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Community and Q&A

Estimating the Cost of an Exterior Wall Assembly

geebee_austin | Posted in General Questions on

Does anyone happen to have numbers on the installed cost of a quality, building-science-based, wood-framed, exterior wall system per linear foot? I know this is an “it depends” question, but any data that anyone has would be appreciated. Knowing the general location from where the data was sourced would be helpful. (We are in Austin, TX.) If possible, the cost would include the entire system, including finishes.
Thanks very much to anyone who can help. My google search was not successful.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Kiley Jacques | | #1

    The variables really are too many but I would recommend asking Expert Member Armando Cobo, an architect in your area. You may be able to rough out your scenario enough that he could give you an educated estimate. Then, again, he might say, "It depends."

    1. geebee_austin | | #3

      Thanks, Kiley. Yes, I figured that too many details were undefined. Thanks for the suggestion to contact Armando, as I have been wanting to connect with him anyway.
      A huge thank you to all of you for doing the BS+Beer Show! I am a loyal viewer and always learn something new. (I am also a subscriber to GBA and FHB - Both great resources.)

  2. Expert Member


    I'm glad you weren't able to find anything useful on a google search. What you would have ended up with would have been terrible misleading numbers to base any decisions on. This isn't an "it depends" question, it's a "the variables make any estimate useless" one. You would have a much better chance of getting a reasonable result by taking a standard wall assembly for your area and finding out what the cost to add specific upgrades (like say exterior insulation) would be. If you pursue this route, remember to get the results in square not linear feet, as it is the area not the length of the walls that matters.

  3. geebee_austin | | #4

    Thanks for your reply, Malcolm. As mentioned, I figured it wasn't a fair question. I was just trying to get a ballpark idea or a range to see how a properly designed and installed high performance wall compares in price to alternative wall systems. I know that the additional labor of the high performance layers and techniques is significant, but I suspect that no one has that kind of data. And while I'm fantasising, it would great to know the energy and dollar paybacks on some of the upgrades. Maybe someday.

  4. plumb_bob | | #5

    A major factor is how experienced the construction crew is with a certain assembly. Most crews will have a wall assembly as their "go to" and they will be very fast with this as they have worked out the details and have developed a system for that certain wall.

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