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How Much Do Structural Insulated Panels Cost?By admin
Thursday, 29 August 2019
One of the most important considerations of any home improvement project has to be the overall cost, and if the benefits of that investment are enough to make any additional expenditure worthwhile.
When it comes to insulation, most types offer a decent return in terms of savings on energy costs, but what about Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)?
Are they cheap enough to make using them for your house build or home improvement worthwhile, or are they still too new to be at a price worth paying? It’s time to find out…
What Are Structural Insulated Panels?
Structural Insulated Panels are rigid panels of foam or polystyrene insulation, that is sandwiched between two solid OSB boards. The come as either individual boards for internal walls, or as building kits with entire walls ready made to be simply slotted into place.
They have been around for approximately 30 years, and have a good reputation for their insulation qualities; however, their longevity has been called into question – they are thought to last around 60 years before they need replacing.
The panels need to be clad to prevent them getting wet, but they offer a flexible option for house designers, as they can span as much as 7.5 metres – giving opportunities for larger rooms, and double or even triple height spaces.
They are often produced with doors, windows and electrics all in place – making the building process much quicker, and therefore cheaper.
Structural Insulated Panels: Key Determiners Of Cost
While the domestic homeowner is unlikely to need to to know most of the following, they will be a consideration when it comes to the quote your builder will give you for your SIPs.
In order to work out the number of panels required, and the quality needed, they will take into account the following:
● The area of the floors, the external walls, and internal load bearing walls. This will give the full area that the Structural Insulated Panels will need to cover, and the size of each panel.
● What the roof looks like, and whether SIPs will be used in its construction. The shape of the roof will influence the shape of the wall panels, and could make a huge difference in costs. If Structural Insulated Panels are used for the roof, this additional cost will be factored in.
● Whether the project is a new build, a conversion or and extension. The cheapest option is always likely to be a new build. Replacing existing walls with SIPs is expensive, but if your home is a non standard construction, it may be a worthwhile investment.
● The entire time likely to be needed to complete the build. This includes the non-SIPs related work, as the manufacturer will need to judge their timing on when the panels will be needed. This may influence their quote.
● The type of cladding that will be used. This may have an effect on the type of SIPs used – in particular, the thickness of the panels. They may need to be thicker if the cladding is heavy.
How Much Do Structural Insulated Panels Cost?
When it comes to the building of an entire house, Structural Insulated Panels are thought to compare very favourably to standard brick built homes. This is mostly down to the reduced time that it takes for the main part of the home to be built.
One study looked at a price comparison between a standard 906 square foot home, and one built with SIPs. It was found that a traditional house made with brick and block would cost around £45,000 to build, and would take approximately 3 months to complete.
This compares to a SIP building that does not have a truss construction which would take 2 weeks and cost just £17,000.
This is an extreme example and takes the most simple SIP construction method (one without a truss timber frame and a simple cladding) however it does offer an insight into the savings that can be made. The truss built SIPs home cost £35,000 in this example.
Other sources suggest that for a square metre of wall, builders will expect to pay £72 for the timber framing, and £82 for SIPs. However, it is thought that brick will be around 5% cheaper in terms of materials – but will take much longer to build, thereby increasing the price.
So overall, the costs of the materials are not that much different, with SIPs coming in at slightly more expensive than other options.
Structural Insulated Panels: So Where Do The Savings Come From?
● SIPs allows you to buy a building package from one manufacturer rather than getting in a number of trades. You can choose the design of home you want from their examples, making it a ready made option that can be cheaper, rather than more bespoke.
● SIPs are much quicker to install than any other building and insulation option. Your home can be built in a matter of days, bringing down labour costs significantly.
● As the insulation is inherent in the product, you don’t need to buy it separately. This can be a saving that you may not have considered.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, homes that have wall cavity insulation can save as much as £240 per year on energy bills. With foam insulation offering such good R-values, homeowners can probably expect to save at least that, if not more.
In fact, some homes are considered to be entirely “passive,” making them self regulating in terms of heat and they do not need forms of heating at all.
These savings are long term and should last the entire life of the product. However it is important that issues with thermal bridging are taken into account. This is the gaps between the panels and where they meet the floor and the roof.
Insulating these areas carefully is essential to ensure that the home meets these energy efficiency targets.
Spray Form Insulation: A Superior Alternative To Structural Insulated Panels
SIPs usually use a dense closed cell foam insulation, while open cell spray foam insulation is a great alternative, that can be even more practical and cheaper.
Spray foam can be added to existing homes easily, and is a fast and efficient way to add insulation during the building phase, or retrospectively. It offers the same long term savings, and has the ability to be used in small and awkward spaces; something that SIPs is not able to do.
The cost of any building product is going to be highly important, however you need to weigh up the practicalities and the flexibility of the product before making your choice. Speed to construction is an excellent way to judge the overall cost, and spray foam measures up very well with SIPs when we take this into account.
Ready to transform your home into a fully heatproofed habitation? Spray foam enables you to achieve exactly that! Take the first step to achieving cosier conditions today, by calling 0800 1700 636 , or by simply clicking the button below!
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