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Community and Q&A

2 x 6 wall detail

jumanji | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Hello, We are planning a new home in Glenmoore, Pa. We are located in Southeastern
Pa., climate zone 4a. I think it may be wise to insulate for the next colder climate zone of 5A. First, it seems to me to make sense to spend additional monies up front. The builder is open to new ideas and is open to building the home to be more energy efficient. Can anyone point me to a place where I can find a wall detail that utilizes 2″ rigid foam on the outside. The builder has not done a home utilizing anything more than 1″ foam on the exterior. I would like to show him a detail using 2″ rigid foam and HardiePlank siding. He has a fear of hanging a heavy siding on furring strips on top of 2″ foam. Additionally, would 2 x 6 spaced 24″ apart make sense?

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    The GBA detail library has hundreds of details; here's one you might want to share with your builder:

    And here is a link to an article on the topic: How to Install Rigid Foam Sheathing.

    Concerning the furring strips question -- you may want to read this article: Fastening Furring Strips to a Foam-Sheathed Wall.

  2. jumanji | | #2

    Martin Holladay,
    Thanks for the quick response. One additional question about the link to the wall detail. It appears to me it fails to specify an exterior sheathing. I have looked at the wall detail and cannot find a spec for the exterior sheathing.

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    That particular detail -- which is only an example -- uses rigid foam as the wall sheathing. If you go this route, you'll need to come up with a wall bracing plan. Here is a link to an article that explains wall bracing for foam-sheathed walls:
    Four Options for Shear Bracing Foam-Sheathed Walls.

    If you want, you can instead sheathe your walls with OSB or plywood, and install the rigid foam on the exterior side of the OSB or plywood.

    There are lots of articles on these topics here at GBA. Click all of the dozens of links in the article I proposed that you read -- How to Install Rigid Foam Sheathing -- and you'll find that most of your questions will be answered.

    However, if all this is new to you and your builder, then probably you shouldn't be designing your wall. You probably either need (a) to find a builder who understands these issues, or (b) to talk to an architect.

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