This Tennessee homebuilder cuts exterior wall costs by up to $3,500


Was there ever a time when ingenuity played a bigger role in building houses?

With a shortage of land, labor and materials, the home builder often has to come up with a 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 who asked 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 2×4 dimension lumber was $2.64. Now it’s closer to $10. Same goes for an $8 OSB sheathing board. Today, that panel price is close to $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. Metro Nashville, Tennessee fills the home building specialists needed to reduce construction costs without sacrificing quality. Bundles of wood that once cost $45,000 were over $60,000 or more, depending on the size of the house.

R-20 Code Compliance

To make matters more difficult, some of the areas the Craddocks serve have adopted the International Energy Savings Code 2018, which requires minimum R-20 exterior wall insulation. The old method did not work. The search was on.

They quickly spotted an intriguing Instagram post. Another homebuilder praised a structural OSB alternative that ticked many boxes. What did the Craddocks have to lose? If it was delivered as stated, they had something special.

Up to $3,500 per home savings

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

The “it” is Continuous structural insulation OX-ISan all-in-one OSB sheathing and wrap solution that ticks the boxes for savings, performance and ease of installation:

  • Savings. “It saves us about $3,000 to $3,500 per house compared to using OSB and household wrap,” says Craddock. “It’s gratifying to find a product like this that’s up to code, eliminates thermal breakage, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.”
  • Performance. OX-IS is offered in three thicknesses, rated from R-3 to R-10. Craddocks use R-6 thickness with blown cellulose to achieve R-20 without resorting to more expensive 2×6 lumber. The continuous insulation feature also offers an impressive blower door test rating of just 2.54 (ACH50), putting it in the top 1%.
  • Ease of installation. Trying to pitch a wall built with standard OSB panels is a major production. The lighter OX-IS eliminates the weight problem. “We build the frame and install the cladding while it’s on the ground and we hold it upright,” says Craddock.

The Craddocks are thrilled that Plan B has become their Plan A. “We’re committed to building the best homes possible,” says Michael Sr. “We found a cheaper product with better quality. You can’t ask for more than that.

Learn more on how OX-IS Structural Continuous Insulation saves money and time while helping to meet code.


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