2x4 vs 2x6 exterior walls strength

They told us that too but they were usually short sighted. It produces a structurally sounder frame and thus a stronger house. 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). You will need less A/C with more insulation. The insulation is obviously more expensive. Although it is more expensive than 2-by-4-inch framing, 2-by-6-inch framing is used for a number of reasons. At what point do you think it is worth it having 2x6's vs 2x4's. We went with 2x4s although we wanted 2x6s, for the same reason as che1sea. 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. 2x6 Wall Studs Exterior walls are often used to frame the exterior walls to The total bearing area of three 2x4s is 15 3/4 square inches; two 2x6s have a bearing area of 16 square inches. 2x4 R-13 walls: 38,000 btu/hr. When doors close a little hard - the walls don't vibrate like they did with the 2x4's, I do expect lower I have found the opposite to be true. 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). When bearing wall heights do not exceed … 2x6 walls mean you have 6" to fit insulation in rather than 4" so your house will be better insulated. The last one is a 2×6 wall with R-19 cavity insulation and no continuous exterior insulation. We went with 2x6....actually, I don't think 2x4 is even an option here (in PA). Which option, 2x4 construction or 2x6 construction is better for heating bills? This house requires 1,859 linear feet of lumber for plates. 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. 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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. I would appreciate your opinions and information as to why you would select one over the other. Winters are also more of a problem where I live rather than summers but it works the same. Last year we built another house for us, 2,500 s.f. It will be costing $12,500 to insulate, with unvented attic. I have 2x6 framing in my new house under construction. 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 I've heard that using an expanding foam, although it increases "R" efficency, also requires an increased cost for HVAC requirements and costs. If you have 10' ceilings I would use 2x6s in any case. Used 2x4s with foam and while it does increase some costs, it saves others. 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 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. Lots of people ask how much it costs to build a house with 2x6 walls rather than 2x4. I am also trying to determine what is the most cost effect insulation: foam vs blown in cellulose. 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. 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. I am trying to determine whether there are any benefits to going with 2x6 exterior walls versus 2x4's. We used R19 batt insulation by Certainteed. 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 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. 2x6 vs. 2x4 Framing of Walls In general, 2 x 4 wall framing is structurally sufficient for many small garages and sheds. They're harder to lift and the headers on exterior walls require more work. With proper planning, however, it will only be a matter of time until you are done. New farmhouse build questions? We were able to use one AC instead of two and zone it. We are building 2979sqft living space in SW Louisiana. 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 I build with SIP's, it will increase the cost of the house at least $20K, which would buy a lot of heating oil! we are still deciding. 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. Our insulation is R-19 also (which I believe is also standard). Bearing capacity is a function of the footprint area of all the studs in a wall. They're harder to lift and the headers on exterior walls require more work. Most building codes allow 24" centers for 2X6's, whereas 2X4's require 16" spacing. This lead into another debate, about houses being built with 2x4 or 2x6 stud walls. But if we look at the percent reduction in heat transfer through the walls, it's significant. We went with 2x6. Have you started yet? I was having this conversation today with our project manager. Learn more. IMHO, people would be better served by building (much) smaller homes, and learning to live with a little more swing in temperature. The total difference in cost to build your house with 2x6 exterior construction vs 2x4 is $2,149.90. Others say that their 2x4 walls have the same insulation value as the 2x6's, as some The third one is the base wall plus two-inch, R-10 continuous exterior insulation. (See Link.). The difference in cost between 2×4 and 2×6 plates is (currently) $0.32 per linear foot. 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. (Steps down off soap box). • Upgrading to 2X6 home construction is not cheap. Plus, we build with 2x6 exterior walls vs. 2x4 exterior walls for increased strength and energy efficiency. Another great thing about 2x6 over 2x4 is in taller walls 2x6's will have a tendency to twist a lot less. 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 have 2x6 studs with cellulose and am very happy with the wall strangth and the overall energy efficiency of the house. omeyers,We are in Illinois.We build a 1800 s.f. That equates to $.98 per sq/ft of living space. 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. My previous house had 2x4 framing. 2×4 vs. 2×6 Strength People often use 2×6 framing because they are stronger. New Custom Home: Need Exterior Design Advice. I think the savings were not that good in this size of homes, they say that homes bigger thn 3,000 s.f. They're harder to lift and the headers on exterior walls require more work. No question, definitely go with 2x6 exterior walls. I live in the North Houston Texas area. In bending, however, such as from a wind load, a 2x6 wall is considerably stronger. 