SIPs FAQ

What Are SIPs?

Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are a new building material that saves time and money by prefabricating panels that consist of an insulating foam core sandwiched between two structural facings, typically oriented strand board (OSB). SIPs can be used for roofing, outer walls or interior enclosures.  SIPs are manufactured under factory controlled conditions and can be fabricated to fit nearly any building design. The result is a building system that is extremely strong, energy efficient and cost effective. Building with SIPs will save you time, money and labor.

How much faster can I build with SIPs?

A Country Custom Cabin SIP installation crew can save a significant amount of time.  If your foundation is set, the structure can be up in as little as 2 days, weather permitting. Because the products are pre-manufactured, an entire wall or section of roof can be put up very fast.  SIPs are ready for installation when they arrive at your building site.

How much money can I save with SIPs?

Builders can save money through decreased construction and labor costs. The structures are so energy efficient, HVAC equipment can be downsized and ductwork minimized.  Worksite waste is also minimized.  Homeowners that incorporate other energy-efficient features into a SIP home can see utility savings of 50% or more.

How green are SIPs?

Structural insulated panels are one of the most environmentally responsible building systems available. A SIP building envelope provides continuous insulation, is extremely airtight, allows for better control over indoor air quality, reduces construction waste, and helps save natural resources. Life cycle analysis has shown that SIP homes have a tremendous positive environmental impact by reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions throughout the home’s life cycle. Learn more on our building green page.

How strong are SIPs?

The structural characteristics of SIPs are similar to that of a steel I-beam. The OSB skins act as the flange of the I-beam, while the rigid foam core provides the web. This design gives SIPs an advantage when handling in-plane compressive loads.

How do I properly size HVAC equipment?

We work with qualified HVAC professionals that can help to accurately estimate the low levels of air infiltration in your SIPs building.  Proper HVAC sizing is crucial because an oversized HVAC system will fail to reach the steady operating rate the equipment was designed for. Short cycling HVAC equipment will be less energy efficient and require more maintenance than properly sized HVAC equipment.

How important is ventilation?

Due to the extremely efficient and airtight quality of a SIP building, mechanical ventilation is key to bring fresh air into the building.  Proper ventilation systems send exhaust moisture laden and stale air to the outside. By limiting air exchange to controlled ventilation systems, SIP homes allow for all incoming air to be filtered for allergens and dehumidified, creating better indoor air quality. Proper ventilation is important in all homes to preserve indoor air quality.

How much do SIPs cost?

Building with SIPs generally costs about the same as building with wood frame construction when you factor in the labor savings resulting from shorter construction time and less jobsite waste. Other savings are realized because smaller heating and cooling systems are required with SIP construction.

I want to build a SIP home. What is the first step?

For homeowners, call our office. We can help you prepare for all of the steps involved with building a SIPs home.  Contact Us TODAY!