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SIP Roof Delivery & Installation

by Going Slowly

After months of planning our roof, today was the day we'd been waiting for—bright and early this morning, a crew showed up to deliver and install our SIPs! As with any big project, the challenges began immediately. First off, their boom truck had to reach the house site, and getting there was no easy feat. It took the guys forty minutes of trying and failing to gun it up the rocky hill leading to our cottage.

Boom Truck Off-Roading to House Site

Eventually, we had to cut down a small tree so they could make the turn! As soon as the tree hit the ground, the installers—a motley crew of hilarious guys—piled on, limbing it and clearing the road. Make way for the Alan Cabin SIPs!


Once they reached the house site, the boom truck unleashed its crane. In order to prep the panels for installation, they had to hoist half of them over the house. Cue nail-biting. As one of the guys fiddled with arcade-like joysticks on the truck, guiding the panels to their destination, we stood gaping, murmuring "oh my god..."

Boom Truck Unloading SIP Panels

Thankfully, none of the nightmares we imagined came to pass. All twelve hundred pounds of OSB and EPS foam made it safely to the ground on the other side of our house.

Boom Truck Unloading SIP Panels

Once the panels were on the ground, the guys got to work affixing them together...

SIP Panel Spline Installation SIP Panel Sub-Fascia Board Installation

After that, they spent the next several hours measuring the roof over and over, calculating the correct spacing for the four skylight openings in our plan. Our rafters are approximately two foot on center, and the skylights have a rough opening of 21 inches. This doesn't leave much room for error!

SIP Panel Screw Layout SIP Panel Skylight Removal Cutting SIP Panel Foam w/ Hot Knife

Finally, the panels were taped and foamed together, and it was time to install them on the roof…

Sealing Sip Panels w/ Triple Expanding Foam Triple Expanding Foam on SIP Panel Taping SIP Panel Before Installation

Cue even more nail-biting!

SIP Panel Roof Installation SIP Panel Roof Installation

The whole process took much longer than we thought it would, mainly because the roof wasn't perfectly square, and because our rafter spacings weren't perfect (we're new at this building thing). By the end of the day they managed to get the SIPs mounted, though.

SIP Panel Roof Installation

Hooray! One more layer in the seemingly endless roofing sandwich is complete!

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Wow, no wonder some people use SIPs for timber frame buildings..if those were walls, they'd go up fast!
Posted by Joan on June 17th, 2014 at 4:52 PM
Wow, exactly five years ago you reached the 1,000th mile (just the beginning) of an epic bicycle trip. Now you're putting a roof on your very own house and the rest of your homestead is taking shape as well. Did you ever think...?

Thanks again for sharing this amazing journey with us all.
Posted by Jennifer on June 17th, 2014 at 5:08 PM
Joan - Yep!

Jennifer - Thanks for your sweet comment! It's easy to lose perspective in the midst of this project, so thanks for helping us see the forest for the trees, so to speak. :-)
Posted by Tara on June 18th, 2014 at 11:12 AM
I see windows and a door and a strawbale or two positioned!

You guys have done a great job!
Posted by Christine on June 18th, 2014 at 12:06 PM
I do have a question: why did they put triple expanding foam in the SIP's, and why did they do it like they did?
Posted by Christine on June 18th, 2014 at 12:08 PM
The triple expanding foam fills a groove that runs alongside the edge of each panel. This makes an airtight seal where the panels are joined together.
Posted by Tyer on June 19th, 2014 at 8:38 AM

I have visions of loveliness when it's all complete!
Posted by Christine on June 19th, 2014 at 8:42 AM
Thanks for the kind words Christine! This is a really exhausting project... I feel out of my depth on a daily basis but we're slowly figuring it all out :)
Posted by Tyler on June 19th, 2014 at 8:50 AM
This is so interesting to watch! Thank you for taking the time to share these posts and information. I'm fascinated by the different materials and processes, and all that you are learning.
Posted by Julia H. on June 23rd, 2014 at 8:35 PM
Thanks, Julia! I'm glad you're enjoying the process! <3
Posted by Tara on June 27th, 2014 at 2:48 PM