2x4 vs 2x6 spray foam insulation

i would still use dense-pack cellulose and 2x6 studs. Good luck! The Performance method uses software that allows trade offs between different elements of the building envelope. Much better today but not perfect. The framing component of the wall has zero foam and wood is about R 1 per inch. Homes were uncomfortable, expensive to condition and dangerous. What does your architect have to say about this? If the IRC is the applicable code, the only accepted standards for R values will be found in the relevant ICC Evaluation Service Report for each specific insulation material. Blower door test results are currently more important than R-value. 2x6 walls are bigger than 2x4 walls. Of course, the odds are the typical built-to-Code contractor has never even heard of anything Advanced other than payments. so that lowers the framing component. Ask him for a copy of a report of a house he has recently built. Cellulose or spray foam? Here are some types to discuss with your contractor, Learn what exactly spray foam is, the pros and cons of using it and why you shouldn’t mess around with installation, Block drafts to boost both warmth and energy savings with these inexpensive but effective insulating strategies, Learn about the pros and cons of healthier alternatives to fiberglass and foam, and when to consider an insulation switch, Get peace and quiet inside and energy efficiency all around with this heavy-duty alternative to wood-frame construction, Stay comfy during unpredictable weather — and prevent unexpected bills — by efficiently insulating and shading your home, Consider sheep’s wool, denim, cork, cellulose and more for an ecofriendly insulation choice, Get out and get inspired! Regardless of the code requirement, I recommend 2x6 studs and 5 1/2" dense-pack cellulose cavity insulation or 2x4 studs with 3 1/2" dense-pack cellulose cavity insulation with an inch or more continuous exterior insulation. Also ask him what requirements he is using. GBA also has some good articles on this. Most favor cellulose (or Rockwool) based on cost/performance issues. Springtime Builders - The assemblies they are constructing meet the full requirements of the code. We are proficient in SIPs, the ultimate in wall and roof performance per inch of thickness. Reducing infiltration and thermal bridging and having an r around mid 20s for your area would be ideal and cost effective. Ideally using metal studs for new walls you want to sound insulate would be optimum but may not apply to your situation. mud room with area to rinse off muddy boots and dog feet. There's no doubt that thermal performance and moisture/vapor control has been a major concern, ever since the 70's energy crisis when they started to tighten up homes. This method takes advantage of high performance windows and HVAC systems so developers often use it for new houses, The other Methods use one of the Prescriptive tables (R values or U value equivalents). A 2X6 configuration offers greater depth of wall cavities, which technically means that you can add more insulation and increase the R-value. According to this blog, exterior insulative sheathing (continuous insulation) is required in Ontario. lath stay or go? It would cost significantly more than foam sheathing and not be as effective. Ok rant done. It gets more confusing when sometimes people quote with the small addition of sheathing, drywall, siding and air films - another 2-3 or so. Involve the builder and rater during the design stage! Caulk is your friend. Obviously a milder climate than you. If you installed R-21 insulation batts why would you need another layer of exterior insulation? I think paying extra for spray foam is pretty much crazy if you don't also eliminate the thermal break through the studs. I asked about 2x6 studs and he explained that the value of the foam Mike - yes 5/8 drywall. Loose fill cellulose is almost R 20. How to Achieve R-21 in a 2x4 Wall. Big regret of mine. Somewhere in the assembly that air will meet its dew point and condense. In our area, there are not many experienced dense pack installers (cellulose or fiberglass). The denser a surface is the more sound it will block. Air infiltration is very important but can be addressed in a lower cost way. They're harder to lift and the headers on exterior walls require more work. There are other construction methods but for the mass builder this is the most economical and fastest method to meet the code minimum concerning R value. Very rarely do we insulate the exterior walls of new homes using spray foam (cost being the main factor). Two staggered 2x4 frame walls with exterior foam sheets and interior fiberglass or cellulose will get you a better thermal break, higher R value, and a much quieter house than 2x6 construction. Caulk is huge. All our homes are airconditioned and of course heated. I'm sure my second floor HVAC unit appreciates it, as do I when I store stuff up there. I know you're not here to promote that system but consumers are getting homes that perform worse than what is supposed to be cheapest allowed by law. The industry up there is doing a poor job of meeting minimum building requirements, just like down here. I would try to budget for at least