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 sheathing 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.