SIPS vs Sticks What Are True Costs

Make the Switch to SIPs Before You Have To

Energy Code are changing. SIPs are the turn key solution to meet energy codes. As prices of lumber have increased, the costs of a superior SIP System are now comparable and often less expensive than a site framed 2×6″ lumber structure.

Benefits Beyond Cost Savings

The advantaged of SIPs over traditional stick-framing methods are clear, and the state of California has recognized it in a state wide law. Their Title 24 legislation, implements new “Building Energy Efficiency Standards” that requires new construction projects (residential and commercial) must install a list of mandatory energy efficiency measures in effort to meet energy efficiency requirements. The most notable requirement is earmarked for 2030, when all new construction will be required to be net-zero energy structures (meaning they generate their own energy, taking none from the grid). Since California is an innovator in energy efficiency, it is very likely that other states will soon follow their lead.

Since government agencies recognize the significant difference in high performance framing methods like SIPs, shouldn’t you? Here is a summary of why SIPs are superior to standard 2×6 R19 construction.

Fact: Material costs of SIPs compared to traditional 2×6 stick framed lumber is virtually the same when factoring in all building components (speed of construction, smaller HVAC systems, reduced construction waste, panelized components, and more).

Fact: Overall project cost of SIPs over 2×6 stick framed lumber construction is up to 30% less!

Breaking it Down

As lumber prices have soared across North America, this proven higher efficiency framing product (SIPs) are now less expensive. They also help reduce overall project costs.  Read on, and we’re sure you’ll agree its worth the switch. Our Field Representatives are ready to help you on your jobsite so you can see why SIPs really are the future of high performance framing.

Overall SIPS Project Costs

How does a building cost less to build if SIPs can cost slightly higher than traditional stick frame?

  • Pre-insulated! No need to purchase additional insulation
  • Pre-fabricated & precut when delivered to the jobsite: save 20-30% on framing labor
  • Electrical is installed 20-30% faster
  • Jobsite waste reduced with pre-cut panels — saves approximately 30% on waste sent to the landfills
  • Tighter house means smaller HVAC systems — up to 40% savings
  • Predictable STRAIGHT engineered product is plumb & square every time = faster install for finish work. Doors/windows/millwork: no bowed lumber = straight walls for faster doors/window/millwork install. Floors: level floors and walls = no need to shim
  • House is dried in faster, subs can start sooner — fewer wasted “crew” days
  • No roof venting required in low slope roofing
  • Better indoor air quality, smaller or no air purification systems required in many climates
  • Buildings & houses are FINISHED faster.  Less interest paid.
  • Qualify for $2000 federal tax incentive to the builder and an additional $1500 to the homeowner
  • Warranty.  Does your lumber manufacturer offer any warranty? No. SIPs do.

SIPS vs Sticks in Real Life

With all of these project factors considered SIPs are regularly less expensive than 2×6 framed construction:

Benefit 2×6 R19 Construction SIPS Construction
Energy Efficiency Baseline Up to 48% more efficient
Fire Resistance Sticks require one layer of 5/8″ drywall to meet an hourly wall. A one hour fire wall is achieved with a minimum 2 layers of 5/8″ drywall each side of the wall. 4 layers on each side will achieve a 2 hour wall.
R-Value The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has studied and tested the performance of entire wall assemblies in large sections. The resulting whole-wall R-value data reveals that a 4.5″ SIP wall rated at R-14 outperformed a 2″x6″ wall with R-19 fiberglass insulation.  Premier SIPs have a 20 year R-Value warranty:

  • 4″ wall 15.0 – 16.0 R-Value
  • 6″ wall 23.0 – 24.0 R-Value
  • 8″ wall 30.0 – 31.0 R-Value
  • 10″ wall 38.0 – 39.0 R-Value
  • 12″ wall 46.0 – 47.0 R-Value
Strength Baseline 20-30% Stronger – The structural characteristics of SIPs are similar to that of a steel I-Beam. The OSB skins act as the flange of the I-beam, while the rigid foam core provides the web. This design gives SIPs an advantage at handling in plane compressive loads. View Premier SIPS Load Charts. SIPs can be engineered for most applications.
Seismic Yes, tie downs and additional material/ labor costs required Yes, additional tie downs may be required depending on design methods
Waste Created Baseline 30% less salvageable structural lumber sent to landfills over stick. The EPA estimates that every year we send to landfills a BILLION board feet of “salvageable, structural” lumber. Enough to build more than 62,000 average size new American homes. Premier SIPS are also recyclable and made with a significant amount of recycled content.
Labor Costs Baseline Up to 55% labor savings. Proven! Read SIPA News Release
IAQ – Indoor Air Quality Baseline The tightness of the SIP building envelope prevents air from gaining access to the interior of the home except in controlled amounts. A controlled indoor environment is both healthy and comfortable. Humidity can be controlled more easily in a SIP home resulting in a home that is more comfortable for occupants and less prone to mold growth and dust mites.

The EPA says that 19% of all American households have at least one member with asthma. They go on to say that four out of ten (40%) of children born in America today will develop some type of respiratory ailment. SIPs build healthier homes and buildings.

Proven Performance

For more than 30 years SIPs have the proven performance over stick framing. Offering a sound warranty is one thing you’ll see with SIPs, that you most often won’t find with 2×6 construction.

As the nation’s largest and one of the oldest manufacturers, Premier has the track record and experience to manufacture you a superior product. Our vision and our 20 year warranty helps to ensure your SIPs structure is ready to stand the test of time.