Has there ever been a time when ingenuity played a bigger role in home building?

With land, labor, and materials in short supply, the home builder often has to come up with Plan B (or a great explanation for Plan A).

Home builders like Emerson Clauss of Massachusetts-based Allegiance Construction know that pain. “I had a client ask me for a door. We waited six months to get it,” he says.

Then there’s Jeff Head, owner and operator of Head’s Construction in Evansville, Indiana. He remembers when 2x4 dimensional lumber was $2.64. Now it’s closer to $10. The same is true for a once $8 panel of OSB sheathing. Today, that panel price is near $50 or more.

For some, it’s time to consider Plan B.

That’s what Michael Craddock and his son, Michael Jr., owners and operators of M Squared Homebuilders, did. The metro Nashville, Tennessee, infill home building specialists needed to trim construction costs without sacrificing quality. Lumber packages that were once $45,000 were racing past $60,000 or more, depending on house size.

R-20 Code Compliance

To make matters more challenging, some of the areas the Craddocks serve adopted the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code, which mandates a minimum R-20 exterior wall insulation. The old way wasn’t working. The search was on.

They soon spotted an intriguing Instagram post. Another home builder praised a structural OSB alternative that checked lots of boxes. What did the Craddocks have to lose? If this delivered as reported, they had something special.

Up to $3,500 per House Savings

What they discovered and installed “… saves us money and does a lot of things that OSB does not,” explains Michael Sr. So much so, Craddock admits he “would immediately change lumber companies if my current supplier stopped offering it.”

The “it” is OX-IS structural continuous insulation, an all-in-one OSB sheathing and housewrap solution that checks boxes for savings, performance, and installation ease:

  • Savings. “It saves us about $3,000 to $3,500 per house compared to using OSB and housewrap,” Craddock explains. “It’s rewarding to find a product like this that is code-compliant, eliminates thermal breaks, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.”
  • Performance. OX-IS is offered in three thicknesses, rated from R-3 to R-10. The Craddocks use the R-6 thickness with blow-in cellulose to achieve R-20 without resorting to more costly 2x6 lumber. The continuous insulation feature also delivers an impressive blower door test rating of just 2.54 (ACH50), putting it in the top 1%.
  • Installation Ease. Trying to stand up a wall built with standard OSB is a major production. Lighter weight OX-IS eliminates the weight issue. “We build the framing and install the sheathing while it’s on the ground and stand it right up,” Craddock says.

The Craddocks are pleased Plan B turned into their go-to Plan A. “We’re committed to building the best homes we can,” Michael Sr. reflects. “We found a product that costs less with better quality. You can’t ask for more than that.”

Learn more about how OX-IS structural continuous insulation saves money and time as well as helps meet code.