Wood Frame with Masonry

Detail of Unflanged Window in Wood Frame Wall with Masonry

R-15 Wall

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This window detail uses a two stage seal to insure no water or air can infiltrate into the building. The exterior seal is installed by applying WRB tape into the rough opening and onto a back dam, and adding a backer rod & sealant joint. No sealant should be applied at the window sill to allow the window to drain.

The interior seal is added by installing another backer rod & sealant joint. Expanding foam or special tapes can be used instead of sealant, however a backer rod should still be installed to prevent the foam from completely filling up the cavity and preventing the system to drain. Plastic shims should be used to level out the window in the rough opening. These shims elevate the window slightly, which creates a space for water the drain.

* Whether or not you need a Class II or III Vapor Barrier depends on your climate zone and location and amount of exterior insulation. Refer to Wall Barriers Notes section below for more info.

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Wood Frame Wall

Design Requirements

Wood Frame Wall

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Recommendation & calculations are based on the methods described in the Builder’s Guides from the Building Science Corporation and are only valid for residential occupancies.


This wall is designed with vapor permeable sheathing. Whether a Class II or Class III Vapor Retarder should be installed depends on the project's climate zone. In Zone 5, a Class III Vapor Retarder, like Latex Paint, can be used if a vented airspace is provided between the sheathing & cladding. In Zone 6 or 7, a Class II Vapor Retarder needs to be installed. Class II Vapor Retarders can be either a separate membrane, like a 'Smart Vapor Retarder' (SVR), or kraft facing on the cavity insulation.

Product Options

Browse curated materials for this construction detail.

Smart Vapor Retarder (SVR)

Class II vapor retarders with variable permeance that block vapor in low, but not in high humidity conditions.

Fiberglass Batts (Kraft Faced)

Batts made from plastic reinforced glass fibers with a Class II vapor retarding facing.

Fiberglass Batts

Batts made from plastic reinforced glass fibers that are budget-friendly and easy to install.

Mineral Wool Batts

Fiberous batts that are vapor permeable, non-combustible and offer good energy performance.

Loose-Fill Fiberglass

Fiberglass particals that are blown in place that are budget-friendly and offer entry-level energy performance.

Cellulose Spray

Cellulose particlas that are blown in place that offer superior energy performance at a premium price point.

Spray Polyurethane Foam (Closed Cell)

Spray applied expanding foam that is water repellent, airtight and offers superior energy performance.

Spray Polyurethane Foam (Open Cell)

Spray aplied expanding foam that is budget-friendly and offers good acoustical and energy performance.


Learn which WRB works best for your project.

Mechanically Attached

Fluid Applied or Self-Adhering

Integral Sheathing with Water & Air Control Membranes

Mechanically Attached Image


Mechanically attached WRBs are membranes that are secured with fasteners to the sheathing. They are a budget-friendly option that is well suited for low-rise projects. Because fluttering occurs in windy conditions, they should not be used in tall buildings. These membranes do not provide an air barrier. Learn More
Fluid Applied or Self-Adhering Image


Fully adhered and fluid applied membranes are fully bonded to the sheathing and provide superior water and air control qualities. They are generally more expensive than other options and require a clean substrate (and sometimes a primer) for proper installation. They are available in varying degrees of vapor permeance and can act as a vapor retarder. Learn More
Integral Sheathing with Water & Air Control Membranes Image


Integral sheathing with factory applied water & air control membranes are integrated systems that act as structural sheathing as well as air & water control barriers. They offer similar performance to fully adhered or fluid applied membranes at a reduced cost. Learn More

Mechanically Attached Membranes

Membranes attached with fasteners that are budget-friendly, but sensitive to installation quality.

Fluid or Fully Adhered Membranes

Flexible or spray applied membranes that fully bond to the sheathing and offer superior air & water control.

Vapor Retarding Fluid or Fully Adhered Membranes

Flexible or spray applied membranes that fully bond to the sheathing and offer superior air & water control.

Integral Sheathing with WRB

Sheathing panels with factory applied barriers that offer great performance at reduced cost.


Explore different types of cladding that can be used for this construction detail and find suitable products.


Masonry Image


Masonry needs to be offset at least with 1" to create a vented airspace between the brick and the sheathing.


Solid masonry blocks, glued or set in cement.


Find different types of windows suitable for this detail.


Affordable windows without a thermal brake that have entry-range energy performance.


Common windows with a simple thermal brake that provide solid energy performance.


Frames with multi-chambered thermal brakes that deliver a superior energy performance.


Specialty windows with thin frames that have an exquisite performance and aesthetics.