This area of the Installation or Design Guide can be customized to provide a brief summary of your product or product line. You can also include a product logo or an image that depicts your product in some way. In this case, a wall cutaway is used to show how the “Widget ABC” can be used. What follows below is a specific example of a step-by-step guide that has been created for a different product.




  • There are many acceptable ways to mount and detail windows for support and weather resistance.
  • This installation best practice provides only a representative solution for integrating windows with foam sheathing.
  • It is the responsibility of the user to verify the appropriateness of any specific detail for their specific conditions.


  • The installation approach featured in this presentation:
    • Is a “standard” installation concept with window flanges mounted directly over a limited thickness of FPIS.
      • This represents the most common method for installing windows in walls with up to approximately 2-inches-thick FPIS.
    • Uses FPIS as the water-resistive barrier (WRB).
      • Refer to DrJ DRR 1410-05 and the FPIS manufacturer’s installation instructions.
      • Use of a separate WRB material layer is also common and acceptable with appropriate installation and detailing.
  • The installation approach shown includes windows with integral mounting flanges.
  • Integral mounting flange windows:
    • Are sometimes referred to as “integral nailing flange,” “integral fin,” or “integral mounting fin.”
    • An integral flange is extruded with the frame and forms one continuous piece around the perimeter.
    • A mounting flange is typically about 1½” wide and is set back about 1” from exterior window face. Fasteners are installed through the pre-punched holes in the flange.

Foam Plastic Insulating Sheathing (FPIS) Products

  • Three types of FPIS:
    • Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) - ASTM C578
    • Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) - ASTM C578
    • Polyisocyanurate (Polyiso) - ASTM C1289
  • R-values ranging from R-4 to more than R-6 per inch.
  • Come in many thicknesses, compressive strengths, and densities.

Typical FPIS Aplications

  • Often used as exterior continuous insulation (ci) on buildings to comply with energy codes or for improved performance.
    • Can be used as an air-barrier (AB) and water-resistive barrier (WRB) per manufacturer’s code approvals and instructions.
    • Proprietary FPIS products are also available as a structural insulating sheathing composite for wall bracing.

General Installation Guidance

  • See Installation Best Practices
  • Window/FPIS/WRB/Flashing Manufacturer’s installation instructions
  • An approved design
  • The following general installation guidelines

Key Principles

The intent of any acceptable detail for integrating windows with FPIS is:

  • To provide adequate structural support to the window unit.
  • To prevent water penetration at the window-wall interface by flashing to direct water onto the exterior surface of the WRB layer and/or cladding and away from the window opening.
  • To provide adequate drainage at the window sill for any incidental leakage of water that may still penetrate into the rough opening.

Framing Methods

There are four typical methods for window framing. This program covers the “Standard” method.

Standard Installation - Sill

Standard Installation - Jambs

Standard Installation - Header

Steps 1-3

Step 1: Frame Window Opening

  • Frame walls as required by the applicable code.
  • Ensure window rough opening is square and true.
  • Ensure appropriate framing in accordance with window installation method selected and support for FPIS edges is provided.

Step 2: Verify and Install FPIS

  • FPIS material must comply with:
    • ASTM C578 (EPS, XPS)
    • ASTM C1289 (Polyiso)
  • Minimum 15 psi FPIS recommended
    • For window flanges bearing on FPIS (DRR 1304-01)
    • For cladding and furring attachments through FPIS (DRR 1303-04)
  • Maximum foam thickness = 2"
  • Wind pressure resistance
    • See ANSI/SBCA FS-100 for guidance
    • Only required when FPIS not used as oversheathing

Step 2: Verify and Install FPIS

  • Drive nails flush and snug with the surface of the insulation board.
  • Do not overdrive nails. Do not underdrive nails.
  • Many FPIS manufacturers recommend use of cap nails.

Step 2: Verify and Install FPIS

  • Follow manufacturer’s installation guidelines
  • While not prohibited, avoid placing vertical joints in the sheathing over a window head where practical.
  • See FPIS Installation Instructions program.

Step 3: Verify Flashing and Sealant Materials

  • Ensure chemical compatibility of all sealants and flashings with intended substrates; refer to sealant and flashing manufacturer’s data.
  • Use flashing tape and sealants recommended by the window and FPIS/WRB manufacturers.

Steps 4-6

Step 4: Apply Sill Flashing

  • Apply all flashings in shingle fashion (e.g., jamb flashing overlaps sill flashing and head flashing overlaps jam flashing).
  • Overlap and seal sill flashing at center of sill if a multi-piece sill or pan flashing is used.

