Before building a home, you need to hire a general contractor or builder who will be responsible for purchasing construction materials, hiring construction workers, and coordinating with suppliers. A contractor’s primary responsibility is being able to handle the logistics and execution of every stage of the construction process.
If you are building with structural insulated panels or SIPs, choosing the right contractor can be challenging. Only a small percentage of new builds in the UK use SIPs. Not all contractors have expertise in working with SIPs. As such, here are tips for selecting a builder for a SIPs construction.
Examine the builder’s body of work
The structural integrity of buildings using SIPs may suffer depending on the quality of work and installation. If the contractor has limited knowledge and training in building with SIPs, the resulting structure may not achieve the desired thermal performance. A critical area to look into when inspecting how a contractor handles SIP construction is the panel seams.
The SIPs UK buildings are constructed from are supposed to be airtight with minimal to zero thermal bridging. If you notice any sloppy details or poorly executed panel jointing, it is an indication that the contractor is not well-versed in the intricate nature of installing SIPs.
Builder’s involvement in planning and design
The builder you will hire needs to be involved in the planning stage as well as in finalising the house design. It is preferable to hire a local builder because he is likely to have more knowledge about costs and compliance with building codes. If you are planning to use SIP panels and have collaborated with an architect to come up with the final design, the builder needs to be involved in this stage of the process to have a full understanding of the suggested approach which will achieve best results while at the same time mitigating unnecessary costs.
Experience with construction using SIPs
Construction using SIPs is different from other more conventional building techniques. While it is true that your options may be limited if you are searching for a builder with extensive experience working with SIPs, a competent builder who has working knowledge about the material is likely going to be able to do a great job.
What is most important here is the builder’s familiarity with the product as well as the capability to adjust to the requirements of building using SIPs. The builder needs to be willing and eager to learn on the spot with the help of your architect and not shy away from the challenge of being competent with a new building technology.
In conclusion, the contractor you hire to build your home is a crucial element in achieving success. SIP panel construction is a relatively new building technique which makes it equally challenging to find a builder with enough experience. Nevertheless, if you already have a knowledgeable architect working on the project, all you need is a competent and willing contractor because SIP panel construction is a straightforward process so long as the plan is laid out in detail.