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Christmas Crafts with PlastiSpan Insulation

December 18, 2014

Plasti-Fabwritten by: Melissa Carruthers
Follow me on twitter @MelissaC_PFB

Christmas will be here  soon and I was thinking about making some crafts out of the random pieces of PlastiSpan insulation that I seemed to have accumulated over the year and make something festive. There are lots of different things you can make from PlastiSpan. In most crafts that require canvas, you can substitute PlastiSpan in place of the canvas. Today, I am making a Christmas Tree.

The supplies you will need:

  • PlastiSpan Insulation (If you don’t have any lying around, you can pick up some Plasti-Fab Handi-pac)
  • Tree template
  • Marker
  • Hot knife or serrated knife
  • Sanding paper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Paint brush
  • Batteries
  • Battery powered mini lights (optional)
  • Decorations
  • Gems
  • Paint on snow and glitter

 What to do: A step by step guide to making a Christmas Tree

I took a 2×2 sheet of PlastiSpan and got to work. I created a template of a Christmas Tree and taped it to the foam. I traced it out and began to cut, starting at the top. There are two methods to consider when doing this:

  1. Hot knife – you can purchase these online and at hobby shops
  2. Serrated blade – make sure you cut quickly

PlastiSPan Christmas Tree Step 1PlastiSpan Christmas Tree 02

I used a hot knife and then when the tree was cut out I sanded all the edges so they were flat. Now begin to paint chose a green, I picked Christmas green. It takes a few coats of paint to cover the PlastiSpan pieces.


I decided to add lights to the tree I was painting so I used the hot knife and made small holes to push the lights through. I purchased battery operated lights because the holes are smaller. After the lights were in I started to decorate


I chose tinsel with sticky ornaments to attach to the foam. I had to use extra glue in some places. There were other items I looked at adding like Christmas balls and flat ornaments but I thought on this tree it was enough.

PlastiSpan Christmas Tree plastispan-tree-07

I also wanted to add snow to the branches but again my late start made this a difficult search. I have learned for next year that for sure. Hope you find this project fun, but make sure you plan in advance because it made finishing my tree a little bit more difficult.


I ran out of lights and all the Michaels are sold out so I will be shopping early next year to make sure I have them!

Share your crafts with us! Post some pics here of the crafts you have made using PlastiSpan.

Advantage product manager builds his dream home – using his own product

December 18, 2014

Advantage ICFWritten by: Greg Doren
Follow me on Twitter @GregDoren

For more than 11 years as product manager of Advantage ICF, I have helped build and market the brand while working with ICF projects all across North America, helping people build their homes as they experience the benefits and features this product offers.

The latest ICF project that I will be working on however, will have more meaning to me both personally and professionally. This time around I will be using the Advantage ICF product to build my very own home.

dorenhome1-bCloser to home

My family and I chose to build our home in a community near the office where I work. This was an opportunity that we were glad to have; as quality time spent with family is very important. It’s comforting to know that I will be home sooner instead of on a long commute and risk driving alongside someone who seemed to have watched one too many TV reruns of the Coyote chasing Road Runner.

The goal

My goal would be to build a single family dwelling with a walk out foundation, main and second floor. I will also be doing a suspended garage slab in order to maximize my home foot print on a typical town lot.

Through this multi-week blog series I will be sharing my experiences as our dream home is being built with the Advantage ICF System. There will be highs and lows; since unexpected things can happen, especially with the unpredictable weather in Alberta.

So until my Digital Marketing colleagues tell me that there’s an app that I can download on my smartphone to inform me of bad weather coming way ahead of time, building challenges like these are situations we’ll possibly be facing and of course, sharing with you.

This ICF project of building our dream home using Advantage ICF will be both a challenging and interesting process. For years I have stood behind the Advantage ICF product in helping anyone accomplish their objective in building a great home. Now it’s time for me to use Advantage ICF for my dream house goal.

I’ll see you all in the next blog where I discuss starting the foundation and placing the footings.

For more information about the Advantage ICF system, visit

Insulspan Supports Sustainability Initiative with SEED House Project

December 9, 2014

Adrian, Michigan

Seed House Render 01On Thursday, December 11, 2014 the residential construction class at the Lenawee Intermediate School District will be participating in the installation of Insulspan Structural Insulating Panels for the first time. In conjunction with the SEED House Project, Insulspan is supplying the SIP walls for the class to install, allowing them to experience first-hand, the speed of installation and ready-to-assemble packages for which Insulspan is known.

Not only is the Insulspan SIP system a simple, quick, and effective solution in construction, but the affordable and sustainable aspects of the product are key elements that the SEED House Team desired. Using Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) cores, sandwiched between 2 pieces of structural Oriented Strand Board (OSB) the SIP System provides a completely insulated wall or roof component, reducing on-site labor and improving the overall energy efficiency and sustainability of a home.

