The Truth About the Cost of SIP Panels

Picking up where we left off during last month’s myth-busting blog, we’re tackling another industry-wide misconception that we’d love to see soundly “BUSTED.” Too often we see building professionals dismiss structural insulated panels due to the perceived high cost of SIPs. The reality, as we’ll unpack below, is much more nuanced, and can come as a relief to those tempted to go non-traditional when it comes to building.

Myth 2: SIP panels cost a considerable amount of money

While professional builders largely believe that the cost of SIP panels is much more expensive than conventional stick framing, the manufacturer, dealer and distributor’s material price doesn’t reflect SIP’s critical labor and time savings. Put another way by Sam Rashkin in Builder magazine, “SIPs is an entirely different enclosure paradigm and builders don’t like change. As a result, builder cost calculations too often don’t recognize the significant savings from the benefits.”

As touched on in an earlier SIPs advantages post, prefabrication building methods remove the need for complex framing, a time-consuming task that requires many hands on deck. And, since insulation is already part of the SIP sandwich, that step is removed from the jobsite, freeing up crews to focus their attention elsewhere and complete the job faster.

Likewise, with walls manufactured straight and square thanks to SIP construction, it’s easy for trained teams to fit panels together like a giant puzzle. Geometrically sound walls further enable building components to go in that much quicker, such as windows, doors, drywall and more. Rashkin specifically cites “much faster construction time,” along with “reduced reliance on subcontractor work/contracts” (i.e., framing, millwork, etc.) among SIP’s “impressive builder benefits.”

So, while the cost of SIPs may initially appear to be on the higher end, factoring in labor and time savings can significantly reduce bottom lines. Let’s consider this myth busted then, shall we?

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