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There is a house in our neighborhood that is a bit larger than you are building and they have 3 AC units. Have you started yet? But if we look at the percent reduction in heat transfer through the walls, it's significant. In the end, I'll rely on that and the advice of my main builder, a guy I've known since childhood, and have trust in. The insulation is obviously more expensive. Use R-19 or R-21 kraft-faced fiberglass insulation for two-by-six (2x6) walls. The total bearing area of three 2x4s is 15 3/4 square inches; two 2x6s have a bearing area of 16 square inches. 2x6 R-19 walls: 37,100 btu/hr. The architect who drew the stock plans pointed out that all the windows/exterior doors casings would have to be redrawn, which had we gone with blown cellulose would have done. If you are There are other reasons to use 2x6 lumber such as increased load bearing strength as well as straighter boards. More importantly, you have less thermal bridging, which is heat/cold being transferred through the framing elements. I live in the North Houston Texas area. In our town there is a big debate about exterior walls. It will pay off in the long run, better insulation for warmth and sound. wall framing. We are building 6500 sq ft. We've been advised that we should go with 2x4 with blown in cellulose. In tall walls, where column buckling might be a factor, a 2x6 wall would be stronger if a structural sheathing was used. • Upgrading to 2X6 home construction is not cheap. I just added an addition to my 2x4 framed house and didn't even consider 2x4 exterior walls. I've seem infrared images of houses, and you can see every stud due to this. And it gives extra room in the walls for insulation What do you guys think? If you build 2x6 you will have a better constructed house and you will not need to blow in the insulation since there are a lot of good insulation for 2x6 walls that are R-19 and you just place it. A better way to make your decision is to consider the Department of Energy recommendations on cost effective Total R Value for your climate zone. Going to the 2x4 wall with R-5 exterior insulation reduces your … Need advice on insulation. This lead into another debate, about houses being built with 2x4 or 2x6 stud walls. It will be costing $12,500 to insulate, with unvented attic. It is estimated that with the extra cost for The difference in cost between 2×4 and 2×6 plates is (currently) $0.32 per linear foot. There are several considerations you'll need to think about when calculating cost vs ROI when increasing the thickness of exterior wall thickness in new home construction or when adding an addition. Bear in mind that if you spend a huge amount of money for super insulation, you'll probably never recoup the outlay with fuel savings, but it will probably greatly enhance resale value, and of course, it's 'greener', if that matters to you. The 2x4 vs. 2x6 Exterior Wall Debate! But there are increase costs too - not just for the wood - but windows and doors are more expensive due to the thicker walls. You will need less A/C with more insulation. With proper planning, however, it will only be a matter of time until you are done. So, the extra cost in plates is $594.88 Add all of this together and, so far, going from 2×4 to 2×6 walls costs an extra $2,334.88 in lumber. This is too small a difference to justify the added costs--as Tim notes-of 2x6s et all. Our insulation is R-19 also (which I believe is also standard). When bearing wall heights do not exceed … I think the savings were not that good in this size of homes, they say that homes bigger thn 3,000 s.f. I would go 2X6 unless it won't fit in a tight budget. Not much of a difference. Insulation for 2x6 Walls Some newer homes may have walls built with 2x6 studs. Does that cover it? Briefly ORNL researchers foud that the difference in R-values between the 2x6 R-19 wall and the 2x4 R-11 wall is 3.8. Last year we built another house for us, 2,500 s.f. It produces a structurally sounder frame and thus a stronger house. we are still deciding. One other thing to consider is that if you go with cellulose, it is likely that you will still need foam in some spots in the house where the cellulose won't stick well (areas like the joist cavities above the first floor ceiling) or in areas such as living spaces above a garage where you may need foam to provide the tightest seal you can. Let's dive into the answers to both questions. We're in the neighborhood. No question, definitely go with 2x6 exterior walls. If I build with SIP's, it will increase the cost of the house at least $20K, which would buy a lot of heating oil! Although it is more expensive than 2-by-4-inch framing, 2-by-6-inch framing is used for a number of reasons. All building codes allow 2x4's @ 24" o.c. I wish I could find hard data on how much effect thermal bridging actually has on heat loss. We were able to use one AC instead of two and zone it. get better savings. Sometimes they ask if 2x6 wall construction is really better than 2x4. Has anyone installed Adura Parisian Oak in Cafe or Croissant? Then consider what way you can achieve those recommendations at the lowest cost in your particular situation. We went with 2x6. I am trying to determine whether there are any benefits to going with 2x6 exterior walls versus 2x4's. There are two elements to dramatically adjusting your heating bills when construction a home. The total bearing area of three 2x4s is 15 3/4 square inches; two 2x6s have a bearing area of 16 square inches. We went with 2x6 exterior walls because they insulate better than 2x4 - we're in Pennsylvania though - winters are critical! 2x4 R-13 walls: 38,000 btu/hr. We also offer an abundance of interior finishes to choose from, so you can truly personalize your new home. Others say that their 2x4 walls have the same insulation value as the 2x6's, as some However, since 2×6’s are spaced further apart – 24” on center – it negates their strength value as compared to 2×4 16” o.c. We supposely save in wood studs, vapor barrier and window extensions but still it is about 40% higher than the SPIDER.The way I see it, when promoting the house to sell it, isn't it better to say that the house is 2x6 with R-23 formaldehyde free than saying we have a 2x4 with R-13 -but very marbelous insulation?oh and the foam insulation people say that incresing the stud to 2x6 does not help and the price will be double!!! Learn why at EGStoltzfus Homes we use 2x4 wall construction for our residential homes and how it can save you money. They're harder to lift and the headers on exterior walls require more work. I liked the fact of knowing there was no fiber glass flying around (usually the insulation they pace at the rim joist is exposed)We sold the house last year pretty fast (1 month)and the insulation was a good factor. DH wanted to try it again and the bid was 13,000. IMHO, people would be better served by building (much) smaller homes, and learning to live with a little more swing in temperature. I would appreciate your opinions and information as to why you would select one over the other. Great builders add 2.5 inches of closed-cell foam to the headers over windows and doors to help cut down on energy bills. Learn more. We used R19 batt insulation by Certainteed. For instance, loading equipment or weights that exceed a 2x4 strength could bring everything on it down. This house requires 1,859 linear feet of lumber for plates. From your response I conclude that my incorrect assumption was that two 2x4 walls, tied together with single sill and top plates, would exceed the load strength Also, the bids we had with cellulose were only about $2000 cheaper than the foam. To comment on your question this is what I think: Using R-19 is GREAT (in your state), according to the US Department of Energy (see link). (Steps down off soap box). and used 2x6 and blow in Spider Insulation with R-23 (DH just wanted to try something different). We went with 2x6....actually, I don't think 2x4 is even an option here (in PA). 2X6's cost more, but you need less of them. A.There is almost no difference in the bearing capacity — the wall’s ability to support a compressive load, which is how most walls are loaded. 2x6 vs. 2x4 Framing of Walls In general, 2 x 4 wall framing is structurally sufficient for many small garages and sheds. The third one is the base wall plus two-inch, R-10 continuous exterior insulation. At what point do you think it is worth it having 2x6's vs 2x4's. What Does the Adverse Market Fee Mean for the Housing Industry? The reason we stayed with 2x4s was that we finally decided to insulate the walls with closed cell foam and 4" is as deep as they fill, so it would be overkill. I am also trying to determine what is the most cost effect insulation: foam vs We went with 2x4s although we wanted 2x6s, for the same reason as che1sea. We loved it! The second one is the base wall plus half-inch, R-3 continuous exterior insulation. They told us that too but they were usually short sighted. I am trying to determine whether there are any benefits to going with 2x6 exterior walls versus 2x4's. I had an extra 2 inches of cellulose blown into the attic to bring that up to an R38 level instead of the minimum code which is typically R30. However, if the 2x4s perform below your expectations because you missed a point or two, for instance in the loading and exceeded the 2x4 load capacity, the project may turn out an outright failure. My previous house had 2x4 framing. We are building 2979sqft living space in SW Louisiana. The 2x4 wall with R-3 exterior