Author Topic: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina  (Read 37493 times)

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Offline MushCreek

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33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« on: May 14, 2012, 02:48:16 AM »
After numerous fits and starts, my build is actually underway. This is to be our only, and hopefully last home, the first house I've ever built from the ground up. We are building on 7 acres of the Blue Ridge foothills of SC. Last fall I built the barn, and that's my base of operations while I build the house. The actual size is 33' 4" X 43' 4", which sounds odd, but plays into the dimensions of the ICF blocks I am using. The ICF blocks are 8" for the basement, and 6" for the main floor. That's the concrete thickness; you add 2-5/8" of foam to each side of that, so the main floor walls will be a foot thick after drywall. I decided on ICF because of it's strength, energy efficiency, and because I reasoned that it's easier for an old man to stack 7# blocks than to try to hump framed walls into place.

The roof will be trusses, 5/12 pitch, with metal roofing. The siding will be fiber cement. I chose Marvin Integrity windows after much research. The exterior will be a Craftsman bungalow, with the classic large front porch with fat, tapered columns. The inside will be generic cottage style, with mostly light or white painted surfaces and simple design. Craftsman interiors are too dark for our liking. Heat and A/C will be mini-splits, plus a woodstove to make use of the endless supply of wood I have.

I'm using an air card, so I have to watch the usage. Here's a few pics of the footing progress. I hope to start stacking block this week if the rain ever lets up. The first pic is the first concrete hitting the ground. There's another shot of the footing, showing the rebar sticking up to key the basement walls. The footer is formed with Form-A-Drain, which has slits cut into it to form a perimeter drain for the basement. It is also used on the inside to provide ventilation under the slab for radon mitigation and promote drying. The last shot is the finished footing with all of the ICF block stacked and waiting. I used a ladder as a ramp to slide the bundles of ICF down into the hole. Now, if only the rain would stop!





Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2012, 02:54:03 AM »
Jay keep us posted as the progress escalates.  So much for everyone to learn as they see a structure being built from the ground up. [cool]

Offline Don_P

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2012, 03:37:55 AM »
I do like that part of the world. My parents live down that way and offered the house for our retirement when the time comes. We declined as I feel home here but it was not an easy choice, I sure prefer winter there. Looks like a good start. They used form a drain on a side by side pair of infill houses I did that were 4' below the static water table... shut off the pumps and the basements filled to the 4' level overnight. (definite personal feelings on brain wattage involved in that decision!) They performed well while I was there. Do you remember cost per foot?

Offline MushCreek

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2012, 03:45:32 AM »
Here's some more progress pics. We've had record rainfall in the past few weeks, including one storm that dumped 4" in a couple hours. This keeps washing mud into the footing- we've dug it out 3 times since the original excavation. One corner has mud to the top of the footing! We've decided to change up the order of things due to the mud, so I glued down one course of ICF, then we are going to dig the mud from around the footing and get gravel placed. We are also going to pour the slab, since it's getting tiring slogging around in the mud. This will give us a secure surface to work on while stacking the block.

The ICF is glued down to the footer with foam. If you have a lot of foaming to do, a pro gun with replaceable canisters is the way to go. Very easy to control, and the foam is cheaper in the long run than the stuff for homeowners. Next, I started installing peel 'n stick waterproofing from the first layer of ICF down over the edge of the footing. Once the walls are stacked, I'll run more down to overlap the first install. Tip= When it gets over 90 degrees, save the peel 'n stick for another day- it gets ornery when it gets hot (as do I).

The underground plumbing is in, and has been blessed by the inspector. I am measuring and making drawings of all my underground and under-slab plumbing so it can be found should the need ever arise. Most of the stubs sticking up are for a future basement bathroom, plus pipes going up the the main floor plumbing. These are just DWV; water supply will be above the slab. There's also a stack for radon mitigation, a requirement here.

