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2x6 or 2x4 walls?


msmity29's Avatar
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03-08-06, 09:02 AM   #1  
2x6 or 2x4 walls?

I am not sure if this is the correct place to post this question, but I was wondering what everyone's feelings are on 2x6 walls? Are they worth the extra money to have in a new home being built? Is the extra insulation that can be used that beneficial? I am still waiting for a quote from the builder on how much extra it would cost. By the way the house is being built in the suburbs of Chicago. Thanks!

 
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03-08-06, 04:13 PM   #2  
I am not sure what your builder will say, but in my years of building, the difference between the two is not really that much. Probably several thousand, but it will be more then worth it with increased strength and extra insulation for warmth. If I ever build myself or any realtive another home, it will be with 2 x 6 walls. Good Luck

 
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03-09-06, 04:18 AM   #3  
2x6 walls, without question, are well worth the extra money.

 
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03-09-06, 06:09 AM   #4  
If it comes down to upgrading windows, doors, the furnace and insulation in the attic or 2x6 walls, am I correct in assuming the first upgrades are more important?

 
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03-09-06, 06:17 AM   #5  
You should not have to upgrade your windows. The windows and doors should be insulated in the first place. If you are thinking of a window thickness for a 2 x 4 wall verus one for a 2 x 6 wall, it is the same window or same door. The jamb extension is the only change and that is very cheap to buy. You insulation in you attic will not be upgrades, since you have to follow the building code in your area for attics. This will not change, unless you want to exceed code. I may have this wrong, but it seems to me you are trying to save a penny. In the areas you have mentioned are not the place to cut corners. If you want to cut corners do it in the carpets or cupboards or door knobs. But, not in the structure of your house. Good Luck

 
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03-09-06, 06:59 AM   #6  
Posted By: msmity29 If it comes down to upgrading windows, doors, the furnace and insulation in the attic or 2x6 walls, am I correct in assuming the first upgrades are more important?
If you want 2x6's for insulation reasons than use 2x6's. As far as structural reasons you don't need 2x6's at all. You can use 2x4's for your house. There's thousands and thousands of houses built with 2x4's. If you go with 2x6's wherevr you get your windows from will have to know that your using 2x6's.

 
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03-09-06, 12:42 PM   #7  
Posted By: msmity29 If it comes down to upgrading windows, doors, the furnace and insulation in the attic or 2x6 walls, am I correct in assuming the first upgrades are more important?
Of that list, the only thing you CAN'T 'upgrade' is the framing.
Better windors, doors and appliances can be installed at a later time, but once the home is framed, it's framed.

Until your buildier can quote a price on 2x4 vs 2x6 (with all the additional expenses included), and then you compare that cost to estimated savings on your energy bill, it's all guesswork.

I'm still not convinced that 2x6 framing adds that much, value wise, to a home and so much depends on _quality_ work. A poorly framed 2x6 home won't be as efficient as a well framed 2x4 home.

 
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03-10-06, 04:12 AM   #8  
Posted By: Pendragon I'm still not convinced that 2x6 framing adds that much, value wise, to a home and so much depends on _quality_ work. A poorly framed 2x6 home won't be as efficient as a well framed 2x4 home.
In Florida, you may not be concerned about heat loss. With the 2x6 walls you gain a tremendous amount of additional insulating value which is benefit in the northern states.

 
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03-12-06, 05:27 PM   #9  
Thanks for all the input. We got the quote back for 2x6 walls from the builder this weekend and they will charge us $1,450 for material and labor and $520 to go from R-13 to R-19. Does this sound reasonable and worthwhile on a 2,600 square foot, 2-story house. Keep in mind they are not making the house any bigger; the rooms will be 2 inches smaller on all outside walls. Thanks!

 
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03-13-06, 09:09 AM   #10  
Sounds decent if it includes all additional materials and labor.

From what I've read on the research I did over the weekend:
Most R19 batts are thicker than 6". A 2x6 is only 5.5", shoving R19 into a 5.5" space makes it R17 (17.5 actually).

It's a small upcharge, which you will probably recoup in about 10 years in additional energy savings.
ie you'll save roughly $100 a year, but it will be slightly quieter in rooms without windows (which are the biggest source of sound in a room, not the walls).

 
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04-01-06, 02:48 PM   #11  
If you frame your house using 2x6s, can it cause your sheeting to be wavy/bow between the studs because they are 24" OC instead of 6" OC?

 
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04-01-06, 03:09 PM   #12  
Posted By: sx460 If you frame your house using 2x6s, can it cause your sheeting to be wavy/bow between the studs because they are 24" OC instead of 6" OC?
I assume you mean 16" OC they are talking about exterior walls which would never be built on anything less than 16"OC The only time 24" is ok is for nonsupportive walls like you might finish a basement with. Many carpenters don't like to use that center ever. BTW just about all new construction I have witnessed of late is built using 2X6 exterior walls only.

 
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04-01-06, 03:16 PM   #13  
Just curious, but why is he charging you extra on labor? Is it that a 2x6 is heavier???

No question, definitely go with 2x6 exterior walls. I just added an addition to my 2x4 framed house and didn't even consider 2x4 exterior walls. It will pay off in the long run, better insulation for warmth and sound.

 
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04-03-06, 06:56 PM   #14  
dont know if this is still done or not..read an article once about western canada...outside walls were two walls of 2x4..staggered at 16 inch centers... 1 1/2 inch foam board on the outside wall then behind that first cavity filles with insulation..then the vapor barrier..then the other 2x4 wall ..all wires run in these boards so no holes punched in vapor barrier..this wall now filled with insulation....the staggered walls meant full insulation values as no wall studs lined up to leak along side the boards

is this any good ...i dont know ..and cost idont know either...but if it worked in western canada it would be worth it..dam cold out there

 
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