Sunday, June 14, 2009

Building our own SIPs house.

This is the ongoing story of the Ryland Homestead. After living in a trailer for 8 years, we finally had saved enough money to
build our house.

There were two primary conditions:

  • We had to do most of the work ourselves (carpentry,finish work, electrical).

  • The utility bills when finished had to be reasonable. NO $400/month electric bills!

After much research, we decided to build a SIP's house. SIP's stands for Structural Insulated Panels. There are some made from a
plywood/Styrofoam/plywood sandwich. Others are made from a plywood/Styrofoam/gypsum sandwich. There are also numerous ways of joining the panels
together. Some use 2x's, while others may use metal connectors or a plywood spline. We went with panels from Premier Building Systems.
These panels use OSB splines (Oriented Spline Board) to join panels together. The corners are the only places where the panels are connected with
2x's. For our house, we went with 6" wall panels and 8" roof panels.

My wife designed our house using one of those cheap 3D house programs. I took her designed and drew up the blueprints in Rhino 3D.
I'm a school teacher by trade, and Rhino is one of the programs I teach to my students.

In March, we had a pond dug on our property and used the dirt to build up the land where the house was going to be built. We then waited
several months for the ground to settle.


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