Most people don’t think about how thick their house walls are when buying a home. In an effort to provide the lowest possible cost of a home to the buyer, most builders construct houses with perimeter walls using 2×4 wood studs. We use 2×6 wood studs in our perimeter house walls. They cost more, but they give us a 37% thicker wall and the thicker the wall cavity, the more insulation we can install. The 6” thick walls do cost more — more wood and more insulation, but they are better.
Insulation is graded by R-Value. R-Value is a measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat traveling through it. The higher the R-Value of the insulation is, the better the thermal performance of the insulation. The important thing to remember is that the higher the R-value, the cheaper it is to heat or cool your house.
There are all types of insulation products being used. Due to cost most production home builders use fiberglass batt insulation in their 4” thick walls. This inulation has an R-value of 13. As our base system, we use a sprayed cellulose insulation in our 6” thick perimeter house wall. This is Energy Star rated and has an R-value equal to 23. Then, we have an option to upgrade our system by spraying ½” thick Urethane foam and then installing a 5 1/2” thick fiberglass batt. This system is also Energy Star rated and has an R-value of 27.
Let’s all agree that the cost of energy will never go down. Our primary goal is to reduce utility bills and reduce your yearly operating cost of your home. Can we build with 2×4 walls, you bet and it will cost less, yes in the construction costs but not over the life of the home.