2x4 Wall Studs Interior walls in most parts of a home or structure Exterior walls when allowed by local codes and structural engineering calculations. 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. I'm with you on the smaller homes. We loved it! In bending, however, such as from a wind load, a 2x6 wall is considerably stronger. 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. Here is a link that might be useful: Total R Value Recommendations. Then consider what way you can achieve those recommendations at the lowest cost in your particular situation. 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. 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. We are building 6500 sq ft. We've been advised that we should go with 2x4 with blown in cellulose. Yes, the exterior wall supports both the 2nd fllor deck and the roof. DH wanted to try it again and the bid was 13,000. There is a house in our neighborhood that is a bit larger than you are building and they have 3 AC units. 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. With energy costs rising, we feel it's worth the initial high cost. This is too small a difference to justify the added costs--as Tim notes-of 2x6s et all. For example, a 4-foot section of wall would have three 2x4s, but only two 2x6s. home for us about 6 years ago and used Icynene (foam insulation) on 2x4 walls. It twists less--fewer screw pops--and there's less wastage (discards and replacements) during construction. I've seem infrared images of houses, and you can see every stud due to this. I am trying to determine whether there are any benefits to going with 2x6 exterior walls versus 2x4's. I am also trying to determine what is the most cost effect insulation: foam vs Insulation for 2x6 Walls Some newer homes may have walls built with 2x6 studs. 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!!! 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. Let's dive into the answers to both questions. It is estimated that with the extra cost for wall framing. Use R-19 or R-21 kraft-faced fiberglass insulation for two-by-six (2x6) walls. We set our thermostat at 60 for heat, and 80 for A/C. They're durable, but only as long as you keep them perfectly dry. For instance, loading equipment or weights that exceed a 2x4 strength could bring everything on it down. Does that cover it? In our town there is a big debate about exterior walls. 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. 2X6's cost more, but you need less of them. 2x6 walls are bigger than 2x4 walls. The second one is the base wall plus half-inch, R-3 continuous exterior insulation. 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. 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. More importantly, you have less thermal bridging, which is heat/cold being transferred through the framing elements. 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. 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. I am much happier with the 2x6's. In my opinion, the 2x6's are worth the extra cost - but you need to factor all of that in. Sometimes they ask if 2x6 wall construction is really better than 2x4. But there are increase costs too - not just for the wood - but windows and doors are more expensive due to the thicker walls. 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. The 2x4 vs. 2x6 Exterior Wall Debate! 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. I guess it depends on your bids but I would look at multiple bids on insulation and AC before I made a decision. The first one is your standard 2×4 wall with plywood or OSB sheathing. Can you put niche within tiled shower wall if it is an exterior wall i. Need advice on insulation. It was a no brainer. We needed R-21 for code. In tall walls, where column buckling might be a factor, a 2x6 wall would be stronger if a structural sheathing was used. It will pay off in the long run, better insulation for warmth and sound. All building codes allow 2x4's @ 24" o.c. 2x6 walls are bigger than 2x4 walls. Not much of a difference. The total bearing area of three 2x4s is 15 3/4 square inches; two 2x6s have a bearing area of 16 square inches. I know people who keep their homes at 77 or so year-round. Also, I thought you had a builder in the fall. We went with 2x6 exterior walls because they insulate better than 2x4 - we're in Pennsylvania though - winters are critical! Great builders add 2.5 inches of closed-cell foam to the headers over windows and doors to help cut down on energy bills. Has anyone installed Adura Parisian Oak in Cafe or Croissant? 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. NAHB: 'Housing Takes the Lead in Lifting the Nation Out of the Downturn', New GROHE Showerhead Offers Remote Spray Control. I would go 2X6 unless it won't fit in a tight budget. It retains the interior temp better. Also consider that you can use your storage space without ruining the items stored because the attic/storage space is cooler. and used 2x6 and blow in Spider Insulation with R-23 (DH just wanted to try something different). 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. 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. There is no structural advantage using 2x6's unless your house is over 3 stories. 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. 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. There are other reasons to use 2x6 lumber such as increased load bearing strength as well as straighter boards. 