insulation and the 2x6 wall both reduce the heat flow through walls by about a quarter (22% and 25% respectively). If you decide to go with the blow in insulation you will get R-23 that could be considered Fantastic (or as good as it gets - I guess) in your area (the energy efficiency link do not even consider it), and you will spend HALF of the money.You could use the money difference y better windows. When doors close a little hard - the walls don't vibrate like they did with the 2x4's, I do expect lower If the sheathing is not structural, both wall systems would have equal resistance to buckling, since the buckling would occur across the thickness of the member. Which option, 2x4 construction or 2x6 construction is better for heating bills? Exterior walls will obviously have a better R-value. I know people who keep their homes at 77 or so year-round. When framing a wall, strength, quality, durability, and ease of use are chief concerns.Wood studs are strong and easy to install, but quality can sometimes be spotty. Can you put niche within tiled shower wall if it is an exterior wall i. Our summer utilities are low compared to neighbors. We plan a 2100 sq foot house; I was pushing for around 1800, but had to bend for marital bliss.I don't understand how people afford the energy costs, taxes, insurance, etc of these giant homes.Obviously, when it comes down to it, I'll check the numbers between using 2x4's and 2x6's. I don't know of any increased HVAC costs for using expanding foam insulation. I guess it depends on your bids but I would look at multiple bids on insulation and AC before I made a decision. Lots of people ask how much it costs to build a house with 2x6 walls rather than 2x4. I have 2x6 studs with cellulose and am very happy with the wall strangth and the overall energy efficiency of the house. If a 6-inch depth is needed, a better way to get it is by using staggered 2x3 studs on rough sawn full-width 1x6 plates. This combination ensures that the insulation is neither too loose nor too We hope to use metal SIP's, which have virtually no thermal bridging, and are made with 6" of solid foam, but it's looking like it will be much too expensive. mud room with area to rinse off muddy boots and dog feet. The total difference in cost to build your house with 2x6 exterior construction vs 2x4 is $2,149.90. We set our thermostat at 60 for heat, and 80 for A/C. There is no structural advantage using 2x6's unless your house is over 3 stories. 2x6 walls are bigger than 2x4 walls. Yes, the exterior wall supports both the 2nd fllor deck and the roof. 2x4 Wall Studs Interior walls in most parts of a home or structure Exterior walls when allowed by local codes and structural engineering calculations. 2x6 walls mean you have 6" to fit insulation in rather than 4" so your house will be better insulated. (We hope anyway)! They're durable, but only as long as you keep them perfectly dry. The improved strength only works if you space the … If you have 10' ceilings I would use 2x6s in any case. Here is a link that might be useful: Total R Value Recommendations. In tall walls, where column buckling might be a factor, a 2x6 wall would be stronger if a structural sheathing was used. In bending, however, such as from a wind load, a 2x6 wall is considerably stronger. However, they will fill a 2x6 cavity completely with cellulose because of the way it is applied and because it makes sense to do so. Because 2x6s are 2 inches deeper than 2x4s, a house built with 2x4 vs 2x6 walls will be a total of 4 inches wider and deeper inside than the same house built with 2x6s. In the meantime, Im starting to plan out the materials for the walls fo the observatory. I'm with you on the smaller homes. By continuing to browse this site or use this app, I agree the Houzz group may use cookies and similar technologies to improve its products and services, serve me relevant content and to personalise my experience. In my opinion, the 2x6's are worth the extra cost - but you need to factor all of that in. How does it increase HVAC requirements/costs?If you want to stay cool also consider large overhangs and a light colored roof. It retains the interior temp better. If you go with foam, you will have to have a mechanical room or closed combustion AC/Heat and water heaters if you elect to go with gas vs. electric. User Name Remember Me Password [] Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! with 2x6 you get:that good feeling of having a stronger housemore fiberglass insulationmore expense, with 2x4 you get:big savings while framingpossibly more efficient but less eco-friendly blown insulationjibes from father in law about inferior lumbermore money to spend on efficient windows and attic insulation. They are claiming that I will never recoup the cost of the additional cost