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2X6 or 2X4 Exterior Studs for New House?

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2X6 or 2X4 Exterior Studs for New House?

Old 01-02-2019, 05:45 AM
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Default 2X6 or 2X4 Exterior Studs for New House?

For new construction, one story single family home, 10 and 12 foot ceilings. Are there a good reasons to go with 2X6 versus 2X4 studs? Architect suggests using 2X6. Builders that we’ve talked with say that 2X4 with required metal straps are plenty strong, that difference in insulation values is negligible and that you gain 2” of useable interior floor space for perimeter distance with 2X4’s. Architect says those points are all correct but still suggests 2X6. Construction cost is about $2,000 less with 2X4.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:51 AM
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Higher r value on insulting 2x6 over 2x4.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:54 AM
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I built my house 3 years ago. 2x6 walls no question. You can get more insulation (higher R value) in the wall for lower utility costs. More room to run electric/plumbing/gas/etc. I also did closed cell foam insulation in my walls. Apparently this adds rigidity, but has little R value. The largest benefit I have seen with the foam is the noise reduction from wind/rain. It has to be blowing 25-30 and raining sideways for me to hear what's going on outside. It definitely added cost up front, but my utility bills are extremely low compared to other homes in the area. I haven't done the math but I am almost certain I've broke even already.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:56 AM
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Does that estimate include the additional cost for window and door trim?

I would build with 2 x 6.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:01 AM
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We went 2X6, and other than being stronger and better to insulate, you get 2 extra inches on your window sills, which adds a nice look.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:05 AM
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.
10 and 12 ft ceilings?? go with 2x6 just like the architect says -

In the long run 2k extra is negligible
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:08 AM
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2x6 is code up here.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:10 AM
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Also built mine with 2x6. The other advantage besides the ones already pointed out is when someone slams the front door the whole wall does not shake with 2x6. There are also minor costs such as extended door jams.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:11 AM
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The only walls we built with 2x6s are the 2 story ones. If the have a lot of windows the insulation value of the wall will be dominated by the windows (do the math). Spend the matter where the savings pay off or on stuff you can touch...
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:17 AM
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2x6 is required in my county in order to have enough volume to meet insulation code for exterior walls (cost effectively). Code aside, 2x6 for higher R value insulation and other benefits mentioned above is the way to go and will pay for itself quickly.

Do not skimp on insulation and air sealing! It is a one time expense that pays for the entire life of the structure. It never wears out!
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeloew View Post
Also built mine with 2x6. The other advantage besides the ones already pointed out is when someone slams the front door the whole wall does not shake with 2x6. There are also minor costs such as extended door jams.
Extended door jambs? That's a new one...

Originally Posted by ericinmich View Post
The only walls we built with 2x6s are the 2 story ones. If the have a lot of windows the insulation value of the wall will be dominated by the windows (do the math). Spend the matter where the savings pay off or on stuff you can touch...
I disagree completely. This is why most of the homes built nowadays won't last 100 years. Spend your money building the bones/guts are best as you can afford....then upgrade to granite countertops, nice tile, and hardwood later. All the stuff you can touch can be easily upgraded post construction.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:24 AM
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A stud frame home is somewhat rare in Florida these days. I wish our CBS home had some insulation like a stud frame home has....
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:26 AM
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I've heard staggered 2x4's was a superior method to 2x6?
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:29 AM
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When I built my last home in Pennsylvania my only regret was having it framed with 2 x 4s. Wish I would've went 2 x 6.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:33 AM
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If you are going with 10 and 12’ walls I would go with a 2x6. Trying to find straight 2x4’s in stud length is bad enough, I can’t imagine how many you would cull through for 10 and 12 footers. You will have a much stronger structure with the 2x6 exterior walls. Also depends on how long you plan to stay in the home. I would think the additional costs for door jambs and window sills would be negligible.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:33 AM
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Neither. Why? Termites. I haven't seen a quality frame house built around here in years. CBS, steel studs for partition walls.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
I've heard staggered 2x4's was a superior method to 2x6?
For what?
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:44 AM
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Does the home have a lot of windows? You might easily have better ROI on upgrading their R values vs spending it on 2x6 construction. Like I said, you are the architect can do the heating/cooling calculation for your house.

Sure, as a guy 2x6 is better, heck why not 2x8. it must be better yet!

Or do a little math, engineer like stuff, and see what makes sense.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Cajun Martini View Post
For new construction, one story single family home, 10 and 12 foot ceilings. Are there a good reasons to go with 2X6 versus 2X4 studs? Architect suggests using 2X6. Builders that we’ve talked with say that 2X4 with required metal straps are plenty strong, that difference in insulation values is negligible and that you gain 2” of useable interior floor space for perimeter distance with 2X4’s. Architect says those points are all correct but still suggests 2X6. Construction cost is about $2,000 less with 2X4.
Since your building new, I would highly suggest insulation for the interior wall. Simple bat insulation is fine. Its amazing how it cuts down on noise
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Onewolf View Post
A stud frame home is somewhat rare in Florida these days. I wish our CBS home had some insulation like a stud frame home has....

Several of my buddies built CB homes during the boom years ago. They all insulated the block walls with foam insulation shot in through holes placed by the installer. Isonean, or something close to that was the name. Their heating and A/C bills are crazy low!

Also.....

One of them treated the foundation trench with some termite pesticide he had from the 60's. treated all the wood used to frame all the doorway as well. There's a real problem with termites in most area's of FL. Although the builder treats as well, it's not going to be anything near as good as you would do.

Last edited by spraynet 1; 01-02-2019 at 06:57 AM.
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