The SEED: Sustainable Energy Efficient Demonstration House is a collaborative project demonstrating high performance building practices that are practical, affordable and easy to understand. Built on the Lenawee Intermediate School District Center for a Sustainable Future Campus, this innovative and unique educational resource will embody proven building science and technologies through a diverse partnership. SEED House provides multiple curriculum opportunities for LISD Tech Center programs and serves as a permanent educational resource for partnerships in the high performance building industry.

About Insulspan
Insulspan, with more than 30 years’ experience in the building industry, is a leading brand of SIPs in North America. SIPs are used to create a building’s structural wall frame and replace trusses on roof systems to form an extremely energy-efficient structural “envelope.”

As part of a vertically integrated organization, the Insulspan SIPs, or structural insulating panel system, consist of solid-one piece, pre-cut SIPS that are ready to install as wall, floor and roof components in many residential and commercial building applications.

With locations in Blissfield, Michigan and Vancouver, British Columbia, Insulspan is one of the few manufacturers in the industry with the ability to produce jumbo 8’X24’ panels. Insulspan is known for having the most complete ready-to-assemble package in the industry.

More Information on SEED House can be found at:

Make Yourself Comfortable with EPS Insulation

November 21, 2014

Plasti-Fabfamily-timeIn the insulation industry we talk a lot about comfort and ways that you can have a more comfortable home by using our products as energy efficient solutions. What does comfort really mean? Not so much to us, but to YOU. What defines YOUR comfort?


For some, it is a warm home where you and your family can relax. For others, it’s a healthy home, where you don’t have to worry about harmful air pollutants. Or maybe it’s the safety of your home; trusting that the structure you have built is secure and strong against man AND nature. Whatever defines comfort for you, make it a priority, and find the insulation solutions that will help you achieve your comfort goals.

There are many EPS insulation products available that will help you reach your goals for your home, but knowing the right one for you may be a daunting task. While Plasti-Fab has a whole line of varying insulation options that are solutions to many applications, our strongest contribution is the service we give and the expertise we employ to help you find your right solution.

So whether your comfort stems from knowing your home is wrapped in a layer of insulation that keeps the cold out and the heat in (PlastiSpan & DuroFoam Insulations), or you breathe easier knowing dangerous gases are being trapped and removed before they can enter your home (Radon Guard™ Insulation), or if you simply want to know your family is protected from the elements outside (Insulspan SIPS, Advantage ICFS), give us a call…we can help.

Visit for more information on using EPS Insulation or any of our building systems in your project.

Warm it up for the Winter!

October 16, 2014




Written by: Temira K.

That’s right I said it. Winter is coming. And if you believe the forecast for this coming season we are in for a doozy. Last winter I actually ran out of Propane because my house could not hold on to the heat in the extremely cold and lengthy winter we had. With the prices of propane and natural gas being what they are, I prefer to be proactive than pay extra when I find icicles on the walls. So this year I have decided to add a layer of insulation to my home, not into the walls, but create a nice warm blanket on the outside.

BIG-warm-houseNo, my house will not look like it has hit the snooze button and crawled back under the covers. When I say I am adding the equivalent of a blanket, I mean with a continuous layer of insulation, referred to as exterior sheathing insulation. This creates an insulation barrier that does not have those pesky air gaps that allow cold in and heat out. I work for a company that manufactures insulation. I see the numbers; I know what it can do, and how much it costs to make it happen. It is just not possible for me to sit through another winter like last year, knowing how much I can improve the comfort in my home with EPS (expanded polystyrene) insulation.

Exterior insulation projects kind of need to be viewed like putting up your Christmas lights. The weather might seem nice now, and you may think, I’ve got plenty of time to get this done, but no one wants to be hanging Christmas lights (or placing sheathing insulation) in the snow. So now is the time.

EXTERIORINSULATINGSHEATHING01PSThis installation project is not difficult, and we have a step by step guide all set up to help complete it successfully. My first task is to determine what R-value I would like to gain with the addition of the insulation. There is a R3.75 per inch insulation, known as PlastiSpan®, and then there is a higher R-value product PlastiSpan HD, that gives me 4.04 R per inch. Because I don’t plan to change my windows, the higher the R-value per inch the better because I don’t want to add too much thickness to the outside of my home at this stage.

We also have a laminated product called DuroFoam, which is incredibly durable, (hence the name) can bend and flex without breaking and makes for a cleaner and much more seamless insulation project overall. I am choosing to go with this product, in a higher R-value, known as the DuroFoam Plus line. So I have chosen to add ¾ inch DuroFoam Plus Exterior Sheathing to my house.

