SIPs Article Turned In

March 14, 2007

My apologies to all.

I had no idea it had been so long since I put up a post. Some things fell through that I was hoping to cover. Like I was hoping to visit the SIP Village at the International Builders Conference but I never made it down there. Also I wanted to get some information in from the World of Concrete Expo  that I visited in Las Vegas.

Rider trowel 

American Truck 

But all that fun I was having was in between working on this:

Desk Debris

This is all SIPs.

I finally turned in the article and it will be published in the next issue (FHB #188). There will be information on the SIP Schools as well as my trips to Boston and Vermont. Now that the pressure is off a little I hope to get back to putting up some posts as they come in. In the meantime you can visit Fine Homebuilding’s new Web-site and see what we’ve been up to. If you look you can find a free video of me mixing concrete in a wheelbarrow.



  1. I am in the planning stage of our new home. We want to use SIPs but our finding ourselves stymied by floor plans. Our builder told us to find a floor plan but traditional floor plans seem to waste the SIPs ideal. Did you discover tweaks on a traditional floor plan while at the SIPs school?

  2. Jennifer,
    It seems that pretty much any floor plan can be built as a SIPs house. But you are right that a generic plan will not maximize the advantages of SIPs. Two aspects of design come to mind. First would be how the structure is going to interact with its environment. For example, if the house is going to be in a northern zone you might want to consider incorporating passive solar design to maximize energy efficiency. The second type of design that might be good to take a look at are construction details. Some things that come to mind are: broad projecting eaves to keep water and snow away from the siding, straight and straightforward wall details since every corner will cost you extra money (true with any style of construction), a cold roof especially if you’re going to use asphalt shingles, a space for drainage behind the siding (Homeslicker is a product I’ve heard works but I am sure there are many) and finally you will want to consider finding a way to have an experienced SIP installer, if not on site during construction, at the very least available to answer questions.
    Thanks for your comment,

  3. Hello All,
    My husband and I want to have our new home built with SIPs, but I seem to have a never-end list of questions, and as time goes on, the list gets bigger!

    First, in this hot climate, I thought SIPs would be a good choice to help mostly with cooling costs in the summer, perhaps not??

    Second, we want to have the pier and beams installed and floor, walls and roof put up by a construction company, then finish most of the interior home ourselves. I’m finding it extremely difficult to find more than one architect in the Dallas, TX area that can put together a set of SIPs house plans.
    How can I get a list of Architects and Builders that will work with us on our project? (SIPA didn’t have many that work in North Texas.)

    Third, I’m curious why SIPs products and techniques are not marketed better (at least in this area)?

    Thank you for any help you can provide.

  4. Hi Velma,

    You’re right that a SIP house will help with the cooling loads just like it will help with heating loads. That said, the house needs to be designed for a warm climate. Broad expanses of wall and windows open to the sun will cause any house to heat up if the design is poor.

    One approach to building with SIPs is to work with an architect that you like to have house plans drawn up and then let the SIP manufacturer/supplier translate those plans to SIPs. Likewise, find a SIP supplier you like and have them do the work of finding a crew to construct the house. Often SIP crews will travel a significant distance from the factory when doing an install.

    Hope this is helpful. Let us know how it goes.


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