Why do we not give ballpark pricing?
Two questions most often asked about AIP structural insulated panels (SIPs) are “How much do SIPs cost per square foot (SF)?” and “How do SIPs compare in cost to conventional 2X stick framing?”. Our immediate and firm answer to this is that we do not give ballpark prices. Our estimates are plan specific - that being said, we do not require professional plans in order to create an estimate; if you can provide us with sketches that include window and door openings and measurements/elevations we can usually create an estimate based on that!
There are two major reasons for this.
The first is that components of the house itself are important factors in pricing. The price per SF is not a fair or realistic estimate of what SIPs would cost for any building. The simple fact is that any SF price has a 50/50 chance of being too high or too low.
Whether you are purchasing a full house package from AIP or simply walls, you are receiving a custom product manufactured to suit your individual needs. The panels themselves might be a particular price, but the labor and materials involved will vary. It’s only natural that the pricing of a cozy one-bedroom cottage is going to vary greatly from a two-story bungalow with picture windows looking out on the mountains.
The second factor is that, although SF pricing has become an industry standard, it is one of the worst measures of value ever devised. If your gauge of value is based solely on dollars spent upfront, then you won’t see the true value of AIP SIPs.
When you’re looking for tools that will get the job done right you don’t go to the bargain store, you go to a brand that has been tested and proven. When you’re looking for housing that is built to withstand the elements and will reduce your energy consumption by up to 80 percent, you don’t go to stick framing - you go to Alaska Insulated Panels.
Most builders choose the traditional way of framing using 2X lumber and fiberglass batt insulation because it is cheap however, it is an energy-wasting hog and in the long-run has the least value.
2X stick-framed houses are mostly built to the bare minimum of codes and engineering; or, depending on the location, sometimes even no code or engineering at all. The quality of the contactors work is also a major variable (not all builders are equal) and more than likely won’t be considered when comparing SF costs.
AIP SIPs, on the other hand, have been structurally tested to “The American Society for Testing and Materials” (ATSM) standards with a design safety factor of three to one. AIP SIPs are 7 times stronger than conventional 2X framing and can be installed in 1/4th of the time (even with an amateur crew).
How do AIP SIPs compare to other SIP manufacturers ’ products?
This is a complex question since there are primarily two different types of foam used for the core of SIPs: Polyurethane foam and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam. Comparing AIP’s polyurethane foam core SIP to an EPS foam core SIP is almost akin to being compared to stick framing. The only similarity they share is that both have foam cores and are classified as SIPs (click here to see how our polyurethane SIPs compare to EPS SIPs).
Suffice to say, AIP 6-1/2” SIPs thermally outperform an EPS 6-1/2” SIP by 79.6% and 2x6 stick framing by 285.8%. The return on investment for upgrading to AIP SIPs will outperform the same dollars invested long term in the stock market.
Good tools may be more expensive in the short term but when something is created for quality that money becomes an investment to build your future on.
We hope that this information has been helpful as well as educational and we look forward to working with you on your AIP SIP project.
*IF YOU WOULD LIKE AN ESTIMATE:
Please fill out the form on our contact page or send us an email with as much information as possible - be sure to include any plans/drawings/sketches with window and door measurements/elevations if you can!