I won’t walk you through all the steps that I will be taking to complete the project, but if you would like to see for yourself what they are, you can check them out here.

young attractive business woman working on laptop and celebratingSo when I am done with this insulation project, my house will no longer have icicles on the walls, my heating bill should be more bearable, and I can finally stop wearing my winter coat inside!


Candy Cake… Just in Time for Trick or Treat

October 13, 2014
Extra decoration makes it even more appealing

Extra decoration makes it even more appealing

Our author wrote this blog with the focus on wedding cakes; however with Halloween right around the corner, it seemed like a great idea to use for trick-or-treaters as well. If you want to hand out candy this year, and are looking for something more creative than candy in a bowl, the cake idea below is a great way to display candy for your visitors too!

Written by Melissa Carruthers

So for the last 10 years I have been making cakes for friends and family. Four tier wedding cakes, bear cakes, Thomas the train cakes and anything else I could think of. Last year I was the Maid of Honor in a wedding in Halifax. Living in Calgary made the possibility of making the wedding cake impossible so I had to come up with another idea. I thought about a Plasti-Span Grooms cake. I know the groom is a huge candy fan and the wedding colors were orange and white. So why not take PlastiSpan EPS and create the cake.

I had 4 tiers made in circles ranging from 14” in diameter to 4”. I painted them all orange, (This process took 3 coats of paint and my desk and hands were orange… but it was worth it!) Make sure you use acrylic paint and use a foam brush. It saves time.

After the cake was painted I shopped for candy… Specifically orange candy.  (Except for the baseball chew because they are a favorite). I didn’t know how difficult shopping for orange candy only would be, but it was a task all in itself!

So with the “Cake” made, I was off to Halifax.  When I arrived 8 plus hours of flying later, my luggage did not.  So somewhere in Canada was my Bridesmaid dress and this 4 tier candy wedding cake. I could not have been more thankful that the cake was durable, made of foam, and would assemble easily when I put it together. Finally everything arrived and the bride to be and I put it together. It was a great way to keep her calm the day before the wedding.

Step by Step…

  1. I pre-painted all the tiers so we wouldn’t need to do this in a hotel room
  2. We glued all the tiers together making sure each one was mostly dry before we attached the next one so they didn’t move around. (here is where we made a first timer mistake. We should have made the holes for the lollipops first instead of putting them in last)
  3. Starting with the largest candy we mapped out a plan. We knew how much and what candy was needed for each level.
  4. Now we started pinning all the candy to the bottom tier, then slowly to the top. We made sure we had extra candy just in case we ran out or got hungry while we were building it.
  5. Now for the lollipops. We stuck them in the top of the cake and voila it was complete.


Needless to say, even with delays, and luggage problems, both the bride and groom were in love with it and the Groom was shocked to see it.

Again a few things to take into consideration:

  1. Have lots of white craft glue to stick the tiers together
  2. Make sure the candy you buy can be molded around the cake (some candy didn’t get used because it wouldn’t curve)
  3. Bring lots of pins, some candy took 4 to hold in place
  4. Have a bowl beside the cake when you serve it (if you let people eat it). This way there is something for them to put the pins in
  5. Take lots of pictures
  6. Put the holes in the top tier first if you are using lollipops


Plasti-Fab’s Lebanon Ohio facility wins Go Green Recycling Award for Sustainability

October 6, 2014

The Warren County Solid Waste Management District has awarded Plasti-Fab’s Lebanon Ohio operation as the recipient of the Go Green Warren County Contest for 2014. In this contest the Lebanon Manufacturing Facility was given the award for their recycling efforts, as the amount of waste their plant delivered to the landfill was considerably lower than other facilities in the area.

Word of the reduced landfill deliveries made its way to county, making them aware of the continued efforts at the Lebanon, Ohio facility to maintain their sustainable standing and recycling models. The Plasti-Fab team at the facility was recognized at a breakfast held in honor of their continuing efforts.

Go Green Award

PFB® manufactures innovative, high-quality insulating building products and technologies that, when used as components of a building envelope, enable residential and commercial structures to be highly energy-efficient. We are experts in geotechnical application of our products.

At PFB Corporation, we are concerned with the future of the planet and the effects that modern life styles may be having on climate change. PFB Corporation is committed to conducting its operations responsibly, mindful of the economic, environmental and social impacts of its operations. It is our policy to measure improvements in reducing the impact of our activities on the basis of economic, environmental and social factors and to report improvements to our stakeholders on an annual basis.

At PFB’s Plasti-Fab plant in Lebanon, Ohio we re-use our EPS material by putting it back into the block to produce more insulation products. When this is not possible, we thermally compact the EPS and sell to recyclers. The recyclers in turn manufacture plastic products such as picture frames, wall/ceiling moldings and other consumer products. Our sustainability practices avoid EPS going to the landfill.

To learn more about PFB’s Sustainability practices, visit


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