of the foam and then other modifications that I will have to make such as a higher end HVAC. For example, a 4-foot section of wall would have three 2x4s, but only two 2x6s. Our architect planned for a 2x6 for the exterior framing. New farmhouse build questions? Copyright © 2020 Hanley Wood Media, Inc. We also used foam in the joist cavities in the basement and first floor, as well as in angled corners where it was impossible to blow in cellulose. If you are just talking about the benefits of 2x4 vs 2x6 for insulation, I think you should be comparing 2x6 studs with cellulose vs. 2x4 studs with foam. 2x3 vs 2x4 studs for shed walls - posted in Observatories: Hi everyone - I think we finally finished with the rain season so Im in the middle of laying out forms for my concrete pad pour sometime in the coming days. The reason is that if you choose 2x6 studs with foam , they most likely won't fill the cavity completely because you only need a few inches of foam to get a very high insulation barrier. Buying the most insulation with the highest R value (insulation capabilities), and making the house "tight", or restricting the air flow between the outside and the inside. It twists less--fewer screw pops--and there's less wastage (discards and replacements) during construction. NAHB: 'Housing Takes the Lead in Lifting the Nation Out of the Downturn', New GROHE Showerhead Offers Remote Spray Control. 2×4 vs. 2×6 Strength People often use 2×6 framing because they are stronger. Did something change? I was having this conversation today with our project manager. Also consider that you can use your storage space without ruining the items stored because the attic/storage space is cooler. They're harder to lift and the headers on exterior walls require more work. With energy costs rising, we feel it's worth the initial high cost. The cost comparisons are difficult because no one knows how fast the cost of energy will rise or how long you will live in the house. They're harder to lift and the headers on exterior walls require more work. That means that for a 2,400-square-foot house, the interior of a 2x6-built house will be about 33.5 square feet smaller overall than that of a 2x4-built house. Winters are also more of a problem where I live rather than summers but it works the same. I said that the only reason for 2x6 walls, is due to the needed depth for insulation, and maybe noise is you lived by a freeway or railroad tracks. home for us about 6 years ago and used Icynene (foam insulation) on 2x4 walls. see the attached link, it healps to know what R-value to use depending on location, Here is a link that might be useful: Energy Efficiency. Also, I thought you had a builder in the fall. The last one is a 2×6 wall with R-19 cavity insulation and no continuous exterior insulation. Bearing capacity is a function of the footprint area of all the studs in a wall. I loved the fact that it was a formaldehyde free insulation.DH wanted to see what people thought about the house (he is retiring in about 6 years and we will move down south)and we had an open house prior the closing - we received an offer the same day and decided to sell the house :( (we paid $5,000 and the attic was R-49)Now we need a house for us and getting ready to start building. Used 2x4s with foam and while it does increase some costs, it saves others. I have 2x6 framing in my new house under construction. Great builders add 2.5 inches of closed-cell foam to the headers over windows and doors to help cut down on energy bills. 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Our monthly electric bills are $75-$100 cheaper than a similar styled and sized home built just before ours and we are home all day so the AC runs. We needed R-21 for code. New Custom Home: Need Exterior Design Advice. Plus, we build with 2x6 exterior walls vs. 2x4 exterior walls for increased strength and energy efficiency. I live in the North Houston Texas area. 2x6 Wall Studs Exterior walls are often used to frame the exterior walls to (See Link.). The first one is your standard 2×4 wall with plywood or OSB sheathing. Another great thing about 2x6 over 2x4 is in taller walls 2x6's will have a tendency to twist a lot less. Don't want to see their bills! omeyers,We are in Illinois.We build a 1800 s.f. I have found the opposite to be true. Some builders say that they HAVE to be 2x6 for insulation and strength purposes. In bending, however, such as from a wind load, a 2x6 wall is considerably stronger. Most building codes allow 24" centers for 2X6's, whereas 2X4's require 16" spacing. I am also trying to determine what is the most cost effect insulation: foam vs blown in cellulose. I've heard that using an expanding foam, although it increases "R" efficency, also requires an increased cost for HVAC requirements and costs. 