Structural Insulated Roof Panels

Structural insulated roof panels are more commonly known in residential construction as an SIP or SIPs. The SIPs we want to investigate are for residential use. We want to help you learn about the type you may need for your home or a client’s home if you are fixer upper or contractor.

SIP is short for Structural Insulated Panel for those of you that have not already figured that out. SIPs are used for floors, walls and roofs, but we will be concentrating on their use on roofs for residential roofing in this article.

SIPs are created by sandwiching together two layers of outside skin and a layer of foam insulation in the center. This simple idea makes modern roof panels that are quick and easy to install and are more durable than other options available today. They also have insulation built into the panels, saving you a lot of time because you don’t have to insulate in another step of building your roof. They help keep in the heat in winter and keep in the air conditioning in summer.

Cost of Using SIPs

There are many factors involved in figuring out the cost of using structural insulated roof panels instead of stick building your roof or whatever other method you wish to compare SIPs to. The initial cost of materials is going to be higher with SIPs, that much we know. You can’t just look at the material cost because you also have to figure in labor costs and energy savings when looking at the costs associated with using SIPs. Purchasing your roofing materials based on cost of the materials alone is incredibly short sighted and definitely not recommended.

What we are driving at here is that using SIPs on your new roof is far cheaper when you look at the big picture. This involves first figuring in the amount that you will save in labor costs. The amount you save immediately in labor costs is sometimes enough by itself to make SIPs cheaper than other roofing options when you add the material and labor costs together.

The third and perhaps most overlooked and most important factor for the homeowner, is the amount of money that will be saved on your energy bills each month over the lifetime of your home. For example even if it only saves you $20 per month on your electric bill, in one year you will save $240. Then over an average lifespan of fifty years for your home, you would have saved over $12,000, so see how quickly and easily the SIPs become less expensive over time? And it is very likely that this is a very low end estimate because in reality using superior quality SIPs while constructing your home is likely to save you much more than the $20 a month this estimate was based on.

These figures are extremely crude and only meant as an example. We don’t actually have the exact figures for any home as each would be different and would require all the needed data to be accurate, but what we are telling you with this example is that over time, you will save more and more money with your SIPs installed on the roof of your home.


So what we have learned is that Structured Insulated Roof Panels are called SIPs for short, but SIPs can also refer to wall and floor panels as well, so be specific. We learned that they are a great roofing material that saves you both time and money in the long run even though the materials are slightly higher priced than other roofing options.

So, overall, we have to say the using these great panels as a roofing solution for your new home or existing home that needs a roof, is a great and wise decision on the part of the homeowner. If you are using a contractor, they may not go with the SIPs unless you insist. So, put your foot down if needed to get your SIPs, not just on the roof, but they can be used on floors and walls as well! So investigate the pros and cons of each before making a final decision. If you plan on building and living in your home for a long time to come, then they are likely to be a wise choice for you.

If you are contractor who is building a home for someone else, you should take the time to explain and justify the higher material costs of SIPs. Let the homeowner know that they will save a fortune in the long run if they use SIPs and show them some estimates based on long term heating and cooling bills. Also compare with similar estimates from other materials to show the whole picture and allow the homeowner to make a well informed decision.

That sums it up pretty well. We hope this article has enlightened you some on the subject of structural insulated roof panels. Have a great time building or repairing your home and good luck with those SIPs.

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