I am going all-out on my basement waterproofing, as if I were building in a swamp. Since I'm at the top of a hill, I think I'll always have a dry basement. Starting from the outside, there will be gutters to divert run water from the roof, gravel backfill to facilitate drainage, dimple board, peel 'n stick membrane, and then the foam and concrete of the ICF. Many basements are damp not due to leakage, but from condensation when the warm moist air hits the cool concrete. Over 5" of foam should eliminate that possibility.

Oh yeah- here's some pics-









Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline tigrr

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2012, 04:37:50 PM »
Looking mighty fine MC!  Enjoying your pictures and commentary.  Keep up the good work.
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Offline MushCreek

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2012, 03:50:24 AM »
Time for another update, especially since I'm in FL right now with unlimited internet! The basement walls are up and poured! The bracing has to stay in place for several days while it cures, so I took a quick trip to FL to haul more stuff to SC.

The first pic is of the gravel bed for the slab, Due to rain, we decided to get the slab poured to better stabilize everything, and have a nice working surface rather than mud.



Here is the slab, just poured, waiting to set up to be troweled.



Next is 4 courses done, and all of the bracing in place. Remember how I talked about how easy ICF was, what with the blocks only weighing 7#? BWAHAHAHAHA! I estimate that there is about 1 ton of bracing, all of which had to be carried down a slippery, muddy slope and put in place. Oh yeah- there's 2 tons of rebar to be cut, bent, carried, and placed. I worked very hard to get all of this done single-handedly. I helper would have really sped things up. All-in-all, it took me about a week of twelve hour days to get the walls up, braced, and ready- WHEW!



There is re-bar horizontally every course, and vertically every 16". Had to cut, haul and place 106 vertical bars.



This is a window buck. The part that stays embedded is PT lumber with galvanized lag bolts sticking out on the concrete side to keep it anchored forever. The bracing keeps the buck in shape under the weight of the concrete being poured.



Here is a ledger bolt set-up. There is a 5" hole in the foam, which the plywood patch covers, and it in turn holds the anchor bolt in place during the pour. The plywood is screwed to the embedded plastic nailers in the ICF. After curing, the plywood is removed, and there will be a concrete surface for a PT ledger board to bolt to. I had to place 102 ledger bolts, both inside for the floor framing, and outside for a future deck. Always plan ahead with concrete!



Here is an over-all view showing everything pre-pour. The diagonal braces are simply glued to the slab with foam, and are adjustable to true up the walls before and after the pour.



Finally- pouring the walls! The concrete is poured in about 3 lifts, as filling all at once would blow out the walls. The total pour took a couple hours, using 32 yards of concrete. Everything came out very square, plumb, and level. There is masking tape covering the top of the foam to keep it clean for the next floor to be stacked. Re-bar dowels were wet-set to couple the next floor, and the pour is intenionally very uneven to provide a better bite for the next floor.



The pumper operator uses a remote joystick to control the boom, while the contractor does the pouring. These guys work together a LOT.



Another shot of the nearly filled walls.



Should be a couple weeks to get the floor deck built, and the next level stacked.

Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline rdzone

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2012, 05:06:59 AM »
Great pictures and Update!   [cool]  You are making me remember why I chose to have someone else do the concrete work!  I had intially thought about doing ICFs myself and even went to a class to learn how, but chickened out after I figured how much time it would take and how many trips up and down the hill it would take.   d*
Chuck

Offline pmichelsen

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2012, 07:00:45 AM »
Thanks for all of the pictures, I'm still tossing around the idea of doing my foundation with ICF, this helps me visualize it. It's looking really good!

Offline MushCreek

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2012, 09:52:46 AM »
Time for another installment. I had a lot of weather delays, what with a week of triple digit numbers, followed by a week of solid rain. Even after that, it has rained nearly every afternoon. I'm learning to time the weather and get everything buttoned up before the afternoon thunderstorm.

First pic is the foundation with all of the bracing stripped off.



