Guardian SIP Extension FAQ’s discussed by Guardian Roofs UK

What is a SIP Extension?

SIP Extensions are an extension to your property which uses prefabricated structural insulated panels that are delivered to site when the construction is ready to start. The panels consist of an insulating polystyrene core which is sandwiched between two structural facings. SIP’s are used instead of the more conventional brick, blocks, or timber frames and there are many benefits of having a SIP extension or roof.

SIP (Structural Insulated Panel) structures are used for many construction types including; new build houses, apartments, extensions and roofs and are also used a lot for larger-scale structures and properties such as; Commercial Buildings, Churches, Schools, Colleges, Leisure Facilities, Community Centres, Retail developments and Outlets, Hotels, Restaurants, Supermarkets, Hospitals and Doctors Surgeries.

The insulation properties of the SIP panels make them really energy efficient, keep the warmth in during the winter and the warmth out in the summer, saving you considerable costs on your energy bills when your extension has been completed. The joining system of a SIP structure offers extreme airtightness compared to traditional brick, stone and timber methods and this, along with the insulated panels result in a strong, well designed, warm and eco-friendly extension.

Overall, it is a quicker and more effective way to increase the space you have in your property. The SIP framework for an extension can be constructed in as little as 2 days so it significantly speeds up the process of a build and dramatically reduces the cost of labour needed for construction. They can be used to create strong, highly energy-efficient extensions and can revolutionise the way you think about extending your home or business.

Why do people have SIP extensions?

A SIP extension is an easy, quick and cost-effective option of extending your home or business compared to a conventional extension from brick, blocks or timber frames. SIP extensions are constructed sometimes 4 times quicker than a traditional brick, stone or timber frame extension as the triple insulated panels are prefabricated prior to the start of a build. This means when the panels arrive on site the team can quickly assemble the structure and have your roof on in no time. The construction method for building with structurally insulated panels is fast, easy and cost-effective, and there is less disruption caused to your home or business. The SIPs insulated panels come in different thicknesses, however, all the panels are lightweight which makes them easy to handle and construct even in bad weather. SIPS panels strength comes from their solid core of high-density insulation in each panel.

What makes SIP extensions different?

  • SIP extensions are immediately thermally efficient compared to brick or stonework where inner stud walls and insulation need to be added after the walls have been built
  • They are warm in the winter and cool in the summer
  • They are quicker to construct than a traditionally built extension
  • Construction times are significantly less and can reduce your build time by up to 75%
  • The waste, mess and disruption caused by the construction of a SIP extension is far less compared to a traditionally built extension
  • They reduce your heating and energy costs when built
  • They are designed, constructed and finished by the SIP extension company so you don’t need to engage builders and different trades throughout the project
  • SIP panel structures don’t have issues with shrinkage or settlement and overcome cold bridging issues associated with other forms of construction
  • SIP panels are thin and compact, taking up less space than other external wall build types, resulting in maximised space

Will a SIP extension just look like a conservatory?

SIP extensions can be made to look like a conservatory or a traditionally built extension, it all depends on your design and external and internal finishes. There aren’t any limitations when it comes to external finishes for a SIP extension, you can use timber cladding, composite cladding, metal cladding, render, stonework or brickwork slips all to match your existing home or to really make your new extension stand out. The external finish is purely cosmetic and you can have the same range of choices for your roof; slate, concrete tiles, metal cladding, or even timber shingles.

How big can SIP extensions be?

A SIP extension can be as big or as small as you like. New build properties are now being constructed using prefabricated Structural Insulated Panel Systems.

What are the benefits of a SIP extension?

Adding an extension to your home or business gives you additional living and working space that you may have been looking for without the need for moving which can be costly. If you do move house its a good idea to think if it has the potential to have a SIP extension as this may be something you want to do later down the line and in both scenarios will always add value to your home.