an inch of foam if you can. They're harder to lift and the headers on exterior walls require more work. It has a sound reduction quotient of 26 which is a lot better than drywall. Low density is generally installed deliberately overflowing the cavit… And it does not matter the thickness, it will go above the joists, but get at least an R/30. I am waiting for those numbers right now. This component is roughly 20% of the wall so it will drag down the overall wall to about R-9. Literally everything else can be fixed or adjusted easily later if cost savings need to be in place. I’ve used all 3 methods. Buying the most insulation with the highest R value (insulation capabilities), and making the house "tight", or restricting the air flow between the outside and the inside. Sleek showers replaced tub-shower combos in these bathroom remodels. I would love to know how R value is determined by this 3rd party testing. If you can afford it, do the entire cavity. For a high performance wall, there are 2 options. I can't say if that meets your code without knowing what that code is but I would guess it is not compliant. He has, however, been very open to my ideas and questions with efficiency and is willing to do whatever I want. The values are supplied by the manufacturer and the product has to be installed properly. There are two elements to dramatically adjusting your heating bills when construction a home. Seems like a very minor cost to bump up the walls performance. Don't forget that windows and their placement are also part of the equation. I'm in the design process of building a home in SW Michigan. Get the RES Check software and try different configurations. In your area, I'd be tempted to do 2x6 with 1 in foam also. If you want to seal it up nice and tight, maybe consider just 1", and then going over it with batt insulation for the rest of the stud depth. You might be surprised how important air sealing and roof insulation are. It makes for a solid house, and gives the room for the extra and affordable fiberglass. All of these and more are factors that should be considered when deciding what wall system to build for your specific Climate region. I'd also consider getting an energy audit company to do a blower door test after insulation, windows and doors are installed to find leaks before the drywall. Spray Foam Insulation has 7. Its not difficult. Learn what exactly spray foam is, the pros and cons of using it and why you shouldn’t mess around with installation, A budget-friendly redo turns a ho-hum pool house into a beachy oasis for entertaining and hosting houseguests, Designers are embracing the once common but recently overlooked square tile in kitchens and bathrooms, Learn about the pros and cons of healthier alternatives to fiberglass and foam, and when to consider an insulation switch. Unfortunately for cold climates, the integrated foam structural sheathing offerings are not thick enough to meet the recommended minimums above. The cost for 2x6 was essentially zero since going with 24 O.C. Exterior rigid foam is the way to go, in my opinion. The thicker walls also allow additional foam to be placed at the window headers - large framing component. It eliminates tyvek which is installed wrong 90% of the time. Insulation for 2x6 Walls Some newer homes may have walls built with 2x6 studs. From GBA's Calculating the Minimum Thickness of Rigid Foam Sheathing: Climate Zone Minimum R-Value of Foam Sheathing, Marine Zone 4 R-2.5 for 2x4 walls; R-3.75 for 2x6 walls, Zone 5 R-5 for 2x4 walls; R-7.5 for 2x6 walls, Zone 6 R-7.5 for 2x4 walls; R-11.25 for 2x6 walls, Zones 7 and 8 R-10 for 2x4 walls; R-15 for 2x6 walls. No, no, no. I'm not saying this is the ultimate/perfect system. With that said, I would probably go with 2x6 in any MI climate, just be sure it has enough insulative sheathing R-value to keep it dry. If you want economical, spray foam ain’t it. Do your research and ask questions. So it is possible (but unlikely) that it is code compliant in your jurisdiction but it is also likely that local inspectors fall for the foam concept. 2x6 is around r-15 at best. Going to the 2x4 wall with R-5 exterior insulation reduces your wall heat transfer by about a third. An easy solution to the OP's concerns would be Huber's Zip Insulated R-Sheathing. These builders are huge, they are not building manufactured homes (zoning bylaws do not permit them). Should help make the house even more quiet. It is a great product and I would recommend it for all sheating systems.It does not add that much cost to the project and is well worth it. Ideally using metal studs for new walls you want to sound insulate would be optimum but may not apply to your situation. Or just do it after the entire drywall is installed if you have enough room to get bags of insulation up there and enough room to move around.. Or you could crosscut the insulation, whatever is easier...Make sure to wear gloves, mask and get razor knife with plenty of blades. That is true when it comes to air sealing but R value is R value and code specifies R value. Our open-cell foam product has an R-Value of 3.5 per inch and in most applications, a house constructed with 2x4 studs will have 3.5 inches of open cell foam thus resulting in a total R-value of 12. A few questions for impartial commenters that I didn't want to ask the build: Is 15lb felt on a roof with a 8/12 pitch adequate, or does it need to be 30lb? R does not always need to be super high (mid r30s and up) to hit very efficient. If you have many then this may be more important than wall construction from an insulation/energy standpoint. energy efficient home? Make sure that all cracks are filled, including top and bottom plates and corners. Focusing on the walls can be a mistake. Cavity insulation becomes less important with good blower door results and exterior insulative sheathing. He’s employed by the building company. It is generally significantly cheaper to do other methods. 