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General => General Forum => Topic started by: Jonathan on December 10, 2008, 08:54:46 AM

Title: Anyone here used ICFs? (Insulating Concrete Forms)
Post by: Jonathan on December 10, 2008, 08:54:46 AM
I'm going to start digging for the basement this coming spring, and I have been told that I should consider setting my own concrete forms with ICFs.  This was recommended as a cost (labor) saving measure.  The alternative will be a block wall basement.
Title: Re: Anyone here used ICFs? (Insulating Concrete Forms)
Post by: Jochen on December 10, 2008, 11:06:03 AM
I'm also considering ICF's for the basement for our new built. But I doubt that you can say that it will be cheaper then more conventional built basements. I'm more interested in the higher insulation values of these blocks. Okay, maybe you will save some labour as I believe you can stick such a wall together quicker then a block wall. But I'm not an expert, never ever built a block wall at all. I'm sure that you have already collected information from several manufacturers of ICF system. If not, go to ( for a instructions a manual. That is the system I'll properly will be using next spring.

Title: Re: Anyone here used ICFs? (Insulating Concrete Forms)
Post by: glenn kangiser on December 10, 2008, 07:02:36 PM
I've been on one job and around others, and my cousin does a lot of homes with them.

He has worked out a lot of his own techniques.  As a one off I don't think you will save a lot of time over block walls but you will have good insulation.  You still have to cover  the foam surfaces.

There are some blocks that are better than others.  Some have a lot of waste as they can only be used in one direction.  My cousin liked Reward Walls as I recall as the blocks were more versatile with less waste and able to be turned over.
Title: Re: Anyone here used ICFs? (Insulating Concrete Forms)
Post by: Dwatts60 on June 11, 2020, 07:37:34 AM
I am thinking about Icf forms very simple icf footing on top icf blocks monolithic pour20x20 stem wall may be 3’ tall at the most. Using Foothold icf footing. I am 68 was carpenter for 350 years did a lot of form work residential and commercial.Does any one the cost savings if any versus wood forms.
Title: Re: Anyone here used ICFs? (Insulating Concrete Forms)
Post by: Dwatts60 on June 11, 2020, 07:41:30 AM
Opps 35 year not 350 I am old but not that old
Title: Re: Anyone here used ICFs? (Insulating Concrete Forms)
Post by: Dave Sparks on June 13, 2020, 06:18:00 AM
It use to be that people who used icf did it for energy savings mainly.  I think I do remember the cost was more. These days the mini split heat pumps are just too easy to retrofit after build, and size for the building loss or gain.

With all of your experience it would probably best to do what you know. Good Luck!
Title: Re: Anyone here used ICFs? (Insulating Concrete Forms)
Post by: pmichelsen on July 06, 2020, 06:08:24 PM
I considered ICF for my basement build, but in the end I was more comfortable doing plywood forms with snap ties.
Title: Re: Anyone here used ICFs? (Insulating Concrete Forms)
Post by: NathanS on July 10, 2020, 11:19:50 AM
Mushcreek did an ICF build (awesome, beautiful house).

I think he actually had to form up the ICF before pouring the concrete. I'm sure every product is different and you have to do your homework, but I am not sure what the rule is for pouring into ICF without reinforcing.

Here's his thread, though the pictures may be gone now because of photobucket nonsense.
Title: Re: Anyone here used ICFs? (Insulating Concrete Forms)
Post by: Don_P on July 10, 2020, 12:28:19 PM
ICF, insulated concrete form, you do build the lego type foam form, reinforcing per manufacturer's instructions, line, brace and pump. Working your way round and round the forms filling a couple of feet at a time. There is no cost savings, it is considerably more expensive than wood forms. If it is living space the payback is in comfort and energy savings.
Title: Re: Anyone here used ICFs? (Insulating Concrete Forms)
Post by: MushCreek on July 24, 2020, 02:10:39 AM
Yes, I built my house with ICF, both basement and main floor. It was a good method for one old man, working alone, who's never built a house before. I used Fox Blocks, and no forming is required, although you do use bracing with adjustable struts to true up the walls. The blocks just stack up like Legos. There's more to it, of course. I used clips (from Fox) to hold the courses together so they didn't float up on the concrete. I glued the first course down to the footers with a foam gun, as well as the corners. Bucks have to be built and braced to create window and door openings. I also created small openings for wires and pipes by putting PVC pipe through the wall prior to filling. There's a lot of rebar to put in as well, every 16" both horizontal and vertical. I used one ton per floor on my 1400 sq ft house. NOTE: I hired a professional crew to fill the forms with concrete!

Yes, it cost more. It's difficult to modify once finished. It took me half a day to put a 3" hole through the wall when I changed my mind. It is very energy efficient, particularly in moderate climates. I think that that would taper off in areas that are very hot or very cold. There are 100 tons of concrete in the house, which is very slow to change temperature. In upstate SC, our cooling load is 3/4 ton, or 9K BTU. Heating load is 12K. I had to use minisplits, as central systems are too big to be efficient. A/C in the summer is about $20 a month above our normal electrical usage. Total HVAC cost for the entire year is less than $300. The house is very even in temperature all over. There are no 'cold corners'. The walk-out basement has no HVAC at all, but is about 60 F. in the winter; 74 F. in the summer. There's also R-50 cellulose in the attic, plus I put a lot of study into house design and orientation on our wooded property. ICF makes a very quiet and tight house. It's obviously very strong, too.

The money I saved building my own house more than paid for the added cost of ICF. I've heard wild tales of subcontractors such as electricians charging exorbitant money to work on ICF homes. That's BS. As long as it's well thought out, it's no harder or slower to wire an ICF house than a framed one. The only thing I found very slow and tedious was hanging Hardi plank on the outside walls. I installed it over furring strips for a drainage plain, and it was just plain slow. If I had it to do over again, I would follow the same path.
Title: Re: Anyone here used ICFs? (Insulating Concrete Forms)
Post by: MountainDon on July 24, 2020, 09:47:06 AM
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