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On the garages, all of the timber frame has been completed, and the roof sheathing done.  So the next step has been to cover it all with what we used to call stress-skins, and are now called Structural Insulated Panels or SIPs.

SIPs are a pretty wild and innovative concept in building.  They consist of a wall “frame” built in a factory of OSB (similar to plywood) integral 2×4’s, and insulation all in one made to assemble on site.  You can build a whole building from them without any other structural components.  In a lot of ways it’s overkill on a timberframe where you already have an incredibly resilient structure in place.  But SIPs are also wonderfully convenient for this kind of building.  They come pre-made with door and window cut-outs, as well as electric and plumbing chases to order.  The walls for the timberframe are “simply” assembled on site and attached to the timberframe.

Well, maybe not quite so simply.  Some of them can weigh a couple of thousand pounds, and you need expensive equipment to move them in place.  Rather than continually renting equipment for this kind of job, I bit the bullet and bought a skid- steer and fork-truck (shown below), which have already paid themselves off in spades helping with this and other kind of work.

Installing Structural Insulated Panels

Installing Structural Insulated Panels