Step 4: Apply Sill Flashing

Alternatively, use a manufactured sill pan to simplify sill drainage installation.

Step 5: Apply Sealant

  • Apply sealant at jambs and head (or as required by manufacturer’s install instructions).
  • Sill is left open to allow the cavity below the window to drain to the exterior.

Step 6: Install Window Shims at Sill

  • Apply setting blocks and/or shims between the rough opening and window frame.
  • The window frame must be anchored to the wood rough opening as required by the window manufacturer or in accordance with an approved design for sill support.

Steps 7-8

Step 7: Install Window

Install window plumb, level, and square per manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 7: Install Window

  • The window frame must adequately bear on the sill particularly if using a non-structural flange window.
  • A designed solution or sill lumber extension is required if adequate bearing is not present.
  • Providing adequate sill support is good practice and often required by window manufacturer installation instructions.

Step 8: Verify Window Fasteners

  • Window flange fasteners must penetrate a minimum of 1¼" into framing members per IRC 2015.
  • Follow manufacturer installation requirements for size and spacing.

Step 8: Verify Window Fasteners

  • Minimum fastener size and maximum spacing along window flanges (DRR 1304-01).
  • See table notes.

Step 8: Verify Window Fasteners

Follow DRR No. 1304-01 or window manufacturer’s spacing instructions, if more stringent.

Steps 9-14

Step 9: Install Window Shims

  • Apply shims between the rough opening and window frame.
  • Anchor the window per the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

Step 10: Apply Jamb Flashing

  • Install flashing over the nailing flanges of the jambs to provide a final layer of protection against water intrusion.
  • The sill is not sealed, allowing for drainage of the rough opening, back to the exterior.
  • Where applicable, install drip cap per manufacturer.

Step 11: Apply Head Flashing

  • Apply head flashing.
    • Typically, butyl flashing tapes are used for this purpose.
  • Overlap window head flange and jamb flashing.

Step 12: Tape Head Flashing

  • For extra durability and protection, terminate the top edge of the head flashing tape with the FPIS manufacturer’s approved joint tape.
  • Typically, acrylic tapes are used for this purpose.

Step 13: Apply Sealant

Air seal window around entire perimeter on the interior with sealant or expanding foam made for this purpose.

Step 14: Install Cladding

See Installation Instructions “Attachment of Exterior Wall Coverings Through Foam Plastic Insulating Sheathing (FPIS) to Wood or Steel Wall Framing.”

Additional Reading

Jobsite Warnings, Handling, Installation & Safety Information


Warning graphic

The handling, storing, installing and temporary bracing of walls requires specialized training, clearly implemented procedures, and careful planning and communication among the contractor and installation crew. Handling and installing walls without appropriate training, planning and communication greatly increases the probability of an accident resulting in property damage, serious personal injury and/or death.

Prior to wall installation, the documents should be examined and disseminated to all appropriate personnel, in addition to proper training and a clear understanding of the installation plan, any applicable fall protection requirements, and the intended  temporary wall bracing requirements.

Examine the building’s foundation and related installation conditions. Begin wall installation only after any unsatisfactory conditions have been corrected. Do not cut, drill, notch or otherwise alter the walls beyond the limitations specified in the building code. Report any damage before installation.

The information below is offered as minimum guidelines only. Nothing contained in this jobsite package should be construed in any manner as expanding the scope of responsibility of, or imposing any additional liabilities on.

Throughout this document, the term “wall panel(s)” refers to either walls built off-site and delivered to the jobsite or walls that are built on-site.

Spanish version


Wall panels are generally not marked in any way to identify the frequency or location of out-of-plane temporary diagonal bracing. Follow the recommendations for handling, installing and temporary bracing provided in this document or by the building designer. All permanent bracing design is the responsibility of the building designer.

Notice graphicThis document is intended for “typical” installation conditions. The contractor is responsible for ensuring the appropriateness of any bracing strategy and quality of installation.

Danger graphicDanger - beware of collapseDisregarding handling, installing and bracing safety recommendations is the major cause of wall panel installation accidents. Ignoring an unsafe condition or action greatly increases the probability of an accident resulting in property damage, serious personal injury and/or death.

caution graphicWear personal protective equipment for the eyes, feet, hands and head when working with wall panels.

caution graphicStacks of walls and building materials may be unstable and/or slippery.  Avoid walking on stacks.