Here's a close-up of the ledger bolt detail. The concrete is 5" in diameter. The L-shaped bolt is 8" long, embedded into the main part of the concrete. The exposed concrete is to give solid surface to bolt the ledger boards to.



How hot was it? Officially, 107 degrees, which agrees with my thermometer. It was a new all-time high for upstate SC. Ever.



Here's the floor deck, half covered, and half framed. I finished one side first to give me a surface to stand on, and a place to put all of the materials for the second half. Working by yourself, there's no one to hand you a floor joist or sheet of sheathing. Since it's a walk-out basement, the back side of the house is essentially the same as working on a second floor.



My stairs came out perfect, calculated for the finish flooring and all. Never built stairs before- drawing them out in the computer was a big help.



Inside the basement. Yes, it has rained every day lately, so it's pretty wet down there. At least with a walk-out, it can run out the back door!



The finished deck! I'm amazed at how accurate the ICF came out. The last set of sheathing had to be trimmed to 46", and the size was exactly the same all the way across. Everything is within 1/8" or so of square, parallel, level, and of the nominal size it should be. Sure makes the decking go easier!



The 'best' for last- after 5 years of planning, and a couple of months of very hard work, I get to do the Deck Dance! Next, I need to finish the water proofing so the contractor can back-fill. Then, I start stacking the main floor walls!

Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline Steve_B

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2012, 10:12:01 AM »

Looking very nice sir...

That will be one solid house when she is done!
It's all about the kiddies I tell you...

Offline ColchesterCabin

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2012, 12:28:18 PM »
great looking build so far, can't wait for the rest
Visit my thread would love to have your input http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=12139.0
Feel free to visit my Photobuckect album of all pictures related to this build http://s1156.photobucket.com/albums/p566/ColchesterCabin/

Offline rick91351

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2012, 03:56:46 PM »
Yahhh! Yes the deck dance........  WAY TO GO!!   [cool] [cool]
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline MushCreek

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2012, 03:24:44 AM »
Time for another update. Building a house single-handed sure is a slow process! d*

The good news is that I am finally done with my contractor! Although he has been great, my job is very small, so I wind up doing a lot of waiting for him to squeeze me in. I'll bring him back for final grading, but that's a long ways off.

The pictures are pretty self-explanatory. The main floor walls are up and poured. The garage and porch slabs are poured. I stick-built the small garage. Sure looks flimsy next to the ICF! I put the garage trusses up single-handed, but the main trusses were too big and flimsy to put up by hand. I had two friends from church help, plus a crane and operator. In 6 hours, the trusses were up and braced. The porch roof will be a shed roof from about the middle of the main roof out. You can see the large overhangs on the garage roof, which will be the same on the main house.

























Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline Steve_B

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2012, 03:30:49 AM »

Very nice progress Jay...

That will be some feeling when you finish and walk through that front door of the house you built with your wife next to you

Keep going, finish her up!
It's all about the kiddies I tell you...

Offline Sassy

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2012, 09:10:19 AM »
That should be a really cozy home - can't wait to see updates on the build!
http://glennkathystroglodytecabin.blogspot.com/

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Offline MushCreek

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2013, 03:50:34 AM »
I'm still crawling along. This winter was very wet, so getting a roof was a slow process. I just now finally got the tin on most of the roof. The garage is just tar papered so I can safely finish the gable above the garage roof. I decided to completely finish the gable end before putting the slippery tin in place.

While waiting for the rain to stop, I temporarily installed one of my windows to make sure all of my math was right, and to see how it all looks. I designed a rather elaborate sub-frame so the reveal on the inside will be a 45 degree flare on the sides to reduce the tunnel effect of the thick walls. All that stuff will be covered with drywall when finished.





Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline MushCreek

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2013, 12:40:42 PM »
Well, I finished Phase One- the barn. I passed my final inspection today! The main hold-up was trying to paint it; we've had a cold, wet winter here in SC. Now- back to that house......