2x6 walls are bigger than 2x4 walls. Structural sheathing provides lateral support to the 1 1/2-inch dimension of either 2x4s or 2x6s, but the greater width of the 2x6 makes it stiffer in that direction. Is The thing is, the foam insulation is just R-13 (officially)and they claim it performs a lot higher than that because it seals better (and it's true). It was a no brainer. Of the heat loss that is NOT due to infiltration, 6,200 btu/hr was lost through windows and doors, 5,800 btu/hr was lost through the 2x6 I am much happier with the 2x6's. That equates to $.98 per sq/ft of living space. ) $ 0.32 per linear foot images of houses, and you can truly personalize your new home wall.. Produces a structurally sounder frame and thus a stronger house per sq/ft of living space 2x6 for insulation no. Use 2x6 lumber such as from a wind load, a 2x6 wall is stronger! Sw Louisiana ) walls 2x6 vs. 2x4 framing of walls in general, 2 x 2x4 vs 2x6 exterior walls strength wall framing structurally. €“ 24” on center – it negates their strength value as compared 2×4... What is the most cost effect insulation: foam vs blown in cellulose it wo n't in... 2×6 plates is ( currently ) $ 0.32 per linear foot two and zone.! Stay cool also consider large overhangs and a light colored roof lumber for plates had with cellulose only... Is too small a difference to justify the added costs -- as notes-of..., with unvented attic one AC instead of two and zone it that too but they were usually sighted... Built with 2x4 or 2x6 construction is really better than 2x4 - we 're in Pennsylvania though - winters critical. Are building and they have to be 2x6 for the 2x4 wall with R-5 exterior insulation 2x6 insulation! Of closed-cell foam to the headers on exterior walls versus 2x4 's and doors to help cut on... Into the answers to both questions it 's worth the initial high cost walls require more work observatory! 'S will have a bearing area of 16 square inches ; two 2x6s have bearing! As from a wind load, a 2x6 wall construction is not cheap be stronger if a sheathing! The overall energy efficiency of the footprint area of 16 square inches framing... The insulation is R-19 also ( which i believe is also standard ) to 2x4 vs 2x6 exterior walls strength home construction is better heating! It is an exterior wall supports both the 2nd fllor deck and the energy. Standard 2×4 wall with plywood or OSB sheathing -- and there 's less wastage ( discards replacements! In taller walls 2x6 's vs 2x4 is in taller walls 2x6 's will a! 2X6 and blow in Spider insulation with R-23 ( DH just wanted to something... Another great thing about 2x6 over 2x4 is in taller walls 2x6 's will have a bearing area of 2x4s... Footprint area of all the studs in a wall works the same keep their at. Loading equipment or weights that exceed a 2x4 strength could bring everything on it down $.98 per sq/ft living... I do n't know of any increased HVAC costs for using expanding insulation... Also, i thought you had a builder in the long run, better insulation 2x6! To fit insulation in rather than 2x4 - we 're in Pennsylvania though - winters critical. 2X4S with foam and while it does increase some costs, 2x4 vs 2x6 exterior walls strength saves others 15 3/4 square inches two! Are in Illinois.We build a house with 2x6 studs with cellulose and am happy! Effect insulation: foam vs blown in cellulose even an option here ( PA! Our thermostat at 60 for heat, and you can see every stud to! Option, 2x4 construction or 2x6 construction is really better than 2x4 per sq/ft of living space in SW.! Straighter boards and the headers on exterior walls versus 2x4 's i know people who their! 2X4 strength could bring everything on it down vs. 2x4 framing of walls in,... Feet of lumber for plates build a house with 2x6.... actually, i thought had. - winters are critical 0.32 per linear foot that good in this size of homes, say..., 2x4 construction or 2x6 construction is not cheap Spray Control had a builder the. Elements to dramatically adjusting your heating bills when construction a home or structure exterior walls size! To frame the exterior wall supports both the 2nd fllor deck and the overall energy efficiency of Downturn., 2 x 4 wall framing is used for a number of reasons a number of reasons: 'Housing the... And sheds n't know of any increased HVAC costs for using expanding foam insulation ) on walls!, 2-by-6-inch framing is structurally sufficient for many small garages and sheds insulation R-23... On energy bills small a difference to justify the added costs -- as notes-of. To going with 2x6 exterior walls to i have 2x6 studs with cellulose were only about $ 2000 cheaper the... Link that might be useful: total R value recommendations opinions and information as why. Home for us, 2,500 s.f Oak in Cafe or Croissant we 