  • Pre-assembled, factory-engineered modular construction provides superior build quality
  • Outstanding energy-efficiency with a U-value of 1.0 W/m2K, these are the most energy-saving home extensions available.
  • Faster modern methods of construction with two to three-week build programmes and zero on-site waste
  • A wide range of colours and finishes available
  • Bespoke design to suit your needs and design ideas
  • Accelerated planning approval
  • Technical support from start to finish
  • Fully guaranteed
  • Good for the environment the SIP panels use much less timber than typical timber frames and are one of the most economical and eco-friendly forms of construction
  • Thermally efficient keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Structurally insulated panel homes provide amazing thermal performance
  • A quicker and more cost-effective way to increase the space in your home or business (both in the panel fabrication and construction)
  • No issues with shrinkage or settlement and overcome cold bridging issues associated with other forms of offsite construction
  • The compact panels take up less of your floor space, maximising the space you are creating
  • Less waste is produced compared to conventional building methods
  • Airtight and soundproof walls (the insulated panels significantly reduce noise penetration)
  • Increases the value of your home or business

How long will SIP extensions last?

In the USA SIP and Timber constructed buildings have been used for many years and in Scandinavia for over a hundred with no adverse effects seen. As long as your SIp extension is dry and airtight there is no reason it won’t last the time a brick house does.

What kind of external finishes can I have when having a SIP extension?

There aren’t any limitations when it comes to external finishes for SIP extensions, you can use timber cladding, composite cladding, metal cladding, render, stonework or brickwork slips all to match your existing home or to really make your new extension stand out.

The external finish is purely cosmetic and you can have the same range of choices for your roof; slate, concrete tiles, metal cladding, or even timber shingles.

Can I extend my home internally with SIP panels?

The structural insulated panels are extremely strong and can be used to replace bulky loft insulation so are now commonly used to convert roof spaces into areas that are useable.

How long does it take to build a SIP extension compared to a traditionally built extension?

SIP extensions are easy to project manage as you don’t have to arrange and manage different tradespeople to complete work at different stages of the project and this contributes to the 75% reduction in construction time between a SIP extension and a brick, stone or timber built extension.

SIP panels are manufactured in a factory and delivered to your home or business when it is ready to be built. A basic SIP framework can be constructed in as little as 2 days if the groundwork is prepared and ready, however, it does depend on the size and scale of your extension as to how long it will take in total. The panels high strength to weight ratio mean that large sections of an extension can be fitted at once, interlocking together with ease which speeds up the time needed for the initial build stage. The speed and ease of putting the structure together mean that a home extension can be walled and roofed much more quickly than other forms of construction.

The drying times when using a SIP structure are again much quicker and this means the building or extension can be fully prepped for electrics and plumbing much more quickly than using traditional construction methods, such as brick, stone and timber frames.

Due to the ease of panels interlocking together and their weight a SIP extension is not subject to onsite weather conditions which can often delay an extension or a building project.

Do you need planning permission for SIP extensions?

It varies from case to case whether you need to make a formal planning application for a SIP extension and it normally depends on the size of the extension you want to build. A good, professional and experienced SIP extension company will be able to advise you about this at your planning and design stage.

Most extensions will require planning permission whether they are one or two storeys, front, back or side, porch or a conservatory. In England, PD (Permitted Development) rights can allow up to an 8m long single-storey rear extension on detached and 6m on semi-detached and terraced houses without planning permission. If your SIP extension is within these dimensions then you still need to notify your local council who will consult with your neighbours. If your neighbours object to your extension then the local council will look into the impact your proposal has on yours and your neighbour’s surroundings. Be aware that in some parts of the UK, the limits are 4m and 3m so it is always a good idea to check this before you start to plan your SIP extension.

SIP’s don’t normally raise any issues if you need to gain planning consent and building regulations for your extension, as long as the design is in keeping with your home and the properties around you. They are now an accepted construction method by local authorities. The ground conditions on your extension site and your design will have an effect on your final planning approval as with any planning application and your external design and features will be included with your planning request.

As with other traditional builds, a SIP extension can have traditional cavity and brick or stone wall, render, brick slips, timber cladding, slate, copper, zinc, stainless standing seam and your external design will be included as part of your planning approval request.

What will the SIP extension look like?

