help insulation decision/new house

Old 11-07-04, 10:41 AM
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help insulation decision/new house

Originally we were going to build with ICF (lego blocks). Unfortunately, I can not sell my husband on the idea that we can do it, he is only comfortable with stick, and we will do most of the work ourselves.
The house will be built on a hill, snow country in Reno Nv, and higher fire hazard area than most areas in summer.

Were looking for a way to insulate the walls that will provide as close to the benefits that we perceived we were going to get from the ICFs which are high r-values (30-40) , sound, environmentally friendly, as in no leaking vapors to residents, and no cfc global warming stories, without justification, and fire resistant?

One idea is that my husband mentioned staggering the studs to get more insulation, so that no lumber frame will touch both the inside and outside of the wall.( use 12 inch center rather than 6 inches centers and then could use 2x4s instead of 2x6s.) We would probably have a lesser cost 153 -2x6s versus 200 2x4s. We are still flexible with the building material that the house could use.

Im thinking some type of blown in could probably be the answer, but cellulose does not seem sensible, Ive heard too many vapor and shrinkage issues.

Should we be thinking about a blown fiberglass? And if so what brand and why? (I hope the words blown and spray are interchangeable)

We want to do it right up front so we are not later doing it again, the hill is windy, and we will use above average window area for view, and passive solar. We may use a passive solar radiant flow system.

Of course, we do not have an unlimited money supply which explains the whole diy, yet we are committed to saving $ on future energy bills.
If any of you energy conscious builders out there are willing to tell us the materials you would use, Id appreciate it.
Old 11-07-04, 11:10 AM
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On that ouside wall if you want do it like we do for sound walls in the home. Use a 2x6 for the plates but 2X4 for the studs. Still 16" on center but start 8" off so one for the outside wall is in the middle of the inside studs wall.
For fire there metal roof for sure. Aluminum siding if it would look good up there.Use cellulose insulation walls and ceilings. Try it fiberglass insulation will not burn .But melts right away and lets the fire through the cellulose. they have it with a glue now after you blow it in and it dries put a 6 mil poly over it and the studs then the drywall.
if you have a basement on a hill there . We run the drain pipe around the foundation on the outside. Then also run one around the footing on the inside down next to it under the slab and to the outside on both ends. Helps a lot

My .02 cents
Old 11-07-04, 02:38 PM
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This one page has so many links concerning building and the amount of information is enormous, that for the average person it can be overwhelming. Realizing this I would like to suggest reading briefly one particular subject that is towards the bottom of the page in the "ISSUES" section known as "WHOLE-BUILDING DESIGN".

One of the spin offs from this concept is "WHOLE HOUSE as a SYSTEM of ENERGY USE", which I am personally involved with. Both concepts deal with the variety of applications within the structure and how they interact with each other, including the occupants. More importantly we take this entire system (structure) and evaluate how it interacts with the outdoor environment in order to gain the best performance of the system and at the same time sustain a HEALTHY INDOOR ENVIRONMENT.

This stems from a single premise and that is when it is hot outside, we cool our homes and when it is cold outside, we heat our homes. The environments we create inside our homes clearly defy nature and nature has a way at getting back at anything that defies her. And in the end nature will win, that is why all applications in a structure are given a life expectancy.

I have been doing this for almost two decades and been involved in the construction industry prior to this for just as long. I realize how complicated this must sound to you. And my reply goes far beyond what you asked for. If you are only interested in hearing the type of insulation to use, then I agree with Ed completely and wall structure. Staggered wall construction is by far the most superior stick built method and sprayed in wet cellulose for open framing is too. However, and I believe Ed will agree with me too, a solid masonry wall is superior to any stick built wall.

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