SIP Panel Construction vs Stick Framing – Part 2 – Pros and Cons

SIP Panel Construction or Stick Framing?  Making the Decision.  Let’s discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of each of the options. 

Stick Framing

Pros:  Stick framing, a century old form of construction, any experienced contractor knows the basics of stick framing.  Materials are readily available and relatively inexpensive. An adaptable form of construction changes are easily made once the project has started. Readily accommodates almost any size or placement of windows or doors and is flexible to specific design details. No out of the ordinary engineering or code approvals are required.

Cons:  The process. made up of many steps – measuring, cutting, fitting and nailing each stick is time consuming, with mistakes and materials waste common costing money.  Stick framing is difficult to seal and effectively insulate.  Air infiltration leads to condensation and moisture problems.  Wall thickness limits insulation values.  Fiberglass batts and cellulose insulation are only marginally good insulators and have drawbacks.  They do little to seal and their performance depends wholly on the quality of the installation. Air infiltration leads to condensation and moisture problems, leaving the wood susceptible to insect infestation and rot.   Adding spray foam helps to seal and boosts R-value but doesn’t guarantee an airtight envelope and insulation value decreases with time and the substantially higher cost doesn’t provide a good return for the added investment.  Wood burns easily.

SIP Panel Construction

Pros:  Conventional SIP Panel or “Sandwich Panels” have been around since the 1950’s, the invention of Alden B. Dow, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright.   Material costs may be more, but speed and efficiency of installation saves time and money.  Weather delays are limited and a home can be under roof in half the time or less.  SIP panel construction produces a structure with superior strength and racking resistance.  The polystyrene insulation core has a much higher R-value per inch compared to fiberglass and cellulose insulations.   Increased R-values and reduced infiltration produce energy savings costs over the lifetime of your home.

Cons:  New to many builders, they find SIPs to be unfamiliar and intimidating refusing to work with them.  Special tools and often cranes are required for installation.  Careful project planning and sufficient lead time is required to accommodate special engineering, code approvals, manufacturing and shipping of the product.

sip panels rot 300x225 SIP Panel Construction vs Stick Framing   Part 2   Pros and Cons

Conventional “Sandwich” SIP Panel Rely on thier OSB Skins for Structural Support – Moisture is thier Enemy!

Custom made and cut to order, on-site changes or panel damage will result in substantial time and money costs for replacement.  Relying solely on OSB skins for their strength, glue failure can cause delamination and structural failure.   OSB is highly susceptible to moisture and exposure will cause rot requiring the total replacement of your wall or roof system.  Styrofoam is flammable and melts at high temperatures.

RAY-CORE SIP Panels – ALL THE PROS, WITHOUT THE CONS

In the mid 80’s, Harry Raymond, a general contractor for over 50 years, believed that the construction industry needed a better alternative to building strong, energy efficient homes.  Considering the advantages of both stick framing and SIP panel construction, and eliminating the associated problems, Harry developed RAY-CORE.  RAY-CORE Structural Insulated Panels offer the strongest, most unique, highly insulating, airtight SIPs on the market.  Believing your home should be held up with something more reliable than OSB and glue, studs are molded in place with superiorly insulating fire resistant polyurethane foam and the panels are wrapped in a radiant foil vapor barrier.  Builder-friendly RAY-CORE SIP panels utilize conventional framing practices and are lightweight, fast and easy to use. Fully modular and adaptable, there are no rights or lefts, ups or downs.  If you can build it with sticks you can build it with RAY-CORE.  Resistant to moisture, mold and rot, RAY-CORE SIP panels are affordable, labor- saving construction that offers a lifetime of up to 40% energy savings to boot.  All Pros without the Cons, building with RAY-CORE SIP panels is a win-win situation!    

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