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The originators of 2x6 style framing sold us on the idea of changing to 24" OC instead of 16" OC to keep total lumber cost similar but other drawbacks exist with such wide spacing of studs, such as wavy walls.
In fact, using 2x4s can be cheaper AND more efficient as far as insulation goes.
First, if one uses 2x6s one not only increases the cost to insulate, one also increases the cost in windows and doors sicne jambs must be ordered or constructed to fit a 2x6 rather than a 2x4 wall.
Second, 2x6s may add an increase in depth for and to include a 'thicker' insulation but this insulation alone will not insulate a home 'better' than a 2x4 wall with proper treatment...
Here is how most 'pros' do it:
-Construct 2x4 walls. (There is no less structural difference between that and 2x6) construction...
-Add 1 " of foam insulation on the outside of the house. This creates a thermal barrier that increases the insulating factor much mor greatly than simply increases the wall dimensions to 2x6. This also decreases the chance for condensation to form in walls. Eliminates the need for housewrap, builder paper, or other secondary weather barrier beneath siding.
- Eliminates the need for another and more costly 'backer' beneath vinyl siding...
Only 2x4 construction for me...with 1" foam insulation over sheathing on the outside. Compressed R-13 on the inside.