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Community and Q&A

Insulating with exterior foam and cladding choices

thanacek | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

We are having a home built in Gunnison, CO, a dry, high altitude climate. Annual precipitation around 10″ with summertime highs around 80 (no air conditioning) and wintertime lows down to -30 degrees Fahrenheit. Currently, we have 2×6 walls sheathed in OSB. We plan on a wet spray application of cellulose in the wall cavities and adding foam to the exterior. My question is, what is the proper order of layers on the exterior wall after the OSB? We would like to use 2-3″ of foam with a traditional
3-layer stucco exterior. Our other option is 2-3″ of foam with cedar or fiberboard cement siding. We plan for the walls to breath to the interior with no vapor barrier in between the cellulose and the sheetrock walls. Thank you in advance for advice!

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    GBA has several articles that will help you answer your questions.

    First of all, stucco is a slow-drying cladding that can be problematic. In your dry climate, however, it might work. I still recommend that you include an air gap behind the stucco. More information here: To Install Stucco Right, Include an Air Gap.

    Concerning your other questions, check out this article -- and don't forget to click the links and read the other articles if you need more information: How to Install Rigid Foam Sheathing.

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