheathing. Installing house wrap isn't difficult, and many homeowners complete the job themselves. The amount of time that it will take to install house wrap will depend on the size of the project, but a day or two is a safe estimate.

Start at the bottom corner of any section of the house. Work from left to right and align the bottom corner of the house wrap with the bottom corner of the house. Allow the house wrap to overlap the corner to the left of you, as well as the bottom edge of the sheathing, by about 2 inches. Make sure that the right side is facing out, away from the wall--letters and logos will face out.

Have a helper hold the roll of house wrap while you staple it to the wall. Staple all the way up the beginning edge, and keep the edge straight. If it is twisted or crooked, the wrap will not be even as you cross the house wall. Continue to staple the wrap as you work your way across the wall; use galvanized staples for the fasteners.

Allow the house wrap to cover window and door openings. You will come back and trim them later. Make sure that the house wrap has no wrinkles or bubbles as you work. Consider cutting a long sheet free from the roll instead of leaving the roll attached as you apply the house wrap. This may make it easier to keep the house wrap stretched tight. At each end, overlap the sheets by about 6 inches.

Apply the second level from a ladder or scaffold. If you have a one-story house, you will need to cover the cable ends with house wrap. If you have a two-story house (or more), you will need to cover the upper walls as well. Begin at the corner where you started on the lower level. Allow the upper sheets to overlap the lower sheets by 6 inches and staple into place. It will be easier to cut long sheets (20 feet) and attach them; that way, you can keep them stretched tight. It is also difficult to hold a large roll of house wrap up high.

Cut the openings and attach the plastic. Cut an X into each window and door and fasten the plastic back into the house and over the framing--if you don't already have windows and doors installed. If the windows and doors are already in place, trim the wrap close to the trim and fasten with staples.

Things You Will Need

  • Hammer stapler
  • House wrap
  • Razor knife

About the Author

Billy McCarley has been freelancing online since April 2009. He has published poetry for Dead Mule, an online literary publication, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University Of Alabama where he is also a first-year graduate student in history.