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Why choose Structural Insulated Panels over Stick-Built Framing for ADUs

David Reyes
David Reyes

It can be tough to know what the best construction methods are for your new ADU. You want your dwelling unit to be as energy-efficient and durable as possible but without breaking the bank or spending a fortune on construction. That’s why SIPs have been very popular since the introduction of accessory dwelling units. Structural insulated panels are an extremely efficient and reliable construction material that can save you time and money on your build – that’s why it’s been highly preferred by most specialized builders and homeowners alike, especially ADU.Works.

But first, let’s start with the basics, what are SIPs? Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are a type of composite panel system that is used to create insulation. The panels are made of a foam core that is tightly packed between two pieces of high quality wood. These sandwiched panel construction types also feature soundproofing abilities while also being light enough so as not to add too much weight onto your home’s structure. SIPs can be made to fit any building design, and they are strong, energy-efficient, and cost-effective.

Compared to the traditional stick framing, an SIP panel can withstand a lot more force before it gets damaged. Various engineering tests showed that a typical SIP wall panel can withstand vertical compression of over 2,000 pounds per linear foot without getting any cracks. In comparison, an average traditional stick frame cannot withstand this much force. That’s why the Maverick 392, Maverick 504, Maverick 748 of ADU.Works are all built using these structural insulated panels. Click the button below to know more.

In this article, we’ll further discuss several reasons why ADU.Works find SIPs a lot more efficient and cost-effective than the traditional stick framing.

1. Better ADU Build Quality

The high strength-to-weight ratio of SIPs make them ideal for building large sections of your ADU. The engineering behind why such a high ratio is pretty simple. Unlike the stick-built method, the weight of the structure is not put on the frame studs, but instead, the entire panel supports it. SIP-built homes also tend to be stronger during natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes because SIP walls can resist up to 7,000 pounds per foot according to a variety of studies. In contrast, SIPs can withstand shear stress levels three times more than stick framing. This results in ADUs that are stronger, straighter, and wider.

2. Less Construction Time & Labor

Because SIPs are usually prefabricated, pre-cut and tailored-fit to your dwelling unit’s design; this greatly reduces the time for contractors to take measurements, prepare and review tedious framework plans, and reduces the number of procedures and expensive equipment necessary in the construction like concrete mixers and the like. In addition, SIPs are usually manufactured commonly in factories with high-quality assurance standards, this results in panels having precise measurements specifically designed to fit the exact dimensions of your ADU design from your sidings, doors, windows, and roof – significantly reducing construction errors.

For homeowners with limited operating space for construction projects, SIPs come in handy too as it reduces the amount of heavy industrial equipment needed to facilitate the overall build process. Given that SIPs can only come from one contractor for an ADU, it makes it easier for the project manager and the homeowner to coordinate both the logistics and operation.

With the use of SIPs, ADU.Works’s onsite process only takes 30 days, in comparison to traditional contractors with an average stick frame onsite construction span of 180 days estimated.  We’d love to discuss this with you further. Book a quick and free demo with us.

3. Less Waste and High Thermal Efficiency

SIPs are materials that slow the flow of heat. These panels are great thermal insulators because of their insulating foam core packed airtight between two oriented strand boards. Since the foam doesn’t absorb or conduct temperature levels, it helps to keep your dwelling unit warm in the cold season and cool in summer. 

Given that SIPs feature an airtight construction, it reduces any airflow leakage of indoor air; resulting in a maintained temperature. In the same way, these panels can also block off any humidity from the outside of your ADU making it more efficient for your air-conditioning unit to operate, thus aiding in your utility bill savings.

As mentioned previously, SIPs are manufactured in factories where operational efficiency is optimized. Compared to traditional stick-built framing, which takes a longer build process, the panels have lower material waste and feature recyclable uses like splint connections – lessening the environmental impact of your ADU.

Conclusion

There are many reasons why people decide to add extra dwelling units, or ADUs for short, in their primary residence. Some may use them as an apartment for family members who need more space than what’s available at home while others might invest by renting out these spaces which can generate additional income from rental properties across town – all without having any major modifications done on your house.

ADU.Works is an excellent choice for building an ADU. But in the same breath, we want to help you utilize your ADU wisely. Though we recommend that you consult with your accountant, we would also like to discuss this with you. We’re open to having a FREE 15-MIN Consultation Call with you or you can give us a quick call through our number +1 (650) 227 4810.

Let’s see how we can help. We look forward to hearing from you.

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