SIP extensions should be individually tailored and designed to suit your needs and it is down to you what your finished extension will look like inside and out. The exterior can be matched to your existing brick, render or stone walls, your roof tiles matched and the interior can be finished to your choice. As with other traditional builds, a SIP extension can have a traditional cavity, brick or stone walls, render, brick slips, timber cladding, slate, copper, zinc, stainless standing seam and they can be designed to be beautiful, eye-catching and elegant, making them into additional space in your home or business.

What will the SIP extension look like inside?

SIP extensions are ‘modular’ construction and when the pre-built panels arrive at your home they are slotted and fixed together. The inside walls can be brick, cladded or plastered and it is down to personal choice at the design stage as to which option you go for. You can choose your flooring as well and all of this leaves you with a fresh, clean and modern blank canvass for you to work with. A good SIP extension company will be able to show you photos of extensions they have completed and this often opens your mind to new ideas that you may not have thought of previously.

How warm are SIP extensions?

Your new extension will be comfortable and warm in the winter and cool in the summer with an average energy-efficiency with a U-value of 1.0 W/m2K, which is the highest energy saving extension available, outperforming a traditional, brick, stone or timber built extension.

What is the U Value of SIP extensions?

The U value is a measuring unit which describes how much heat is lost through a building. It is measured in metres squared Kelvin per Watt (m2K/W) and the amount of heat that passes through the fabric of the building over a year. The lower the number the better and SIP extensions are extremely thermally and energy efficient. They should come with triple insulated walls and roof, double-glazed windows and strong, steel-reinforced structures which makes them strong and durable, lasting for years and years. You should always check this when you are looking for a SIP extension company and look for outstanding energy-efficiency with a U-value of 1.0 W/m2K or less as these are the most energy-saving extensions available.

I have a conservatory at the moment, can I change it to a SIP extension?

You can easily replace your conservatory with a SIP extension and you also have the option of just replacing your conservatory roof with a SIP roof which will transform its look and feel. A good SIP extension company will be able to advise you if this is possible and what you can achieve by just replacing the roof with a solid tiled SIP roof.

Do you need an architect to design SIP extensions?

A SIP extension gives you complete freedom with your design and you don’t need an architect as your SIP extension company will take all of your measurements and help you with your design, giving you inspiration and ideas along the way. The pre-cut panels interlock together which enables you to have different shaped rooms to make the most of your space, leaving you with a strong, environmentally friendly design and construction option. You can have sloping roof panels and create an open space that maximises your extension. The exterior can be brick slips and this is the most popular option, however, more and more people now are choosing to clad their SIP extension exterior and there is a wide selection of colours and styles to choose from. Your exterior can also be rendered if this is more fitting to your home and then painted in a wide range of colours.

Do I need to arrange a builder for my SIP extension?

A professional and reputable SIP extensions company will help you with the design of your new extension and arrange for it to be constructed so you don’t need to find your own tradespeople to do the work. Good and reliable builders are hard to find these days and this is another benefit of a SIP extension, you can design it and then sit back and relax whilst it’s constructed and finished.

Will I need to decorate a SIP extension inside?

SIP extensions can be finished with plastered walls, light fittings and flooring so you have a blank canvass and all you need to do is decide on your colour scheme and finish it as you want to.

How much do SIP extensions cost?

The material for SIP extensions can be more expensive than a traditionally built extension and this is what most builders and contractors will tell you, however, the ease and quickness to construct mean that a SIP extension can be constructed 4 times more quickly than a traditional extension and is not so weather dependent, and this is where the savings start as well as energy bills being less when complete due to them being dry, airtight and thermally and structurally efficient.

Will a SIP extension match my existing home?

SIP extensions can be designed to match your existing brickwork and tiles if that’s what you are looking for. Some people choose for it to look different externally to make it stand out, however, this is entirely down to personal choice.

Can I have a SIP extension to extend my business property?

SIP extensions can be constructed to extend your business property as long as planning permission is agreed if needed. They are a great way to give you additional working space which is warm, light and bright.

SIP ExtensionCan I have lots of windows in a SIP extension?

