Southwest Nebraska sounds like the kind of place that gets all kinds of weather: hot and occasionally humid summers, cold winters, and by many accounts lots of wind. This is where Nicholas C will be building his house, and the question is, how?
He’s done so much reading on the subject that he’s now confused by the number of options he has. Getting it right is important because Nicholas plans on living in the house for a long time.
His best thinking so far? A 2×8 stud wall framed on 16-inch centers and insulated with blown-in cellulose, then wrapped in 2 inches of rigid foam insulation.
Spacing studs farther apart would mean a savings in lumber, and less thermal bridging through the framing. But for purposes of hanging drywall and cabinets, 24-inch on-center framing doesn’t interest him.
“How does my method sound?” he asks in a Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor. “I am aware spray foam offers better insulation, but I believe it may be too costly.”
Other possibilities he’s considering include using more rigid foam inside the stud bays, or sealing walls with a thin coat of spray foam and then filling the remainder of the stud bays with cellulose (what’s called the “flash and fillt” method).
“Is my method flawed?” Nicholas asks. “Have I combined too many methods into one big mess?”
That’s the focus for this Q&A Spotlight.
Walls framed with 2x8s are really heavy
For one thing, warns Maine builder Dan Kolbert, those 2×8 walls will be very heavy, and more expensive than building a double 2×4 wall.
“I think you’ll find your idea is perhaps the least cost-effective method,” he writes.
Kolbert can buy an 8-foot 2×4 for $3.25, and a 2×8 of the same length for $7.45,…
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