What type of insulation should I put on the exterior of my new home?
Building a new raised bungalow in Ontario. 2x6 framed walls with r22 batt insulation and vapour barrier on the inside and just house wrap on the outside was what the original plans called for but I see many new homes wrapping the exterior with rigid insulation, benefits worth the cost? Any specific product recommendations?
Beyond the environmental benefits of a better insulated house in terms of reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, a better-insulated house will save you money and the payback period or ‘return on investment’ is pretty quick. Start here on our page that explains the benefits of more energy efficient homes –
Are better insulated homes worth the money?
That wall assembly you mention with 2x6 studs and fiberglass batts would not even meet Ontario Building Code anymore. Many regional building codes can get a little complicated and Ontario is no exception, but you would likely also need R7 continuous insulation on the exterior as well. The most common rigid insulation used on the exterior of buildings is EPS foam, there are options but EPS would be the easiest go-to, and more easily accessible, read more here about choosing the best rigid insulation for exterior walls.
Our recommendation would be that whatever insulation type you choose, extra R value beyond building code is always a good thing. A very common mistake among homeowners and builders is not thinking about the long game and the energy savings and added durability that comes from a better-insulated home. You don’t need to go all the way to Passive House performance, but a better-insulated home often pays for itself in the very short term, and always in the long term.