Installation Guidelines



  1. Setup the form work for a typical monolithic slab and double check that it's properly dimensioned and square. (Note: A full basement or crawl space, can easily be accommodated by the Snap Panel System.) Pre-mark the location for the anchor bolts on the form work every 4 feet on center.


  2. Begin pouring the slab. Make sure the concrete slab finishes out square and level. This is especially important around the perimeter of the structure. The Snap Package is a pre-cut kit with all dimensions based on the foundation drawing. It is very important that you follow these simple steps in preparing the slab. If you do, the home will go together quickly, and the need for field alternations will be eliminated.


  3. To tie the walls of the home to the slab, anchor bolts are inserted into the wet cement around the perimeter of the slab and along load bearing walls at marks. Additional anchor bolts are placed at each corner and within 12" of either side of all door openings. Anchor bolts should extend approximately 1-1/2" from the top of the slab.


  4. As an alternative fastening method, expanding concrete anchors can be used. This would allow for any wall location changes after the concrete has set.


  5. After the concrete is set, clean dust and debris from surface. This is important if the sealant is to adhere properly. Snap chalk lines for all exterior and interior bearing walls.

  6. Measure and precut base channel pieces, and miter all corners at a 45 degree angle. Pre-drill anchor bolt locations down the length of the channel with a 5/8" drill bit. Place the base channel down dry to double-check bolt alignment. If channel pieces fit properly, apply a bead of expanding foam sealant along the slab in line with the anchors. While the foam is still wet, place the channel carefully over the anchor bolts in alignment with the chalk lines. Secure bolts in place.




  7. Before installing wall panels, refer to the installation guidelines for the proper panel sequence. All panels are pre-numbered and cut to length. Start at the corner farthest away from the pile of panels. The first panel should be on top of the stack and pre-mitered at a 45 degree angle on the corner side. Insert the panel into the base channel with the mitered side closest to the corner. It's important that the panel be plumb in both directions. If it is higher at one end, anchor the high side of the panel first with a #8 x 9/16" tek screw on either side of the base channel. Lift the low end with a flat bar until plumb and anchor on both sides of the channel. For the remaining wall panels to install easily, it is imperative that the first panel be plumb and true.


  8. Install the adjacent corner panel in the same fashion. Secure wall panels to channel every 6" on center. Screws should be at least 6" from edge of panel to not interfere with snapping of panels.


  9. After corner panels are both fastened at base channel, cut 2" x 2" angle at the appropriate height to cover both the outside and inside of the corner connection. Secure with #8 x 9/16" tek screws every 6" on center. Verify corner is still plumb.


  10. Set the next sequential panel in the base channel and slide just alongside the corner panel. Apply a quick sharp push to the panel. It will snap and lock in place. Whenever it's possible and/or practical, it is recommended to push from the male side of the panel. Anchor panel to base track.


  11. Install remaining wall panels the same way. If sections of the seam don't snap all the way in, as is the case with some longer panels, place a 3 or 4 ft. 2" by 4" on the edge of the panel in the center of the foam and strike it with a big hammer or a small sledge. The panels snap right together with minimal effort. Periodically check that they remain plumb, and make adjustments as necessary.


  12. When 24 ft. of the wall panels have been secured, miter a section of top pitched top cap for the corner. Secure the top cap with just enough #8 x 9/16" tek screws to temporarily hold in place.  Later, this will allow the top cap to be pulled up tight to the roof, closing any air spaces. Remaining screws will be attached during the roof installation. Stagger the splice with the panel joints, as remaining top cap is installed.


  13. At the next corner, check the dimension of the last panel to see if it needs to be trimmed.


  14. After all exterior walls and top cap are in place, install the interior light gauge steel baring walls and beams. Strike chalk lines atop bearing walls and/or beams down center. This will serve as a straight guide for roof panels. Make sure walls are braced properly before leaving the job for the day.




  15. Begin the roof installation. Turn the first roof panel over so the bottom side faces up. Mark the roof overhang dimension on the female end with a pencil. Install the first panel at the gable end of the house. Align the top edge of the panel even with the chalk line on the center beam, and the rake overhang marks with the top wall channel.


  16. Insert #10 drill point screws through 1-1/2" neoprene backed washers. Using a hammer, drive screws partially through the panel and top channel along the outside edge of the roof, and at the top edge of the roof into the bearing walls or beams every 6" on center. Tighten screws down until the face of the panel slightly dimples. This will keep water from penetrating these areas. Leave the screw closest to the male side of the panel untightened, in order for the next panel to snap properly.


