It’s a harsh fact the building envelope accounts for up to 80% of all construction litigation. One recent analysis cites improper water-resistive barrier (WRB) integration and lapping as the culprit in nearly seven out of 10 cases.

Stats like these are probably no great surprise. Most residential and multifamily builders and remodelers know getting the envelope right may be the best thing you can do to avoid a nasty callback or legal action.

Yet, today’s ongoing labor challenges makes “getting it right” more difficult than ever. The latest Home Builders Institute (HMI) Labor Market Report states builders and remodelers run about even for weatherization labor shortages. Worse, HMI says subcontractor labor shortages “… are even more widespread.” Bottomline: Uncertain WRB installation quality multiplies contractor risk.

Today WRB installation support and warranty compliance is a priority for single-family and multifamily general and specialty contractors who can’t afford envelope complications.

Minimize Risk, Protect Margins

What kind of support should you expect? Many point to the 30-year-old Tyvek Specialist Network as the de facto gold standard when it comes to assisting contractors and installation crews with envelope construction. This nationwide network is comprised of 165 employees of authorized DuPont Tyvek distributors. Each Tyvek building envelope specialist receives at least three years of college-level training in WRB installation, advanced framing techniques, and energy efficiency, explains William Ranson, head of DuPont’s Building Knowledge Center and Tyvek Specialist Network sponsor.

Trusted Envelope Advisor

“Tyvek Specialists are trusted advisors to single family and multifamily home builders. They go far beyond site observations. They train crews, provide technical support, offer design guidance, help spec material, and help eliminate callback worries and expense,” Ranson says.

A good example of the Tyvek Specialist is Dennis “DJ” Farley. The 30-year industry veteran works for Weatherization Partners, Ltd. in California. He knows exactly what contractors are up against.

“The number of installers is small. The quality of help is often low because these workers don’t have much experience and there’s nobody to train them,” explains Farley. “Nowadays the apprentice-journeyman system isn’t much help.

“Single family and multifamily builders like the idea we’re taking one more item off their plate. They’re running a business and don’t always have time to train and monitor installers,” adds Farley.

Ranson says the specialist “… often works closely with the HVAC, window, or door rep to make sure every penetration is sealed to spec.”

There is no easy way to avoid labor challenges on single family and multifamily projects. One way single-family and multifamily construction contractors can substantially reduce envelope risk is to team up with their local Tyvek Specialist.

Learn more about how the Tyvek Specialist Network can help safeguard your projects with expert advice, support, and materials you can count on.