Yes, the more windows, doors and roof windows you have fitted in SIP extensions the better as it allows the natural light to enter your new open plan space, making it feel bright and airy.

Will a SIP extension be dark?

SIP extensions are light, open and airy extensions that are designed to have windows, doors and Velux roof windows fitted as part of their design which will give twice as much daylight and a lighter and brighter environment to a new extension.

Can I have blinds fitted in SIP extensions?

Blinds can be fitted in your SIP extensions as they use uPVC windows, doors, bi-fold doors and Velux roof light windows. This enables you to have blinds fitted to your uPVC windows and doors or they can be fitted to your SIP extension wall as they would be in any other room of your home.

Are SIP extensions guaranteed?

Yes, professional and reputable SIP extension companies offer full and extensive guarantees.

What can I use a SIP extension for?

SIP extensions can be used for so many things in a home or business. They are light, open plan extensions that are used for kitchens, living spaces, snugs, dining rooms, bedrooms, offices, playrooms and sunrooms, the list is not defined or restricted and a SIP extension will give you additional living space in your home, single or multi-story.

Do I have enough room have a SIP extension?

SIP extensions can be as small or as big as you want. Some people use SIP structures to add porches to their homes, or as extensions to the front, side or back, or use the SIP panels to extend into their roof. The outside finish of your SIP extension can be matched to your existing brickwork and tiles if that’s what you want.

Can you have doors in SIP extensions?

Yes, you can have doors in SIP extensions and this will be included as part of the design process. You may decide you want bi-fold doors that open up your extension into your garden, uPVC patio doors or a uPVC door, whatever you want it can be incorporated and the options are endless.

How do the costs compare of SIP extensions to traditional brick, stone or timber built extensions?

SIP extensions material costs tend to be slightly more than traditional brick built extensions, however, the saving comes in the construction time as the panels come pre-cut to your design and measurements and when they are on site the construction process is almost 75% quicker.

Brick, stone or timber built extensions time to construct is very much based on weather conditions and you can only do one course at a time, waiting for each course to dry before you start the next.

In addition to this, a SIP extension will cost you less in energy bills due to it being airtight, thermally and structurally efficient.

How can I arrange a SIP extension?

Contact Guardian Roofs UK who offer SIP roofs and SIP extensions tailored to your needs and design. We will come out to your home and talk to you about what you are looking for, give you ideas and inspiration and a no-obligation quote with timescales for your new extension.

Guardian Roofs UK

Guardian Roofs UK is a professional, reliable and reputable SIP Extension company who can help you design and build your perfect extension. Our team give you inspiration for your design, take accurate measurements for your extension, help you with building control and planning permission and complete the construction of your SIP extension or replacement roof. A Guardian SIP extension will give you a strong, warm, useable and energy efficient space for you and your family.
Our team are experts in SIP extensions and customer service is at the heart of what we do. We have an extensive UK network of designers and engineers who are all fully trained and approved in the supply and installation of SIP extensions and roofs. We supply high-quality products and manage the construction of your extension from start to finish, adapting our service to suit you.

We are leaders in the supply and installation of market-leading SIP Extensions and offer guaranteed service, performance and competitive pricing. We are committed to providing professional and efficient design and construction and our whole team are committed to quality, health and safety and the environment.

What are the Guardian Roof UK SIP extension unique solutions?

  • Ridge Cappings to match roof tiles or slates
  • Choice of roof tiles or slates
  • Standard rainwater systems
  • Breathable Guardian waterproof membrane
  • Exterior grade plywood
  • Structural pre-engineered frame
  • Ventilated roof eliminates condensation
  • 3 layers of high-performance rigid Kingspan insulation board (125mm) U-value 0.18 W/m.K (England & Wales) and 0.15 W/m.K (Scotland)
  • Choice of external finish
  • Kingspan TEK Building System
  • Internal flooring
  • External flooring
  • Velux Roof Windows

If you are considering a SIP Extension then give us a call on 01914142901 and one of our team will answer any questions you may have or can arrange a meeting for you to discuss your extension requirements.