  17. Prior to installing the next panel, fill the sealant reservoir with a bead of approved sealant.  (Tropical recommends a high quality polymer rubber adhesive such as Solar Seal #900. This sealant will expand and contract better than acrylics or oil base caulks and performs equally as well on nonporous and porous surfaces.) Place the panel along side the previous panel in line with the chalk lines. Snap the panels together and fasten to the center beam and wall top cap.


  18. Notice that the wall top cap draws up tight to the underside of the roof panels accommodating for any slight wall height variations. As this occurs, the remaining top cap screws can be installed.


  19. At the end of the roof, it may be necessary to trim the last roof panel so that the rake overhang measures the same as the other end of the roof.


  20. When all roof panels are secured in place, the fascia trim can be installed.  If the extrusion isn't the full length of the wall section, stagger the splice with the panel joints. Miter all corners at a 45 degree angle. A thin putty knife will facilitate application if the fit is tight. Attach the trim to both the top and bottom of the panel with #8 x 9/16" tek screws every 6" on center.


  21. The final step of the roof installation will be to install ridge cap at the peak. Apply a bead of sealant under both edges of the ridge cap.  Then center the cap over the peak of the roof and secure with 9/16" wafer head screws on both sides every 6" on center.  Overlap the next piece of ridge cap at least 6". Continue this to the end of the roof.




  22. Now that the shell is complete, window and door openings can be cut in the field using a circular saw or choose to have them precut at the factory. Once openings are cut, measure the width and height. Cut thermo-break receiving channel pieces to size. Miter channel at each end at a 45 degree angle, and then fit on all sides of opening. Slightly flare the last piece at one end to facilitate proper fit. Verify that trim is plumb and level. Secure 9/16" wafer head screws to the outside and inside of trim every 6" on center.  After openings are trimmed out, install windows and doors the same way you would in a typical frame home. Optional: For a more energy efficient seal, place Peel & Seal tape over edges of window flange making sure screws are covered. Apply top end first, then sides, and finally the bottom end, making sure all pieces overlap the previous piece.


  23. Odd shaped openings should be cut to size in the field once the window or door arrives on the jobsite. The factory can precut opening to match the rectangular dimensions excluding the curve. Place the window or door partially in the opening. Mark the pattern of the curve with a pencil onto the panel's skin. Cut the opening slightly outside the mark to allow for channel thickness. Trim the front and back of the channel every 2", allowing it to bend. Secure the channel as you work around the curve.




  24. Skylights should be centered in the width of the panel, within 1 ft. of the sides. For best results, the skylights available through Tropical Mfg, Inc. are recommended. Optional: Tropical Mfg., Inc. will precut and frame skylight openings per customer specifications.


  25. When installing, apply 4" Double Back Peel & Seal Tape on all sides of preframed opening. Start with the gutter end and cut so it extends 4" on either side of opening. Make sure you roll the Peel & Seal tape until flat. Surface should be clean and dry. Apply either the left or right side next, finishing with the header end. All pieces should overlap the previous piece.


  26. Carefully position skylight over opening and secure using #8 x 9/16" wafer head screws 8" on center. Place Peel & Seal tape over top edge of flange making sure screws are covered. Apply lower end first, then sides, and finally the higher end making sure all pieces overlap the previous piece.




  27. After the home is closed in, move inside and install the remaining walls and beams. Any soffits and ceiling drops are accomplished by simply screwing light gauge framing to the underside of the roof panel. Romex wiring can be run through 7/8 inch 25 gauge steel high-hat channel that is furred-out on the inside of the wall panels creating a raceway, or run through pre-punched holes in interior stud walls. Plumbing, drywall and other finishing materials are installed in the same fashion as a wood frame home.




  28. A number of exterior finishes can be applied directly to the Snap Insulated Panel. Install vinyl siding in a conventional manner utilizing #8 x 9/16" wafer head screws. Brick veneer ties are screwed directly to the steel skins. Screw conventional wire lath to the panel and then apply stucco, or apply an approved synthetic stucco directly to the steel skins. Install asphalt shingles directly to the panels with wafer head screws. Shingles over 15# felt may also be nailed to a wood base screwed directly to the roof panels. Metal roofing can also be screwed directly to the panel skin.


  29. Before installation, consult your local building department to determine local code requirements. We assume no liability for the finished product, with the exception of product supplied to you under Tropical Mfg.'s warranty. If you have any further questions contact our technical support office.