There are several different ways to build a house, each having their own advantages and disadvantages. The most common approach is called ‘stick-built’, which refers to the 2x dimensional lumber used to construct a wall. Stick-built walls, which are comprised of the dimensional lumber, sheathing, and insulation, are normally assembled at the location of the structure being built. An alternative approach to building residential and light commercial structures are called SIPs (or what are sometimes referred to as tiny house SIP panels).
It’s the Tiny Living design and I think he did an awesome job. He built this to prepare for the real thing since the weather is too cold right now up where he lives, near Boston. Once it warms up a little he plans to start construction of the actual house. If the attention to detail of this model is any indication, I expect it will be a good one!
I get this question every once and a while and I figured I would answer it here in case anyone else was curious.
A: You can use 2×6 studs for the exterior walls and roof. Here are a few pros and cons:
- A larger wall and roof cavity allows more room for insulation (which is usually the driver for wanting the wider boards)
- Stronger (although a stronger wall is likely unnecessary, 2×6 rafters could be better if you expect the roof to support a large load from snow)
- Less room. Because a tiny house is restricted by the total height and width, a thicker sub floor, walls and roof means less room on the inside.
- More expensive. 2×6 lumber is more expensive then 2×4’s, but not by much. However, the extra cost of the insulation (depending on the type used) can be significant.
- Heavier. All that extra wood is going to add extra weight to the house. A 2×6 has about 57% more wood than a 2×4. The framing only makes up a portion of the total weight of the house but it is still a consideration (thanks Ian!)
- Be sure to order your doors and windows with a wider jamb to accommodate the wider studs.