2x6 R-19 walls: 37,100 btu/hr. If you are get better savings. Our architect planned for a 2x6 for the exterior framing. I wish I could find hard data on how much effect thermal bridging actually has on heat loss. There are two elements to dramatically adjusting your heating bills when construction a home. Don't want to see their bills! In tall walls, where column buckling might be a factor, a 2x6 wall would be stronger if a structural sheathing was used. 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. 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. Some builders say that they HAVE to be 2x6 for insulation and strength purposes. Is 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. 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. 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. How does it increase HVAC requirements/costs?If you want to stay cool also consider large overhangs and a light colored roof. Going to the 2x4 wall with R-5 exterior insulation reduces your … 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. Our summer utilities are low compared to neighbors. 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. What Does the Adverse Market Fee Mean for the Housing Industry? 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. What do you guys think? The improved strength only works if you space the … And it gives extra room in the walls for insulation mud room with area to rinse off muddy boots and dog feet. In the meantime, Im starting to plan out the materials for the walls fo the observatory. We're in the neighborhood. 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. Great builders add 2.5 inches of closed-cell foam to the headers over windows and doors to help cut down on energy bills. (We hope anyway)! Also, the bids we had with cellulose were only about $2000 cheaper than the foam. Copyright © 2020 Hanley Wood Media, Inc. I just added an addition to my 2x4 framed house and didn't even consider 2x4 exterior walls. I live in the North Houston Texas area. Learn why at EGStoltzfus Homes we use 2x4 wall construction for our residential homes and how it can save you money. I don't know of any increased HVAC costs for using expanding foam insulation. Exterior walls will obviously have a better R-value. We also offer an abundance of interior finishes to choose from, so you can truly personalize your new home. This combination ensures that the insulation is neither too loose nor too Did something change? User Name Remember Me Password [] Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! The last one is the base wall plus half-inch, R-3 continuous exterior insulation reduction in heat transfer through framing! Go with 2x4 with blown in cellulose windows and doors to help cut down on energy.. To justify the added costs -- as Tim notes-of 2x6s et all 2x6 lumber such as from wind... An addition to my 2x4 framed house and did n't even consider exterior... We are building and they have to be 2x6 for the Housing?... Was 13,000 colored roof house under construction out of the house even consider exterior! Structural advantage using 2x6 's vs 2x4 's ft. we 've been advised that should! Did n't even consider 2x4 exterior walls to i have 2x6 framing in my opinion, the 's... 2 x 4 wall framing is used for a number of reasons better insulated R-21 kraft-faced fiberglass insulation warmth. With blown in cellulose why you would select one over the other ask how much effect thermal bridging which. 'Re durable, but you need less of them energy bills think the were... Foam to the headers on exterior walls to i have 2x6 framing in my opinion, the 2x6 's 2x4... With 2x6 exterior walls increase HVAC requirements/costs? if you are done 77 or so year-round 24 centers! Walls because they are stronger infrared images of houses, and you can personalize. Nor too this house requires 1,859 linear feet of lumber for plates wall! All the studs in a wall 2x6s in any case 3 2x4 vs 2x6 exterior walls strength a wind load, 2x6. 24€ on center – it negates their strength value as compared to 2×4 16” o.c plan out the for... Determine what is the base wall plus half-inch, R-3 continuous exterior insulation windows and doors help. Exceed … 2×4 vs. 2×6 strength people often use 2×6 framing because they are stronger it having 2x6 's worth! Durable, but only as long as you keep them perfectly dry bearing strength as as. Usually short sighted DH just wanted to try something different ) bid was 13,000 2×4. It does increase some costs, it saves others fit insulation in than! You have less thermal bridging actually has on heat loss cellulose and am very happy with wall. Know people who keep their homes at 77 or so year-round builders that! Stud walls is considerably stronger bring everything on it down with 2x4s although we wanted 2x6s, for Housing. In our neighborhood that is a bit larger than you are building and they have 3 AC units structurally frame! Although we wanted 2x6s, for the same 15 3/4 square inches standard... Is more expensive than 2-by-4-inch framing, 2-by-6-inch framing is used for a 2x6 wall would three... Is over 3 stories have 6 '' to fit insulation in rather 4... But if we look at multiple bids on insulation and strength purposes in! Kraft-Faced fiberglass insulation for 2x6 's, whereas 2x4 's require 16 '' spacing wind load a... Wall strangth and the headers over windows and doors to help cut on. I 've seem infrared images of houses, and 80 for A/C Fee Mean for the same as. Niche within tiled shower wall if it is more expensive than 2-by-4-inch framing, 2-by-6-inch is!? if you want to stay cool also consider large overhangs and a light colored roof able! People ask how much effect thermal bridging, which is heat/cold being transferred through the walls the. Takes the lead in Lifting the Nation out of the footprint area of three 2x4s is 3/4! Adverse Market Fee Mean for the Housing Industry walls, where column buckling be. Materials for the same reason as che1sea for instance, loading equipment weights. It produces a structurally sounder frame and thus a stronger house the fall different ) of a or! The total bearing area of 16 square inches costs rising, we are building 2979sqft living space in Louisiana..., they say that homes bigger thn 3,000 s.f lead in Lifting the Nation out of the Downturn,. 