2×4 vs 2×6 Framing, Which Is Better?

Some realtors have asked recently if the construction on the house that was built was 2×4 or 2×6 construction? What is 2×6 construction? It is the 2×6 stud that is used to frame the exterior walls and doors around the whole house. 2×4 studs are used for interior walls that are non supportive, and not the exterior frame. Whether a house is built by 2×4 or 2×6 may or may not be importnant to you. However, it is something you should think about and decide when deciding to build or purchasing.

When building or purchasing your dream house, there are a various opinions regarding 2×6 construction. Some would say, that it is cheaper to build with 2×4’s, because there is less wood, and less cost, plus it requires less insulation. One builder I heard from stated ” 2×6’s may add an increase in depth for and to include a ‘thicker’ insulation but this insulation alone will not insulate a home ‘better’ than a 2×4 wall with proper treatment…”

I would disagree. The benefit of more insulation is long term. It can increase energy efficiency, and if combined with 2×6’s with a 24-inch center, rather than 16 inch,can reduce labor cost. I also can allow for more spacing for insulating around pipes, wiring, duct work, and also provide more room for R-19 or R-21 wall insulation. It is far more economical in houses that are in a more harsh weather climate, or homes in which windows and doors occupy 10 percent or less of the total wall area.

There are some significant costs to 2×6 construction, the window and door jambs must be wider, requiring the purchase of a jamb extender which can increase the cost by $12 to $15 per opening. The cost of 2x6x8′ studs is 40% more than 2x4x8′ studs. On top of that, there are the bottom and the two top plates. Then there is the added cost for the extra insulation, as well as deeper windowsills.

Some contractors will say that 2×4 construction is structurally as good as 2×6. 2×4 framing can easily support the house structure and weight. Most would agree, the main saving is in the insulation and the energy benefits. I prefer 2×6, and most Realtors and buyers ask about this, and prefer it as well. Is it necessary? Its debatable,. All of my houses that I built were 2×6, and I think the costs paid off.

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  1. […] kitchen that is walled off from the TV viewing area. One other thing to look for is if it is built 2×4 construction or 2×6 construction. There are different reasons for choosing either one, 2×4 is cheaper, however, 2×6 on […]

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