What is everyone's opinion on exterior framing. I am looking at 2x6 stacked framing (24"o/c)vs ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) - what is the best for the money? Any comments or opinions are welcome. Thanks
Here is an article on the subject from Building Sciences
I like 2x6 construction, the stacked method reduces the amount of wood used while not impacting the strength of the structure. The 2x6 exterior walls allow for more insulation a benefit in cold climates.
A home was recently built a couple of miles from my house with ICF. I think there is a lot of merit to this as well.
If you spray foamed the 2x6 you'd get a pretty tight house. Clearly the ICF gives a tight house. Another method worth looking into is insulated structural panel construction.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
The house I live in now has both 2x6 exterior wals as well as ICF's. I used ICF's for the basment walls, and 2x6, 24"oc for above ground walls, with spray foam.
I could not be happier. HVAC bills are 1/3 of my neighbors with smaller houses.
ICF construction above grade is used more and more for coastal areas (read hurricanes). Supposedly if you use ICF's with 6" of poured concrete, your R value is approaching 50, or so they say.
I can attesst to the fact that in 4 years I've only had to turn the heat on 2-3 times in the basement, as the temp is always 69-73.
Hope this helps a little.
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