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SIP Construction


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William's Forum Posts: 7

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By William in Redmond, OR on 12/6/2000


I have my house under construction. I'm using SIP's. Even the local Habitat for Humanity uses them because they go up so fast. They take a little crane time to do it. I'm using log supports in place of deck supports. The crane guys are cheaper in January than they are in July on their four-hour minimum.
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By Mark in KS on 12/22/2000


What are SIP's?
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John's Forum Posts: 2

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By John in Houston, TX on 9/20/2001


In case anyone's interested, the links listed below are probably the best sources for building a home from SIPS.

For my own needs, I'm currently trying to track down existing SIPS home plans as well as local architects who specialize in this building material. I live in Houston, TX. I'm also looking for structural insulated panel suppliers for our area.

sipweb.com/News

sipweb.com/directory

sipweb.com/learningcenter

sipweb.com/learningcenter/tips-architect

amazon.com/1ownerhomes

sips.org

buildingadream.com

timbersmith.com

Regards,

John B.


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Jeanne's Forum Posts: 32

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By Jeanne in Navasota, TX on 1/19/2002


John,

Did you get started on your house? Did you end up using SIPs? If so, who was your supplier/installer?
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By Caleb in GA on 6/4/2002


I am planning on building my first home within the next year and I am trying to go over all my options. My wises grandfather is an electrician, so we will wire our house on our own. Do the SIP panels have easy access to wiring?
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D''s Forum Posts: 28

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By D' in Tucson, AZ on 6/13/2002


Building with SIP's is a unique experience. And many people you know who are familiar with standard construction but haven't used SIP's will tell you that 'you are nuts'. But to answer you question directly, most SIP manufactures can or do include conduit for wiring. Check with your local manufacturer to see what they offer. One big factor that determines your choices of conduit location is whether the panels are made of EPS panels or foam Urethane.

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By Jim in Austin, TX on 6/29/2002


Hello Everyone,

I thought I would 'enlighten' you on a few things about SIP's that some folks don't understand. First, SIP's are a specialty building product. That is, you can't get them at your neighborhood Home Depot. Given that, subcontractors familiar with these systems will be scarce. This means that you will spend more money for little benefit. Second, SIP's almost always require a crane to erect them. That may not be a problem for some, but if your site won't allow it, what then? Third, SIP's aren't "change-order compliant".

What I mean is simple: if this situation requires changes to the footprint of the structure, what are your options? I bring this up because the whole concept of Owner-Building (saving money) is being lost on specialty building products. If you can't readily replace your contractors if the need arises, then what's the point of the savings in the first place? Stick framing is the cheapest and easiest to adapt to. It is also understood by a lot more contractors than SIP or panelized systems are. If you insist on being different, research ICF systems. At least these systems are user-friendly and will survive what nature has in store.

Good luck,

Jim G.


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By D' in Tucson, AZ on 7/4/2002


Not sure what your experience is, but I don't see a lot of difference from the O-B standpoint of ICF's and SIP's. Can't buy either at Home Depot. And the only SIP's that need a crane are roof panels. As far as being flexible after the floor is down, ICF's are far more expensive to "redesign" than SIP's. Concrete is an integral part of ICF's and once poured is "cast-in-concrete".

I have designed numerous homes with SIP's, ICF's and other 'alternative' products, and they all have personality quirks, limitations and bragging points. Planning, budgeting and bidding are what make any non conventional product work for YOU!


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Tim's Forum Posts: 35

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By Tim in Philomont, VA on 7/5/2002


Having read your messages on SIPs and ICFs, I thought I'd share my experience. I found that an interesting point by Jim Gobel (message #7 above) that a lot of savings are being lost by our interest in specialty or alternative products. I think Jim's right, as my own experience reflects such. This happens because we come across every new option there is out there as we begin our research, especially when we surf the Net looking for the latest how-to and product info.

Anyway, having looked into stick-framing, ICFs, SIPs, and EPS/steel-framed panels as well (such as Techbuilt and ThermaSteel), I have found your comments true - subs are few and far between for alternative building methods, and those that are willing to try it cover their apprehension with higher bids. In the name of a good energy-efficient home, I have found that going stick-built with a thin (2") layer of spray polyurethane foam covered with regular fiberglass batt insulation will give you more than you need. This method offers the air-tight seal that ICFs and SIPs offer, but keeps the house "sub-friendly" during construction.

Granted, you're not going to get the wonderful thermal mass and quiet of ICFs, but when subs familiar with it are few and far between, it's the way to go to keep the house at the savings you're working so hard for. I may end up building with ICFs after all, since we have received a couple good bids (along with some incredibly ridiculous ones!) that are not too much more than going stick-framed. It is taking a lot of calculating cost time to make sure of the overall cost for each method, but it's definitely worth the effort.


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William E.'s Forum Posts: 3

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By William E. in Savannah, GA on 5/3/2003


Hi Tim,

Where can I find more information about the 2" of spray foam with the insulation?

Thanks,

William
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Tim's Forum Posts: 35

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By Tim in Philomont, VA on 5/4/2003


Try looking in the Yellow Pages or online searches. Also try corbond.com, comfortfoam.com, or icynene.com for starters. Basically, you're looking for spray polyurethane foam.
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By Lisan in CA on 2/13/2004


William,

Can I get the contact info on the company you're using for SIPs in Oregon? Let me know, P.M. me.

Thanks, I appreciate it.

Lisan
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By John on 4/27/2004


Hi William,

I also live in Redmond and am researching alternative building products/methods. One big concern is a contractor. Who did you use? What product did you use?

Thanks.

John F.
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By Ken on 6/4/2017


I'm looking for a SIP mfgr. also. I know theirs one in Fife WA but I live in Longview and cant believe their isnt one in the Portland area which is only 45 minutes from me. Who in Oregon manufacture SIPS?


Ken

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By Austin on 7/17/2017


Are you actually sure that SIPs were a good solution? I have seen many ways how to, look at this http://www.insidesquad.com/sustainable-construction/ , so houses could be really different. It is about only your choice.
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By Chris in Seattle, AL on 7/18/2017


sorry, mistook sip for icf

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By Darren in McKeesport, PA on 11/30/2018


SIPs vs OVE + GOOD insulation installation might not have much difference in cost, but, in general, it seems more likely you'll get a tight home with SIPs as most work is done in a factory and not subject to the skill of the installers and whether they're taking the time to do a quality install. Even blown-in and spray foam products have the potential for installation defects.


SIPs require great care before installing the first panel and attention to detail at the panel connections. But if the OB can spend a couple days on site for the SIP installation to ensure that care is taken, it strikes me as the better route and the one I intend to take. Most of the manufacturers I've looked at describe only needing general carpenters given appropriate oversight. Smaller panels (4' x 8') on ground level generally do not require a crane, again, from what I've read. And SIPs generally require a fraction of the time to frame, sheath, and insulate significantly speeding the "dry in" process.

My intent is to pour a foundation towards the end of the building season, and once cured, erect SIPs/floor joists/upper level SIPs/roof joists/roof SIPs. After the first couple days, I'm thinking additional carpenters could be installing building wrap, windows, and doors. Add a metal roof along with something like hardi plank board and batten siding and all the other trades can take their time inside over the winter with landscaping and such come spring.

Anyway, that's my plan. Your mileage may vary and plans are only good until the enemy is actually confronted.

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By Roger in Beverly Hills, CA on 7/4/2019


Building with SIP's is a unique experience.
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