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Builder Invents Clip for Installing Foam

The Rigid Foam Clip can be used in vented roof assemblies, for radiant-floor heat distribution, and in raised-heel roof trusses

Posted on Jan 13 2017 by Scott Gibson

Paul Fabis, a New Hampshire builder, has been installing rigid foam insulation in roof and floor assemblies for years. But he found the process painfully slow, which drove up both labor and workers comp costs for his small business.

So Fabis invented the Rigid Foam Clip, a plastic support that holds rigid foam in place until it's permanently fixed with a bead of foam, caulk or tape. The clips can accommodate standard thicknesses of foam between 1/2 inch and 3 inches while automatically setting the distance between the top of the foam panel and roof or floor sheathingMaterial, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), but sometimes wooden boards, installed on the exterior of wall studs, rafters, or roof trusses; siding or roofing installed on the sheathing—sometimes over strapping to create a rainscreen. at 1 inch. Each polyethylene clip can be tacked in place with a single nail.

The number of required clips varies by the thickness of the foam and the distance between framing members, he said.

Fabis said the clips save time because sheets of foam insulation do not have to be cut precisely to the distance between joists or rafters. He typically cuts the foam so there's a slight gap between the edge of the sheet and the framing — no need for a friction fit — and fills the gap with polyurethane foam.

The clips cost 70 cents each. Fabis had a local manufacturer turn out 5,000 clips, which he sells through the distributors listed on his website. He said he can meet any sized order with about a week's lead time.

Fabis approached a local Home Depot, and while the retailer liked the idea Fabis was told he should partner with a large, established manufacturer to help handle the logistics of wide-scale distribution. That's what he's in the process of doing now.

Rigid Foam Clips are protected by three patents.

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  1. Rigid Foam Clip

Jan 13, 2017 9:43 AM ET

Very cool!
by John Clark


Jan 13, 2017 3:55 PM ET

They would be even cooler at 25 cents/ea.
by Dana Dorsett

The low manufacturing volume demands the buck-a-clip pricing to pay off injection mold tooling & set-up, but there's no reason why it couldn't still make money at a quarter if manufactured in 100K-1M unit volume lots

Jan 14, 2017 10:32 AM ET

Great Idea
by Kye Ford

Love it, but what if the strap and clip system were designed more like a big zip tie, that way the bottom clip could never fall off.... just a thought.

Jan 16, 2017 1:24 AM ET

I am too cheap for clips
by Greg Philliips

If installing in joist cavity as shown. 1. I would mark height where bottom of foam board would go(4 short marks) 2. Tape two short pieces of wooden lath to one joist 3. Place foam board to marks 4. Put shims in opposite side to hold foam in place 5. Install spray foam 6. Move on to more boards. 7. After foam has cured remove shims and fill those gaps with spray foam. 3 of those clips would be $2.25 4 clips would be $3.00 !!

Feb 1, 2017 5:52 PM ET

I wondered when someone would
by Andy Kosick

I wondered when someone would market this, I've been to lazy. We've been doing this with short pieces of vinyl F-channel for years now, but it only works with 3/4" foam. We originally developed the technique for working in eves where we couldn't even reach the heal but its very productive in any situation. We turn nail fin up to act as a spacer or down to work as a nail fin. These come out to about $0.15 a piece and that includes a little labor to cut them up. The productivity is well worth the cost, economy of movement is everything in an attic and this technique provides that. I've had spots I wish I could've done with 2" foam so I'll be interested to try these and see how well this product works next time I need 2". They sound expensive until you understand the time they can save in an attic (retro especially). I'd pay this for them. I will say that I can think of a few things we've done with our clip that these don't look like they'd do as well, but I'm not sure, because they look to secure to the foam better and that could make up for the problem I'm seeing. I can only think of one retro fit maneuver I couldn't do with these. Bravo to Paul, look forward to an order from me sometime.

Just checked out the website, one tip, less packaging for bulk, just dump them in box, I'd be wanting at least 200 at a time.

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