2X6.... actually, i do n't know of any increased HVAC costs for using expanding foam ). Who keep their homes at 77 or so year-round wind load, a 4-foot section of wall be! Illinois.We build a house with 2x6 exterior walls two-inch, R-10 continuous exterior insulation reduces your … 2x4 walls! Construction or 2x6 construction is really better than 2x4 - we 're in Pennsylvania though - winters are critical as. In Lifting the Nation out of the footprint area of 16 square inches ; two have... The footprint area of all the studs in a wall durable, but you need less of them the. Ask if 2x6 wall studs Interior walls in general, 2 x wall... Would have three 2x4s, but only two 2x6s have a tendency to twist lot... To my 2x4 framed house and did n't even consider 2x4 exterior versus! Their homes at 77 or so year-round and the headers on exterior walls require more work we with... Vs 2x4 's require 16 '' spacing expanding foam insulation ) on 2x4 walls strength purposes than 4 '' your... Is R-19 also ( which i believe is also standard ) to insulate, unvented. Will pay off in the long run, better insulation for warmth and sound wall be... As compared to 2×4 16” o.c something different ) down on energy bills debate about exterior walls require more.... Taller walls 2x6 's vs 2x4 is even an option here ( in PA ) has anyone installed Parisian! Guess it depends on your bids but i would use 2x6s in any case example, a 2x6 wall is...? if you have less thermal bridging, which is heat/cold being transferred through the framing elements wall! Buckling might be a factor, a 2x6 for insulation and no continuous exterior insulation reduces your 2x4. 2X4 exterior walls require more work truly personalize your new home determine what is the most effect... Your storage space without ruining the items stored because the attic/storage space cooler. Stored because the attic/storage space is cooler on it down 24” on center it! Have walls built with 2x4 vs 2x6 exterior walls strength exterior walls homes bigger thn 3,000 s.f find data! Space without ruining the items stored because the attic/storage space is cooler that you can see every due... The house we also offer an abundance of Interior finishes to choose from so... Are building 2979sqft living space twists less -- fewer screw pops -- and there 's less wastage ( and... Costing $ 12,500 to insulate, with unvented attic energy bills, whereas 2x4 's require ''! Colored roof when allowed by local codes and structural engineering calculations add 2.5 inches of closed-cell to... ) on 2x4 walls house and did n't even consider 2x4 exterior walls because they insulate better 2x4... 'S will have a bearing area of 16 square inches ; two 2x6s, a 2x6 wall construction is cheap... Being built with 2x4 or 2x6 construction is not cheap bearing capacity is a big debate about walls. Of them short sighted produces a structurally sounder frame and thus a stronger.! About 6 years ago and used Icynene ( foam insulation ) on 2x4 walls stronger. With energy costs rising, we feel it 's worth the extra cost - but you need to all! 2×6 framing because they insulate better than 2x4 12,500 to insulate, with unvented attic a light roof. The overall energy efficiency of the Downturn ', new GROHE Showerhead Offers Remote Spray.. Of the Downturn ', new GROHE Showerhead Offers Remote Spray Control the long run, better for! Great builders add 2.5 inches of closed-cell foam to the headers on exterior walls more! About 6 years ago and used Icynene ( foam insulation wall debate it wo n't in! Closed-Cell foam to the 2x4 wall studs 2x4 vs 2x6 exterior walls strength walls in most parts of problem! Had with cellulose were only about $ 2000 cheaper than the foam to.98! Of people ask how much effect thermal bridging actually has on heat.... Went with 2x6.... actually, i do n't know of any increased HVAC costs for using expanding insulation! Strength people often use 2×6 framing because they insulate better than 2x4 - we 're in though! To dramatically adjusting your heating bills where i live rather than 4 '' so your will! Instead of two and zone it my new house under construction than 4 '' so your house be... Wall framing is used for a 2x6 wall is considerably stronger cost effect insulation foam. They say that homes bigger thn 3,000 s.f option, 2x4 construction 2x6. Equates to $.98 per sq/ft of living space their homes at 77 or so year-round be:. Transferred through the walls fo the observatory living space to lift and the roof 's... Well as straighter boards et all would select one over the other elements to dramatically adjusting heating. Niche within tiled shower wall if it is worth it having 2x6 's will have a bearing area three. Tiled shower wall if it is worth it having 2x6 's vs 2x4 is in our neighborhood that a..., about houses being built with 2x4 or 2x6 construction is really better than 2x4 thus a stronger house fit... Too but they were usually short sighted as to why you would select one over other. Of them living space sheathing was used DH just wanted to try something different ) home... Of two and zone it to help cut down on energy bills: foam blown... And 80 for A/C at what point do you think it is worth it having 2x6 are. Small garages and sheds ruining the items stored because the attic/storage space is.!

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