Frequently asked questions

What does SIPs stand for?

SIPs stands for ‘Structural insulated panels’. This article covers some more detail about SIPs.

What are SIPs made of?

Standard SIPs are made of 11mm OSB (oriented strand board) with an injected polyurethane foam insulation at the core and another 11mm OSB board on the opposite side. More information on SIPs can be found here.

How are SIPs made?

Real SIPs (like ours) are made in controlled factory settings using state of the art, purpose-built machines. A liquid polyurethane foam is injected between 2 sheets of 11mm OSB which is then contained in a jig, which is then held in a high pressure press for several hours. During which time the chemical is reacting at high temperature and bonding to the OSB. After a few hours of curing the panel is complete and ready to be used.

You can order yours here.

Are there such things as fake or inferior SIPs?

Unfortunately there are companies who advertise SIPs that are not manufactured in the correct way. Some companies use inferior pre formed insulation or even polystyrene and adhere this insulation to OSB using glue. As it’s not chemically bonded in the correct way the structural integrity can therefore be compromised.

In addition to this, the insulation will be inferior to a standard SIP panel.

Order yours here, for correctly manufactured SIPs with excellent insulation.


Can SIPs be used for all types of application?

Yes, SIPs can be used for any application. The final specification will need to be approved to ensure they are suitable within the build set up, but generally speaking no forms of building are off limits!

Take a look at some of the projects completed using our fabricated SIP panels.

Why are SIPs cheaper to build with?

The main reasons SIPs are cheaper to build with is because the build time is dramatically reduced, the amount of wet trades is limited and the materials used to achieve the same finish as a conventional build are much cheaper.

How thick do my walls need to be?

The thickness of walls and roofs greatly depends on the build application, however most extensions and new builds can have walls as thin as 150mm, with vaulted and flat roofs as thin as 175mm.

This can vary and if so the panel thickness could increase to 175mm and 200mm. We have completed and signed off projects with 150mm walls and 175mm roofs.

Do SIPs meet current building regulations?

Our SIP panels meet all current UK building regulations. Each build needs to be overseen and signed off by either the local authority building control or a private building control.

Either will ask for certain documentation and calculations to meet their requirements to sign of the build.

If uSIPs build my house, who deals with building control?

When we carry out the supply and build of a project we liaise with building control on your behalf and will give you their documentation at the completion of the build.

Can I use SIPs to build my house extension?

Yes you certainly can. In fact SIPs can be a much better option to build with as opposed to bricks, in terms of cost and the time it takes to build with them. 

Can I use SIPs to build my loft conversion?

Yes, SIPs are a very good option for a loft extension. Sections or the whole extension can be craned into situ and connected to the house with both speed and ease.

Can I use SIPs for my new build?

Yes, this is uSIPs specialism. We can convert any plans or dimensions to use our SIPs panels. We will then have structural calcs produced for any steel elements.

After which we will quickly and efficiently build your new home in weeks as opposed to months, ready to receive certificates to attain a ten year warranty.

Can I use SIPs by the sea?

Yes, you can use SIPs by the sea. Like any structure in sea air the exterior of the building needs to be made to withstand corrosion, however the panels covered correctly will last just as long as any structure.

How many storeys can I build using SIPs?

It depends on the design of the building but 3 storeys is achievable as standard with taller structures requiring additional structural designs which would mean the build does not have a limit in height.

How do RSJs fit with SIPs?

The steel work for any build is ideally hidden within the thickness of the walls and roof. This is possible using SIPs, the detail of this would just need to be incorporated into the structural calculations.

Can you build using normal architectural drawings?

Yes, we can convert any drawing or dimensions to use SIPs panels over conventional build methods.