How to keep house framing relatively simple, inexpensive and better than code?
I have a house design that I hope to build that is approximately 900 square feet, consisting of a story and a half. Second story has short knee walls and a ceiling that follows the roof line until 8′ at which point it will be flat. The south side of the house has a shed dormer to gain headroom and windows.
I would like to keep this pretty simple. I want a “pretty good house” but not a Passivehaus or a LEED house (I would rather put that money into the actual house). I plan to use 24″ on center advanced framing, and want to do balloon framing, making continuous studs for the first floor and short second story wall. I am considering using 2×8″ for studs. I plan to used dense pack cellulose, with drywall on the interior and plywood or zip board sheathing on the exterior (probably not OSB). Probably using Tyvek or a similar better product.
For environmental reasons, I DO NOT like foam products and really don’t want to use them other than to fill RO gaps with spray foams for doors and windows. I would like to avoid exterior insulation. The house will likely have an HRV and minisplits for heating, in addition to solar gain from the south facing windows. The house is in Colorado, zone 5.
I just want to keep this relatively simply, KISS and not expensive. I think a truly greener house is smaller and economically scalable, so average people can afford them.