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Old 09-21-2012, 06:06 PM   #1
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2x6 vs 2x4 Insulation Planning


I'm designing a small (539 square foot) home. I'm going to build it on some land i own as a starter home while I save money to build something bigger on the land later on.

At first I was going to do 16 inches on center 2x4 framing, and base my floor plan on that. Now I'm thinking about the practicality of 2x6 framing meaning thicker insulation meaning better energy bills. But if I did 2x6 I'd want to do 24 inches on center to save money.

Would this cause any problems since it is such a small home? It will not have a loft, but of course it will have a small attic space. And I will have to get up there for wiring, and insulating, and may even store a few items up there.

Would it be against code to build 24 inch on center?

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:14 PM   #2
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2x6 vs 2x4 Insulation Planning


Stick with the 16" on center, for that tiny a building your only talking about a few dollars differance.
What's the plans for this bulding once the other house is built?
Have check with your local building department to see if they will even allow you to have two habitable buildings on one property?
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:16 PM   #3
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2x6 vs 2x4 Insulation Planning


It'll just be a little shack. My land is on a lake so I'll fish out of it.

Could even rent it, or let vacationers use it.

Joe, I didn't see your last question. yes I can have two. As long as only one has a physical address. So the shack will be like a guest house type thing technically.

I did the math for 2x6 framing at 16 inch on center and it really isn't that much more. So I think I'll go with that. Thanks.



If anyone else has any suggestions I'd appreciate it.

Last edited by stevenmw; 09-21-2012 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:10 PM   #4
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2x6 vs 2x4 Insulation Planning


If it was mine I would build a garage with a gambel roof and build an apartment up stairs.
You would end up with real livable space that you could live in for as long as needed, not a tiny shed to live in.
It would also give you a dry place to store materials and room for a shop.

Depending on the time frame you have for building the real house I'd also concider having the whole foundation for the garage and house done at one time if they were going to be attached.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:00 PM   #5
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2x6 vs 2x4 Insulation Planning


24" OC is allowed here and in the Us I think. Look up optimum Value engineering.
It's not just about the savings in studs which is not much but the added insulation value.
http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=....1.N1sXtJC2nRI
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:00 PM   #6
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2x6 vs 2x4 Insulation Planning


You can maximize insulation and save on framing by using advanced framing techniques.


I looked into it for a project, plenty of information on the 'net. Look around on Building Science for some framing and insulation information.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:28 AM   #7
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2x6 vs 2x4 Insulation Planning


24" o.c is allowed but requires closer attention to detail. all joists along with trusses and studs on the next floor have to be point loaded directly on top of one another.

definitely go with 2x6 though because most areas require a minimum of r-24 insulation. my only concern with 24" o.c is that it restricts how often you can fasten siding as it should be nailed to the studs not just sheathing. and 24 oc creates a wavy wall for drywall
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:16 AM   #8
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2x6 vs 2x4 Insulation Planning


Kirk - Have you personally seen the wavy drywall with 24"OC?
Any I have seen was run horizontally and looked fine.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:07 PM   #9
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2x6 vs 2x4 Insulation Planning


As we don’t know where you are, here is a breakdown for my location: pp. 13; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ermal-analysis

The basics on advanced framing: http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ure-of-framing

Similar; http://books.google.com/books?id=LR4...raming&f=false

Some good cost-saving ideas: http://books.google.com/books?id=9wk...raming&f=false

Most areas allow 2x4 at 24”o.c. if you meet the energy codes, check locally with AHJ; http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...9_6_par014.htm

Keep your windows/doors at/under 4’, save with a box beam header (need the ply sheathing anyway); http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...002_par016.htm

More framing help: http://books.google.com/books?id=bwt...page&q&f=false

Gary
P.S. A general idea of your location is fine (State), insulation depends on it. I see others have asked this before in your other threads... it really helps; finding local codes, etc.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:17 PM   #10
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2x6 vs 2x4 Insulation Planning


"Building an affordable house" is a great book he also has one about affordable remodel or something.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mae-ling View Post
Kirk - Have you personally seen the wavy drywall with 24"OC?
Any I have seen was run horizontally and looked fine.
yup, in quite a bit of new construction even at 19 3/16" o.c's, it becomes even more noticable in the baseboard and if chair rail is installed. because the issue compuonds. not to mention the board isnt as rigid, you can sometimes feel the wall flexing if you lean on it
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:43 PM   #12
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2x6 vs 2x4 Insulation Planning


I'd go 2X4 16" on center, and put rigid foam on the outside of the sheathing, under the siding. Breaking the thermal transfer through the studs makes a big difference. A conventional R-19 wall really only nets about R-13. Another major factor is controlling air leaks. Many feel that air leakage is a bigger contributor to heat loss than lack of insulation.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:49 PM   #13
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2x6 vs 2x4 Insulation Planning


Thanks kirk - I have not seen this, Although we use 2x6 studs.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:59 PM   #14
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2x6 vs 2x4 Insulation Planning


mae ling, this happens with both 2x6 and 2x4 walls be it interior or exterior

i also notice 24"o.c steel stud walls with the board hung vertically looks bad as well. you can see every joint unless hte drywallwers go to a level 4 finish
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