|What's it Cost?
Another question I’ve been asked many times, and one that’s been difficult to answer is
simply, “What is the cost of SIP's compared to conventional construction?” What is
important is the final cost of your home.
A friend of mine, Tom Hildreth, who runs Advanced Building and Development (www.
AdvancedBD.com), is very knowledgeable in building with scientifically proven materials
and methods to lower costs and improve energy efficiency. So, knowing his background
and experience, I put the question to him. We started making phone calls, and asking for
information from building contractors, concrete companies, and SIP builders, gathered all
the numbers, crunched them, and I think we came up with some answers. We calculate
that it is 4.9% more expensive to build with SIP's than stick build, with a 8 month payback.
In some areas, it's actually about 5% less expensive to build with SIP's.
That means that the extra expense for SIP's would be paid back in under 8 months and you
would continue saving after that. These calculations are backed up by the Oak Ridge test
data for the R-value for the SIP’s. The Federal Oak Ridge Report can be found at:
The second page addresses the question of whether to use SIP or ICF walls. Personally,
I think if you are going to use your basement as a living space, ICF’s will out perform a
poured concrete wall by a large margin. So, unless you have some strong reason to go
with ICF’s, such as sound reduction, it appears that SIP’s are the more economical way
to go for roof and walls.
To see the results, click here.