Jay

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Offline MountainDon

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2013, 12:49:35 PM »
Nice red barn   :)    [cool]
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Offline yankeeredneck

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2013, 09:39:56 AM »
Nice barn Jay!
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Offline MushCreek

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2013, 03:09:39 AM »
Time for another update. The rains continue in SC, but I managed to get the house wrapped, and the doors and windows in. ICF isn't usually wrapped, but I want to protect the foam from the sun, and it makes it easier to detail the window weatherproofing. My contractor argues that water won't hurt the ICF if it gets in, but it will hurt the window frame!

With the house fully dried in, I finished up the interior framing and plumbing. Right now, I'm working on electric. I went with steel framing inside. Lumber is so lousy these days, I can't imagine trying to get straight walls. The steel goes in straight and stays straight. It's easy to work with after learning a few tricks. Right now, steel studs are actually cheaper than lumber. I saved about $100 on materials over lumber. It takes longer than wood to cut and assemble, but I should make up the time with wall finishing. I found the little self-drilling screws far too easy to strip, so I drill and use pop rivets. My air-powered rivet gun is the new love of my life!

I had to get creative to install the windows single-handed. The rough openings are big enough for the windows to go from the inside out with the nailing fins folded flat. I attached a bracket outside of the window with spacers, so the window could go out far enough to unfold the fins. I tipped the window up and out, letting it rest on the bracket. I went outside and unfolded the fins, then used a wedge of foam to hold the window up against the opening. I then went inside and shimmed, squared, plumbed, etc. Finally, I shot caulking under the nail fins and nailed them home. The big triple window is some 15' off the ground, and rather expensive. It was with great relief that I nailed that one in place!







Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline SparkleCityHop

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2013, 10:56:27 AM »
I'm about to build in the Campobello/Landrum area of South Carolina and stumbled across your thread by chance searching Google. Great job so far, very impressive!

I'd love to pick your brain sometime. I have a builder that is working with me, but he will let me tackle as much sweat equity as I want to. I'm really interested in ICF, but wanted to get some real word feedback on the amount of labor, etc. before I make my final decisions.

Offline MushCreek

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2013, 02:01:13 AM »
I used an ICF contractor to actually pour the walls, and other concrete work. He was great source of info working with ICF. The actual stacking is very easy- they're like giant light-weight Lego's. I'll be happy to share what I learned.

The floor and roof structures were slow and hard working alone. Sheets of Advantech are 78 lbs. each, and the roof sheathing is about 66 lbs. A strong helper would have speeded these operations considerably. I had two helpers and a crane to hang the trusses- took about 6 hours working slowly and carefully.

I love to talk about this stuff- ask away!
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline germangirl

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2013, 04:48:04 PM »
Wow! It looks fantastic! I can't wait to see more.  :)

Offline MushCreek

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2013, 11:55:46 AM »
Well, I had the Mother Of All Inspections, and passed! They've combined inspections to cut down on man-hours in the Building Dept. My last inspection was the basement slab, and the next one (the MOAI) was framing, rough electric, and rough plumbing. Essentially, you have to build an entire house and plumb it and wire it. I would have passed everything on the first go-round, but they changed the rules on me. I've had 3 different drain system inspections where I used air pressure to test it, and Code approves this. This inspector decided that it had to be tested with water standing in it instead. I've learned not to argue at ALL with inspectors, so they had to make another trip out.

How thorough was the inspection? They didn't even turn the truck off! One year of hard work for me; 3 minutes of their time to 'inspect' it. I'm sure glad I'm doing my own work so I know its right. Up next is drywall!
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline mwhutch

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Re: 33 X 43 ICF home in South Carolina
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2013, 03:49:27 PM »
Glad to hear the inspection went well! We are looking forward to some pictures soon, hope everything else is going well! I'm just curious because we are almost to the point of "rough in inspection", how did you do the water test?

 

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