Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS)

SIPs: the engineering miracle that pays for itself

We've become avid researchers and testers of materials and methods as they emerge in the construction industry. There's nothing more exciting than discovering a high-caliber product that lives up to its claim and adds value to a customer's home.

Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are a high-performance framing material made up of an insulated foam core, sandwiched between 2 magnesium oxide boards. While definitely not new, SIPs aren't commonly used in Lower Alabama. Sledge's Custom Building is one of the only companies in Baldwin and Mobile Counties using this building technology. We're huge believers in the many advantages SIPs offers you and the environment. 

Here's a quick breakdown of how SIPs benefit you:

  • Your house will be an airtight envelope, reducing monthly energy bills up to 60%.  
  • A tighter house translates into smaller HVAC systems—save up to 40%.
  • You qualify for up to a $2000 federal tax credits. 
  • SIPs come with a warranty, whereas lumber does not. 
  • SIPs are pre-insulated, so you don't have to spend a single cent on additional insulation.
  • SIPs make value engineering a reality. Example: if you prefer a stucco house, you can save money by using a special fluid-stone spray. You don't have to pay an additional $10 per sq. ft. to stucco the home, and nobody's the wiser.

You save money. SIPs have been around since the 1930s, but they're quickly emerging as the most cost-effective, energy-efficient building material created for today's homebuyer.

  • Builders need considerably less time for framing. Your house is built 20-30% faster.
  • Subcontractors can cut days off of their tasks. A plumb and square product makes installation (e.g., cabinetry, electrical, tile, etc.) straightforward and speedy.

You save time. SIPs are pre-cut and ready for immediate assembly upon arrival. They're produced with exceptional uniformity, leading to straighter wall and floor panels. 

  • You have more control over your indoor air quality because it's funneled through regulated ventilation. 
  • Contaminants and allergens are filtered out, and incoming air is de-humidified, eliminating the possibility for mold and mildew growth

Your health and well being is supported. A SIPs home has a much tighter seal than stick-frame construction. Additionally, the panels don't contain any volatile organic compounds or other questionable chemicals that can be harmful to your health. 

  • Magnesium oxide SIPs are resistant to water, fire, mold, mildew, and termites—they're even bulletproof!
  • SIPs are created to withstand 200 mph winds. (Hurricane Katrina's highest wind speeds reached 174 mph. Here are some case studies pointing to the SIPs' success during hurricanes.)

Your safety is protected. With SIPs, the sum is greater than its parts. Its sandwich-panel technology is made up of three fused components that together are much stronger, straighter, and durable than each one on its own. Living in Lower Alabama, you know how important it is to use a sturdy building material that can stand up to hurricane-force winds and flood damage. 

  • Pre-cut panels results in reduced jobsite waste—30% less is sent to the landfills.
  • SIPs are created from fast-growing renewable resources. 

You leave a smaller footprint on the environment. SIPs are the ideal green building material. Not only do they promote energy-efficient housing, but also they result in significantly less landfill waste. 

  • SIPs roofs are often structurally strong enough to forgo a truss system. Architects are allowed to design without this type of engineering constraint holding them back.  
  • Panel exteriors can be finished in a variety of ways: brick, stone, stucco, and cellular PVC siding.   

You still get a unique home. A common misconception is that you can't build a one-of-a-kind dream home with SIPs because they're pre-cut. Not true. SIPs offer endless versatility that let you customize your home as you see fit. Here's an example of a SIPs home built by Sledge's Custom Building.


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