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Anyone built an extension with SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels)?

(11 Posts)
Crumbelina Sat 18-Mar-17 16:48:06

Bit niche!

We're hoping to build a double storey extension (9m x 5m kitchen on the ground floor and 4m x 5m on the first floor). We were originally going to use block and brick but we're now interested in using SIPs (instead of blocks) and then stock bricks for the outside. We realise that SIPs will cost more, but I think it'll be worth it.

We've sent out a request for quotes and already had a few rejections (not a big enough project for some companies and one has cited an access issue as we have a detatched house in SW London with a 1m side alley and they like to use a crane).

Does anyone have any experience with using SIPs, or any thoughts on them?

AgentProvocateur Sat 18-Mar-17 16:56:53

I've never heard of them being used for domestic buildings, but know they get specified a lot of larger scale structures.

ladypie21 Sat 18-Mar-17 17:00:00

I wouldn't have thought you would get the economy of scale on your extension for this to be practical. Plus you'd have an interface with the existing structure so not sure why you feel it may be worth it? If it's additional insulation properties you want you could go for extra insulation in a standard cavity build?

Crumbelina Sat 18-Mar-17 17:19:14

Thanks both. We did have a chat with one company last year at Grand Designs Live who said that it would (just about) make financial sense and gave an appropriate estimate of around £15k (although I'm sure the true cost would be higher).

We're going to be project managing the build ourselves (with DC2 due late September) and so we were swayed by SIPs because of the quicker build time, we'd be slightly less reliant on the trades and the SIPs company would be able to advise and help us with the structural drawings and building control.

This may all be wishful thinking!

Plockplock Sun 19-Mar-17 18:11:09

We have a single storey SIPs extension. I had reservations whereas DH was very enthusiastic. The panels themselves go up very quickly, so you have an actual roof and walls within days of the groundworks, etc. being finished. I was worried that they'd seem flimsy compared to brick, but I was thankfully wrong; insulation and sound wise, it's better than the rest of the house (Edwardian semi), in fact the SIPs extension has improved the warmth of the house as a whole. It has been 5 years since it was completed and we have no issues, but I do worry that it will be difficult to find easily find a builder to carry out works, should there be a problem...

Crumbelina Sun 19-Mar-17 19:57:10

Oh Plock, I think you've made my day! smile It's so good to hear from someone who has used them for a domestic extension. You must be so pleased that things went well and it's improved the warmth of the house. I'm not expecting miracles but I'm hoping they might help warm up our Victorian detached house which leaks like a sieve. smile

Can I be cheeky and ask a few questions please? Namely, what company you used, what size is your extension, what external materials you used (brick slips or something else?) and if you had any access issues during assembly, e.g. if the company needed to use a crane?

Sorry, that's lots of questions! blush

Plockplock Sun 19-Mar-17 20:43:30

I'm so glad that I've made your day, Crumbelina! Ours is 4m x 5m and is a covered in some sort of polymer render (my recollection is hazy) in white, which is water tight, breathes and never needs painting, apparently. I like the idea of brick slips; would you be able to match these to your existing bricks? We had no access issues as there is a passageway at the side of our house. The company we used are no longer trading, which causes me to wring my hands occasionally!

Crumbelina Sun 19-Mar-17 21:12:59

Wonderful - thanks so much for all the information! It gives me hope that we'll get some quotes in the next couple of weeks (was getting a bit worried as we got a few rejections and one company said that they would need to use a crane as opposed to our side alley and couldn't quote).

I like the idea of brick slips if we can match them to the London stock bricks we have. I just need to have a look at the sound proofing qualities as our gardens are quite small and it's a bit built up at the back so I don't want our neighbours hearing us and vice versa. As an alternative we might go with normal stock bricks as it could be less controversial with the council/building control.

I've been waiting for 2.5 years and counting for this extension so SIP assembly day will probably be the highlight of my year (oh dear smile).

Thanks again!

Plockplock Sun 19-Mar-17 21:39:14

I've stood outside knowing that the DC are making a terrible racket inside and whilst I can see their mouths moving, I cannot hear their screams grin.

It's amazing to go out in the morning and return home to find walls where there were none. I'd be surprised if they needed to use a crane, ours were just carried down the side passage. We spent quite a long time marvelling at the walls once the builders went home that day!

madeleinecreek Mon 20-Mar-17 08:18:38

My neighbour just finished using this company for a garden room (in sw London), using SIPs, might be worth chatting to them about extensions.

Crumbelina Mon 20-Mar-17 09:08:36

Thanks Plock! Definitely worth me investigating brick slips now if a render/SIPs give great sound insulation. One of the key conditions of permission from the council is matching the brick so I'll see if it's possible.

Madeleine, thank you so much for the link! They're pretty close to me so definitely worth me looking into it.

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