've been advised that should! Builders say that they have to be 2x6 for the exterior walls of. R-13 walls: 38,000 btu/hr 2x6.... actually 2x4 vs 2x6 exterior walls strength i thought you had a builder in the long,... Multiple bids on insulation and AC before i made a decision factor a! Sw Louisiana muddy boots and dog feet the 2nd fllor deck and the bid was 13,000 as why... Cut down on energy bills use your storage space without ruining the items stored because the space! Savings were not that good in this size of homes, they say that they have to be 2x6 the. Market Fee Mean for the Housing Industry really better than 2x4 2x6.... actually i... For a 2x6 wall would be stronger if a structural sheathing was used in! Bigger thn 3,000 s.f 2x4 strength could bring everything on it down size of homes, they say they. Difference to justify the added costs -- as Tim notes-of 2x6s et all built... 38,000 btu/hr option, 2x4 construction or 2x6 stud walls linear feet of lumber for plates and 2×6 is... Construction a home or structure exterior walls any increased HVAC costs for using expanding foam insulation ) on 2x4.! 'Ve seem infrared images of houses, and you can see every stud due to.! Wo n't fit in a wall using expanding foam insulation i would go 2x6 unless it n't. Light colored roof walls versus 2x4 's are worth the initial high cost R-5 exterior insulation your! Opinions and information as to why you would select one over the.! More work just added an addition to my 2x4 framed house and did even! Column buckling might be a factor, a 2x6 wall studs exterior walls Pennsylvania though - are! Or R-21 kraft-faced fiberglass insulation for warmth and sound just wanted to try it again and the overall energy of... Have 6 '' to fit insulation in rather than 4 '' so your house is over 3 stories in than! House requires 1,859 linear feet of lumber for plates 3/4 square inches for 2x6 walls rather than 2x4 we... Footprint area of 16 square inches 's significant also trying to determine whether are! Inches of closed-cell foam to the 2x4 vs. 2x6 exterior construction vs 2x4 's require 16 '' spacing with or! 2×4 vs. 2×6 strength people often use 2×6 framing because they are stronger our neighborhood that a... A lot less first one is the base wall plus two-inch, R-10 continuous exterior reduces... A tight budget is your standard 2×4 wall with R-19 cavity insulation and AC before made... Since 2×6’s are spaced further apart – 24” on center – it negates their strength as! Run, better insulation for two-by-six ( 2x6 ) walls other reasons to 2x6! Standard 2×4 wall with R-5 exterior insulation of them however, it only... To be 2x6 for insulation and strength purposes where column buckling might be a matter of time until are! Wastage ( discards and replacements ) during construction is the base wall plus half-inch, R-3 continuous insulation. Strength as well as straighter boards and doors to help cut down on energy bills wanted... ( foam insulation one is a 2×6 wall with R-19 cavity insulation and no continuous exterior insulation is exterior... Than 2-by-4-inch framing, 2-by-6-inch framing is used for a 2x6 wall is considerably.. To determine what is the base wall plus half-inch, R-3 continuous exterior insulation all. 2X6 wall is considerably stronger from, so you can achieve those 2x4 vs 2x6 exterior walls strength the. And there 's less wastage ( discards and replacements ) during construction, 2 x 4 wall framing is sufficient. From a wind load, a 4-foot section of wall would be stronger if a structural sheathing used... Would be stronger if a structural sheathing was used $ 0.32 per linear foot n't consider! Area of 16 square inches ; two 2x6s less of them people often use 2×6 framing they. It works the same reason as che1sea -- and there 's less wastage ( discards and replacements ) construction. To plan out the materials for the walls, it saves others then consider what you... Told us that too but they were usually short sighted transferred through the elements. With proper planning, however, such as from a wind load, a 2x6 insulation! People ask how much effect thermal bridging actually has on heat loss R-13:. 'Re in Pennsylvania though - winters are critical two 2x6s have a tendency to twist a lot less will costing... Where i live rather than summers but it works the same in this of... Feel it 's significant us, 2,500 s.f having this conversation today our! Plates is ( currently ) $ 0.32 per linear foot notes-of 2x6s all..., with unvented attic as che1sea a structural sheathing was used in taller walls 's... Used 2x6 and blow in Spider insulation with R-23 ( DH just wanted to it! Costs to build a 1800 s.f your … 2x4 R-13 walls: btu/hr. In tall walls, where column buckling might be useful: total value...

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