Storage & Handling

caution graphicAvoid bending walls out-of-plane.

storage and handling graphicsNotice graphicThe contractor is responsible for properly receiving, unloading and storing the wall panels built off-site and delivered to the jobsite. Unload wall panels carefully to smooth surface to prevent damage.

green checkWall panels may be unloaded directly on the ground at the time of delivery or stored temporarily in contact with the ground after delivery. If wall panels are to be stored for more than one week, place blocking of sufficient height beneath the stack at 8’ to 10’ on center and cover stacks to protect from the environment but allow for ventilation. Wall panels built on-site may be stored in the same manner.

green checkIf bundles of wall panels are stacked, support and separate bundles with wood blocks spaced 8’ to 10’ apart. Keep wood blocks aligned vertically. Limit stack heights to no more than 10’.

green checkWall panels with the windows already installed must be stored vertically. Properly brace wall panels to prevent tipping or toppling.

green checkUse caution if handling and installing wall panels by hand as panels can be heavy and awkward.

green checkIf a forklift is used to move wall panels, set forks at wide spacing and use approved extensions to ensure wall panels are well supported.

Notice graphicAlways lift wall panels from at least two pick points, spaced far enough apart to ensure panel stability. Reinforce panels in the viccinity of the lifting points, if necessary, to resist hoisting loads. Know the weight of the product being lifted and make sure the capacity of the lifting equipment is adequate to perform the lift.

Forklift safety

caution graphicUse special care in windy conditions or near power lines and airports.

green checkUse care not to damage wall panels with the forks of the forklift or the rigging/lifting equipment used with cranes.



Installation & Temporary Bracing

Notice graphicTemporary bracing and worker safety are the responsibility of the installer. Make sure this information is understood by all persons involved in the installation of wall panels.

Steps to Setting Wall Panels

Notice graphicThe figures accompanying Steps 1-12 assume that the exterior walls are installed and braced first, followed by the interior walls. Some contractors prefer to install and brace the interior walls before the exterior walls. For wall panels built off-site, be sure to coordinate with the wall panel manufacturer which installation sequence is preferred.

graphics for Steps to Setting Wall PanelsSTEP 1: Start with a foundation that is level and square. If the foundation is not level or square, plan for any adjustments before the wall panels are built or manufactured, if possible.

STEP 2: Be sure the installation crew is familiar with the provisions of: 

  • the construction documents (i.e., architectural/structural plans and specifications),
  • this handling, installing and bracing summary sheet,
  • site specific conditions and issues, and
  • OSHA jobsite lifting and fall protection requirements.

STEP 3: Verify floor deck or slab dimensions with those provided in the construction documents or on the wall panel placement diagram. Check all floor openings (e.g. stairway, fireplace, etc.).

STEP 4: Snap chalk lines at the locations of the walls.

STEP 5: For wall panels built off-site, write the panel numbers on the floor, in accordance with the wall panel placement diagram, to better identify the location of each wall panel.

STEP 6: Set the first two walls and fasten together tightly at the top, middle and bottom of the adjoining studs and attach the bottom plate to the floor per the requirements of the building code or as specified by the building designer. Note: It may be necessary to begin wall placement near the center of a wall line to distribute any dimension discrepancies equally within the wall line.

STEP 7: Install temporary bracing as each wall is set but not to exceed the spacing intervals in the table below. Use minimum 2x4 stress graded lumber attached to the wall and floor or ground support with a minimum of 2-16d (0.135x3-1/2”) nails. Temporary bracing is very important for ensuring stability of the walls as construction proceeds.

STEP 8: Continue setting the walls in accordance with the construction documents or wall placement diagram.

  • It may be necessary to shim the walls to compensate for deviations in slab or subfloor elevations. If required, be sure to shim for full contact between the wall and the slab or subfloor. Adjust fastener size accordingly to ensure adequate attachment of the wall to the floor.
  • installation photoIf the walls must be “racked” in order to compensate for a sloping slab or subfloor, the openings will no longer be square.
  • Wall panels used in long wall lines MUST be butted together tightly to keep the length of the wall line from “growing”. Wall panel manufacturers often compensate for this by undersizing the length of each wall panel by 1/16” to 1/8”.

graphic for Step 9

STEP 9: Install the upper top plates.

STEP 10: Make sure walls are attached to the floor with the required number and type of fasteners and connectors specified in the construction documents.

STEP 11: Add bracing (i.e, temporary and permanent) as necessary to maintain wall stability.

Do not graphicremove any temporary wall bracing until the building has been closed-in and all permanent bracing has been installed.


green checkWall support conditions (i.e. floor or foundation dimensions) must be accurate to within +/- ½” relative to plan dimensions.

green checkLocate walls within +/- ½” of plan dimension.

green checkMaximum out-of-plumb of wall is Height/384 (see Table below).

