Robust Wall System Preserves Durability for Lake Homes

With 300 miles of forested shoreline, Lake Keowee in South Carolina is a paradise for recreation and a haven for beautiful waterfront homes for permanent and vacationing residents. One of the newest properties is a family compound under construction by Gabriel Builders, a custom home builder based in nearby Travelers Rest.  

Gabriel designed the four homes and pool house to express the personalities of each owner while still complementing the adjacent units. Each evokes a farmhouse-beach cottage aesthetic with a blend of reclaimed and new materials, including a façade of cedar and stone. 

The homeowners wanted the houses to be as close to the lake as possible, which meant navigating a steep slope. To accommodate, Gabriel Builders reshaped the peninsula of land with 18-foot-plus boulder walls. It was a feat topped only by the 1,800-pound hand-chiseled granite bathtub that was lowered into one of the houses with a crane.  

Such attention to detail is typical of Gabriel Builders’ impeccable craftsmanship and high-performance construction. “We build generational homes. We’re not looking one to two years down the road, but 20 to 40,” says Project Manager Nick Rubio.  

As such, the team designed a robust wall system to provide maximum protection against water and air infiltration, ideal for the homes’ proximity to the lake as well as the area’s notorious humid and storm-prone summer climate. 

The homes feature ZIP System sheathing, which has a built-in weather resistive barrier. But Gabriel Builders went further with a two-step Benjamin Obdyke system—consisting of FlatWrap® HP housewrap with Slicker® MAX rainscreen—to truly elevate the water management behind the cedar siding and stone veneer.  

Featuring a 3D matrix for a vertically channeled rainscreen, Slicker MAX provides drainage and ventilation along with enhanced UV and compression resistance. It also includes a filter fabric that blocks mortar droppings from seeping into and blocking the drainage cavity. The FlatWrap premium high-performance water-resistive barrier complements the rainscreen wall to provide bulk water drainage along with vapor permeability and durability. Weep straws at the bottom of the stone drain away excess water that channels down through the system. 

Beyond water management, Slicker MAX allows the siding to breathe, contributing to a longer life for the cedar’s semi-transparent stain. 

In addition to using Benjamin Obdyke products for the robust wall system, Gabriel Builders installed Benjamin Obdyke’s Cedar Breather®  ventilated underlayment under the cedar roof. Also, featuring a three-dimensional design, Cedar Breather creates a space for continuous airflow between the roof deck and the shingles, prolonging the cedar’s beauty and life. 

“All the years we’ve been doing this we’ve never seen a system that compares to Benjamin Obdyke’s two-part system. Their warranty stands behind it.” Rubio says. “It’s a fraction of the budget, yet the most impactful dollars an owner can spend.”