I am in northern Minnesota . I was going to do a SIPS house but live
where labor is cheap.
Yet... I don't want to do stick...it's a cabin and the mice will
infest it....bats will get into the crawl space.
So..since my local store built his own walk in cooler using thick EPS
from Home Depot... I figured I'd put up a slab..use 2x4 versus
2x6...12? inches set back from edge and glue EPS on the stick
frame..leaving 3 1/2" for wiring, plumbing, ducting etc. And put
plastic then gypsum board on the inside of the 2x4 sticks. When I
pour the floor I will also do a "strom closed...6x10 walk in... Iam in
tornado country. Then I would glue ext plywood or est strand board
over the EPS outside like the laminators and side it or elastomeric
Oh... I will have to pay for a SIPS roof or..maybe I will put trusses
in ..put moisture sheet over that, then EXT plywood then glue 6" EPS
then more plywood then steel roof.
What do you think?
Consider using ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms). It won't be that much more
than SIPS and it doesn't blow down when a storm comes through (99% tornado
proof). It doesn't rot, or grow mold and mildew. Also it is perfect for a
"safe room". AND there will be no mice or bats in the walls.
for more information go to www.nudura.com or www.futurestone.com
Really...I'm in MN and labor isn't cheap anywhere... at least not labor
you'd be willing to pay for. (You can find guys who don't know what
they're doing cheap)...
You're going to have a HUGE thermal bridge at the slab, unless you
detail it right. Do SIPs...they're same price as 2x6 walls, pre-cut
I think your method isn't going to work nearly as well as you think its
SIPs all around. You COULD do ICFs for the walls, but you'll pay more.
You will pay more for the ICF... over a wood frame house you'll pay $7 to
$10 more for the cost of the house... view it as an upgrade... one that will
actually pay you in energy savings. It won't be even that much more than
Think before you speak. There's pretty good evidence that ICFs are
better in warm climates than cold. It's a question of thermal mass. In
a cold Minnesota climate a long stretch of cold weather will eventually
cool down the mass of the wall (unless you've doubled the exterior
insulation). Then, you're working against this thermal mass. SIPs
don't suffer from the same problem as they have very little thermal mass.
SIPs can be easily field modified, added to, changed, etc. ICFs, not so
Having said that, I just did a house using Nudura ICFs, so I'm not
totally biased against ICFs. It's a question of evaluating the project
and finding what's the best solution. For the ICF house, we're doing a
green roof, which means lots of load bearing at the walls, so ICFs were
the way to go to get the bearing we needed.
But usually, I prefer SIPs...
It depends on the finish:
Wood siding: (2) layer 15# felt, stagger seams. Finish all sides of
siding prior to installation (seal end cuts).
Hardiplank type: Either (2) layers of 15# felt, stagger seams or
appropriate building wrap (this is where it gets tricky...gotta get the
right stuff for the application and there's a lot of crap out there).
Stucco: (2) layer 15# felt, stagger seams. Wire lath, rest of system.
EIFS: (2) layers 15# felt preferred, STO spray OK, and last option
Stuccowrap, then EIFS system.
Vinyl: Building Wrap, the vinyl.
All installations with good detailing at penetrations/windows/doors.
I still like my plan. Because, I forgot to mention that south, east
and west ext walls are mostly glass. ICF not worth the trouble for one
wall. Pure SIPS not worth it when I am putting in mostly glass on
three walls anyway. Roof is 4 foot overhang East, west and south....
8 1/2 ft walls .......triple pane fixed glass, . sliding glass doors
and small awning windows down low in East, South, West walls
will give interior air flow.
...probably standard double hungs in the north wall.
The storm closet WILL likely be ICF......I prefer .ARXX from Canada at
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