*Wall installation tolerances per “Model Guidelines for Design, Fabrication and Installation of Engineered Panelized Walls,” U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research. Check with authority having jurisdiction to ensure compliance with the governing building code.


Construction Loading

Construction loads are those loads imposed on the unfinished building as a result of the construction process. Typical construction loads include the weight of the workers, equipment, and building materials, to name a few. For example, a bundle of plywood sheathing or gypsum board stacked on trusses temporarily creates construction loads.

green checkMake sure that the floor assembly is properly restrained and braced according to the building code, building designer's plans and specs and/or the guidelines in BCSI-B1***, BCSI-B2***, and Guide for Handling, Installing, Restraining & Bracing of Engineered Wood Products before placing any construction loads on any floor system. Construction loads shall only be placed on sheathed or fully restrained and braced structures.

Warning graphicStacking excessive amounts of construction materials on any floor or roof structural elements (e.g., trusses, joists or rafters) is an unsafe practice. Property damage, personal injury and/or death are possible if this warning is not heeded.

Notice graphicFloor or roof structural elements (e.g., trusses, joists or rafters) that have been over-stressed due to excessive construction loading will usually show excessive sagging (deflection) and at least a portion of this deflection will remain even after the load has been removed. In more severe cases, broken members and/or failed connections may result.


Construction Loading DO's and DO NOTs

Do not graphicexceed stack heights listed in the table.

Maximum Stack Height for Material on Trusses

Do not stack materials on unbraced trusses


Do not graphicstack materials on unbraced structural elements (e.g., trusses, joists or rafters)



Do not overload the trusses

Do not graphicoverload the structural elements (e.g., trusses, joists or rafters).




distribute loadsDOdistribute loads over as many structural elements as possible. Position stacks of materials flat with the longest dimension perpendicular to the structural elements, as shown.



do not allow stack to lean



Do not graphicallow the stack to lean against walls, or stack materials so they overload single or small groups of structural elements.



Do stack along exterior supportsDOstack materials along exterior supports or directly over interior supports of properly restrained and braced structures.



Do not stack materials at or near midspan

Do not graphicstack materials at or near the midspan of the structural element. Never exceed stack heights provided in the table above unless alternative information is provided by the Building Designer, Truss Designer or Truss Manufacturer.



Do not drop loads on trusses

Do not graphicdrop loads on structural element. The impact can damage the structural elements even if the load is small.



DOleave construction materials on lifting equipment until installation, if possible.

Do leave materials on lifting equipment

Do not graphicstack materials at locations that will produce instability, such as on cantilevers or near girder, beam and header connections.

Do not graphicpile cut-off tile and/or other construction waste on trusses.

Do not pile construction waste on trusses

***Contact the component manufacturer to obtain the referenced document or consult a Registered Design Professional for more information on this subject.



Do not graphiccut, drill, notch or otherwise alter the walls beyond the limitations specified in the building code unless such alterations are approved by the building designer.

Do not cut, drill, notch or otherwise alter walls

Notice graphicWalls that have been inappropriately altered may render the limited warranties null and void.



NOTE: Product manufacturers rely on the presumption that the contractor and crane operator (if applicable) are professionals with the capability to undertake the work they have agreed to do on any given project. If the contractor believes it needs assistance in some aspect of the construction project, it should seek assistance from a competent party. The methods and procedures outlined in this document are intended to ensure that the overall construction techniques employed will put the wall into place SAFELY. These recommendations for handling, installing and temporary bracing the walls are based upon the collective experience of leading personnel involved with wall manufacture and installation, but must, due to the nature of responsibilities involved, be presented only as a GUIDE for use by a qualified building designer or contractor. It is not intended that these recommendations be interpreted as superior to the building designer’s design specification for handling, installing and temporary bracing walls and it does not preclude the use of other equivalent methods for bracing and providing stability for the walls, columns, floors, roofs and all the interrelated structural building components as determined by the contractor. Thus, DrJ expressly disclaims any responsibility for damages arising from the use, application, or reliance on the recommendations and information contained herein.

Copyright 2015 ® Structural Building Components Association (SBCA) and DrJ Engineering, LLC. This information is being provided so that jobsite safety information is consistent with SBCA best practices for installation of structural framing materials. Refer to the manufacturer’s installation instructions for specific information about installing this product, as well as the Installation Guide, which assists the Installer and Building Inspector in properly applying the product to comply with the code.