Imagine for just a minute that builders have been using RASTRA for the past 100 years instead of wood to construct exterior walls. What kind of response could we expect from a builder if we presented wood as an alternative to the concrete RASTRA solution they were used to? I can see it now . . .
"Mr. Builder, I’d like to introduce you to a breakthrough in construction – we call this product the wood framed wall. It’s cheap! While it does cost slightly less upfront, I have to warn you that it warps, shrinks, cracks, rots, burns and isn’t as strong as the walls you’re used to. Did I mention that it's organic and susceptible to mold and insects, so it’s probably not good to let the wood get wet during construction.
I think you’ll like working with wood but wood framing does create air leaks and the 2x4 itself has an R-value of only about R-3.5, but don’t worry about that, the framing members only make up 27% of the average wall.
Some buyers may object to fact that we cut down over 2 acres of forest to build the average home but a lot of buyers don’t really care all that much.
Once the wood frame wall is constructed, we add fiberglass to the wall cavity to insulate the walls, except of course where there are framing members, corners or intersections. Speaking of wall cavity, try to seal the building as tight as you can so moisture doesn’t get in there or else mold is going to grow, and you know what mold does to wood! Don’t worry about making the building too tight, the idea that buildings need to breathe to be healthy is overrated.
Make sure when your electrician and plumber install their lines that they don’t compress the insulation because that reduces its R-value by about half. You’re going to save a little money with fiberglass so the homeowner doesn’t need to know that fiberglass loses about 40% of its thermal capacity at 20˚F, actually half its R-value at 0˚ if you can believe that. In fact, unless your buyer brings it up, you don’t want to mention that their energy costs are going to double.
They may also see a slight increase in their insurance premium but by the time they figure that out it will be too late. Here’s my price list but it’s only good for 30 days, wood pricing tends to fluctuate quite a bit”.
Thanks for visiting.