Metal Studs – DensGlass Sheathing – Foam Board

By Todd Fratzel on Framing, Insulation

Exterior Metal Stud Walls

Dow Foam Over DensGlass SheathingI recently wrote an article, How To Install DensGlass Exterior Sheathing On Metal Studs, which detailed the use of DensGlass Sheathing on exterior metal stud walls behind a brick veneer. Now we are installing a layer of 2-inch thick Dow Foam Board over the DensGlass sheathing prior to installing the brick veneer.

The entire wall section consists of (from the inside – out):

Typical Wall Section

  • 1/2-inch thick drywall.
  • R-11 Fiberglass insulation inside 3-5/8 inch 20 ga. metal studs.
  • 5/8-inch DensGlass Exterior sheathing.
  • 2-inch thick Dow foam board.
  • Detail: Metal studs with DensGlass and Dow foamboard.2-inch air space.
  • 4-inch thick standard bricks.

Dow Foam Board

We are installing a layer of 2-inch thick Dow Tongue and Groove Styrofoam directly over the DensGlass exterior sheathing. Installing the 2-inch thick foam board is really easy. We use 3-inch long screws with a large 2-inch diameter plastic washer (see photo). The screws help hold the insulation in place and keep it from moving after the brick is installed.

Once all the foam board is installed we’ll tape all the seams with Tyvek tape to help keep an air-tight installation. All of the joints at windows and door frames will be sealed using spray foam.

As you can see in the photos we’ve left off the lower 2-feet of foam board. We need to wait for the mason to install flashing at the base of the wall, once that’s installed we can install the lower 2-feet of foam board.

Brick Shelf

Brick ShelfAfter all the foam board is installed the building will be ready for the brick facade. The brick is supported by a concrete brick shelf that’s incorporated into the foundation wall. As you can see in the photo the foundation wall is notched out to create the brick shelf. There will be a 2-inch air space behind the brick. The brick will have brick ties that get screwed into the metal studs.

Once the mason starts laying brick I’ll take some more photos so everyone can see how the entire wall section looks.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Baba says:

    Thanks for this post. It gives me some idea of what we’ll need to do when adding stone to the outside of an addition to the Stone House project.

    • Todd says:

      @ Baba – You’re quite welcome! Dealing with masonry and stone is certainly different than traditional siding. If you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

      • corey says:

        im haveing an issue with my 40 year old bunglow front is brick and where the brick meets the foundation/cils its leaking running down the basement walls the back and sides of house were sided and are leaking the same on the ends of the house i can see there is no weeping spouts like there is supose to be in the brick but also i was told there is supose to be flashing underneith the first row of bricks i am not sure if there is di i find out and if not what and how would i have it installed ..helppp please…already gutted the basement

        thank you

        • Todd says:

          Corey – Certainly sounds like bad and/or missing flashing at the brick/foundation interface. To fix this properly you’d have to remove some brick and that’s not going to be easy. Probably the first way to approach this is trying to get water away from that area. Gutters, grading, cleaning up overgrown landscaping, etc. If you can get the water away you may just solve the problem.

  2. Wray says:

    Building a bolt together steel frame home. want to use Polar Wall Plus Vinyl Siding over steel studs. Want to use densglass as sheeting. I am in a hurricane zone. Any remarks or advise?

    • Todd says:

      Wray – First off I would recommend discussing this issue with your local building official. I’ve never dealt with a similar situation but my gutt reaction is not good. I guess it depends on whether your “steel frame home” is structural by itself or will it rely on sheathing? If it needs sheathing for shear strength then I’m not sure Densglass is appropriate. Again..this is just my gutt feeling and I think you need to reach out to the local building official and possible Densglass.

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