05:44PM | 10/23/01
Member Since: 10/22/01
1 lifetime posts
Planning to build 2nd house. First house was in MN and was it standard to build exterior walls using 2x6's.

Moved to lower Michigan and have decide to build a basic 2 story "saltbox". The contractor I am considering tells me that it is standard here to build exterior walls with 2x4's. He will build with 2x6's if I so desire but at an xtra cost.

What are the advantages of a 2x6 wall over one built with 2x4's? Is it a structual/strength issue? An insulation issue? (The walls would be insulated to same necessary R value, correct? Same zone as my previous house)

What would be the main advantage of a 2x6 wall over 2x4?

Please clear this up for me?




05:57PM | 10/23/01
Member Since: 09/23/01
242 lifetime posts
I'd find another contractor??? Unless he is planning on using 3 1/2" R-15 batts in the walls and a 1/2" layer of foam board on the inside. The reason for the 2x6" walls is insulation...the standard is R-19. You cannot stuff R-19 into a 3 1/2" wall cavity and achive R-19 rating!


03:15AM | 10/24/01
Member Since: 10/19/98
223 lifetime posts
Yes, 2x4 is normal construction practice. And, yes, r-19 is available in 3-1/2" batts.

Don't worry about the 2x4 construction. Your house will still be warm and cozy and the heating bills won't bankrupt you.

BTW - Even though its lower Michib=gan, you'll still think its springtime compared to MN winters!! (lol)


05:16PM | 10/24/01
Member Since: 09/23/01
242 lifetime posts
I'd like to know where you can get fiberglass batts that are 3 1/2" thick and =R-19. Owens Corning and Johns Manville only make high density batts 3 1/2" = R-15.

Yes your total wall system may equal R-19 but its not the same as having R-19 in the stud cavity.


03:46AM | 10/25/01
Member Since: 10/19/98
223 lifetime posts
DH - I stand corrected. It is the total of the wall, not just the batts.

Regardless, I still stand by my statement that 2x4 is suufficient in lower Michigan.

That said - good luck finding a builder that will switch to 2x6 studs. All will do it for a price - some for just the difference in material cost, others will add a "surcharge" to the extra materials cost. The materials do cost more - nothing is free. Is it worth it? Only you can make that determination. Do consider that the climate in Lower Michigan is not as severe as MN.


04:25PM | 11/05/01
Member Since: 11/04/01
14 lifetime posts
lets see more insulation stronger walls the energy savings would pay for this upgrade in time id go with the 2x6

David Poust

07:48AM | 11/27/01
Member Since: 10/22/01
2 lifetime posts
It's an interesting topic. Just to add my thoughts. If you count in the studs every 16" then really you only have an R4.5 with 2x4 and R7.2 with 2x6 due to the break in insulation. A way to stop this is to apply a continueous layer of insulation board to the exterior and taping the joints. Here are some stats on different boards. Owens PRO-PINK rigid board (T&G) 2"=R10.0; CELOTEX TUFF-R fiberglass polymer faced 2 sides 2"=R16.0; & extruded polystyrene insulation board 2"=R10.0. 3/8" plywood will give you another .47 and the air space should give .97. This along with a housewrap should keep you toasty in any weather. Now compare the cost?? Just another way to approach the issue.


06:44PM | 03/23/14
when did they start going to 2x6 walls?


01:58PM | 09/24/15
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