2x6 walls with cavity-only insulation in Canada and "closed up box...artificial environment" descriptions are good examples. Fiberglass batts are R3.5 for every inch, but spray foam insulation is R7 for every inch. Would both choices be adequate for a 3,300sqft home with 12ft ceilings in common areas and 10ft ceilings in bedrooms or is the bid kinda skimping on equipment for reduced cost? For the Prescriptive Method it can be difficult to comply with the minimum wall cavity R value requirement of 20 (no exterior insul. The amount of garbage info from builders at times is frustrating. Of the surfaces in your building envelope, attic/ceilings and walls should be the priority for insulation and it sounds like your house is well-insulated in that regard. There's tons of information out there. Batts are typically the poorest performing type of cavity insulation. He did say, for an additional $2.5K (ballpark) that we could use 2x6 with the 3" of spray foam along with fiberglass insulation behind it. No, no, no to open cell foam in your area. My builder is planning to use 2x4 exterior wall studs with open cell spray foam insulation. Mehr erfahren. Insulation blankets (batts and rolls) Spray foam insulation Foam board insulation Note that the material the insulation is made from will change the R-value as well. I did a little checking and our OBC Supplement SB12 that covers this in detail was adopted in 2012, updated in 2016 and I believe there are some further amendments for 2018. I'm in the design process of building a home in SW Michigan. Yes I asked him that specific question and he said open cell. Any suggestions on sound insulation for both interior and exterior wal, Flash and Batt insulation....yes, no, maybe. Sound is a big factor and this will be a quiet house. Head out there after your framer leaves for the day and go to town. Personally I would not use fiberglass anywhere ever. I have used it to build out recording studios. In SW Michigan, a 2x4 wall with open cell foam is not code compliant unless you have rigid foam somewhere in the mix. Here are links to ESR-3458 and ESR-1826 for two low density spray foam cavity insulations. I am trying to do my own research and keep finding conflicting viewpoints like this that says closed cell is a waste of money: https://www.finehomebuilding.com/membership/pdf/184243/021269086NRGnerd.pdf. Due to lack of competition and the extra labor involved, it's equally affordable to use open cell spray foam in wall cavities. R-1000 walls could perform worse than R-1 walls depending on air leakage. The bulk of new single family residential homes here in southern Ontario would require a minimum R value of 24 based upon the insulation only and the fact that heating equipment greater than 90% efficiency is mandatory. The SIP wall would be more like R25, or more if you use the polyiso insulation in the SIPS. Even leaky, all natural homes can have poor indoor air quality. For some of the prescriptions, like blower door minimums, it's cost-effective to exceed code. I am doing 2x6 with 24 inch O.C. With any of these products it pays to get someone who can install the insulation correctly ensuring no voids or gaps. It looks like Ontario has adopted similar IRC mandatory exterior insulative sheathing. He claims that their homes go through 3rd party testing and that they far exceed requirements, but he has never provided me with any specific R-value numbers. Tore out plaster ect. It is a weather resistive barrier. Learn how heat moves through a home and the materials that can stop it, to make sure your insulation is as effective as you think, Insulation offers one of the best paybacks on your investment in your house. Finding a contractor who is used to doing that and doesn't overcharge for the additional effort can be a challenge. Most high performance builders are exceeding code with exterior insulation as code encourages risky wall strategies, hence the recommended minimum table I first posted about. Per saperne di più. to choose 2x4 or 2x6, he chose 2x4 although the trend in Boston was 2x6. The 2×4 wall with R-3 exterior insulation and the 2×6 wall both reduce the heat flow through walls by about a quarter (22% and 25% respectively). Zone 5 is the warmest zone that can still comply with the R20 cavity-only requirement. "What is more cost effective, using (A) 2x4 with spray foam insulation, (B) 2x4 with batts and exterior sheathing, or (C) 2x6 with Pink Panther insulation?". 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