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Offline onesojourner

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Building an ICF house
« on: October 30, 2012, 04:44:54 PM »
I don't know if any one is interested in this sort of thing but we are building a new house. I have been trying to keep a blog with the progress.

http://icftfsystemshome.blogspot.com/


Offline archer

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 04:50:36 PM »
Oh cool! thanks! i've wanted to see an ICF house built.


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Offline Drummer Hoff

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 08:10:41 PM »
Thanks for posting the pictures and link to your blog showing progress.

I'm curious how the inside framing connects to the walls.  Do you have framing nailed or bolted through the insulation into the concrete?  The picture shows the headers over the windows being flush with the insulation making me wonder what is between the insulation and the inner walls? 

What are the 12 areas towards the top of the wall that look like braces/voids to keep the concrete from filling these areas?



Offline JC2

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2012, 07:07:30 AM »
Glad to see this post. I really really wanted to build an icf house. Had the plans all done up by a professional and then the bid for the house came in at 325k. I am still to this day at a loss as the house was a one and a half story and 1900 square feet. The only thing fancy about it was the walls would be done in icf. Anyway - i look forward to updates and will be reading your progress on your blog.
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Offline onesojourner

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2012, 08:05:08 AM »
Thanks for posting the pictures and link to your blog showing progress.

I'm curious how the inside framing connects to the walls.  Do you have framing nailed or bolted through the insulation into the concrete?  The picture shows the headers over the windows being flush with the insulation making me wonder what is between the insulation and the inner walls? 

What are the 12 areas towards the top of the wall that look like braces/voids to keep the concrete from filling these areas?

http://www.tfsystem.com/Products/ThermoForm.aspx

There is a plastic "stud" that runs every 8 inches. the interior framing is screwed to that stud. All the drywall is screwed to those studs also. So dry wall is laid directly on top of the foam.

I think you are talking about the brackets that will hold the rim joist. It is a 2 part system. What you see there was placed in the foam before the pour and is now imbedded in the concrete. The second part holds the LDL and screws to the part you see in the pic. There is also a 4 inch pvc sleeve up there for the outside air supply on the wood stove.


Glad to see this post. I really really wanted to build an icf house. Had the plans all done up by a professional and then the bid for the house came in at 325k. I am still to this day at a loss as the house was a one and a half story and 1900 square feet. The only thing fancy about it was the walls would be done in icf. Anyway - i look forward to updates and will be reading your progress on your blog.

ICF bids are really all over the board. the materials in my walls including concrete are going to come out at about 30k. This house will be about 3200sq ft. My most reasonable bid was 20k to install the walls. I also had one bid at 75k... so you really have to shop around. The best bid was from a guy who had never done one, that is what we decided to do. He is basically throwing his labor in for free to help learn the system. After talking to TF reps I felt comfortable going that route. They have been double checking our work and I have also hooked up with another guy who I am just paying by the hour that has experience building these.

Offline rikkrack

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2012, 08:15:02 AM »
 :popcorn: Just want to keep up on new postings. We were looking to do something similar.
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Offline idelphic

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2012, 08:48:38 AM »
ICF - IMO is the way to go..  Insulation, concrete form, 'studs' thermal mass, security; an entire package in the building material that allows YOU to build your own home.

We wanted to build with ICF but our builder didin't want anything to do with it.  Sadly we ended up with wood framing..  but I so wished it was ICF and I plan to build again this is what I'm going ot use.

ETA: One thing I see different is that you are using 2-4'wide by 8" h panels.. this is different then then Nudura product what went together as lego blocks.   Not saying Nudura is a better product by any means..  but I would think easier to use.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 08:54:21 AM by idelphic »
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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2012, 09:09:05 AM »
ICF .... what is ICF???  :o



*googles*


Oh! Insulating Concrete Forms.




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Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2012, 09:50:33 AM »
I was considering building one back when we were going to move and start from scratch.  I started this thread here http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=22862.msg250796#msg250796 for discussion.  anyway, there is some other thoughts about it.


from my research - preliminary, we never got our current house sold, and now it looks like we won't - the bids for ICF were high.  I am glad to see that there is a big discrepancy and that you just have to bid around some more.  If we ever build, I will be doing ICF.
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Offline onesojourner

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2012, 10:12:57 AM »
ICF - IMO is the way to go..  Insulation, concrete form, 'studs' thermal mass, security; an entire package in the building material that allows YOU to build your own home.

We wanted to build with ICF but our builder didin't want anything to do with it.  Sadly we ended up with wood framing..  but I so wished it was ICF and I plan to build again this is what I'm going ot use.

ETA: One thing I see different is that you are using 2-4'wide by 8" h panels.. this is different then then Nudura product what went together as lego blocks.   Not saying Nudura is a better product by any means..  but I would think easier to use.


I think wood framing with spray foam insulation can be a fairly efficient way to build. Another option is SIP construction.

The basement wall panels are 2.5 inches by 8 inches wide by 10ft tall. This is called vertical ICF. There are a lot of benefits with this system one issue with traditional ICF is the blocks tend to float during the pour, this doesn't happen with a vertical system. You can also ship this all flat. Here is a short video from another company that sells a vertical ICF system.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av8xaqpmRAI

I considered a lot of companies and TF one out in cost (excluding quadlock, but they are very labor intense), ease of use and local support.

Offline idelphic

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2012, 11:21:59 AM »

I think wood framing with spray foam insulation can be a fairly efficient way to build. Another option is SIP construction.

The basement wall panels are 2.5 inches by 8 inches wide by 10ft tall. This is called vertical ICF. There are a lot of benefits with this system one issue with traditional ICF is the blocks tend to float during the pour, this doesn't happen with a vertical system. You can also ship this all flat. Here is a short video from another company that sells a vertical ICF system.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av8xaqpmRAI

I considered a lot of companies and TF one out in cost (excluding quadlock, but they are very labor intense), ease of use and local support.
I completely agree and it was short of me NOT to include SIP construction.. However in the interested of protecting my home and family (from boolets) I would take a ICF over SIP. 

However SIP construction has it's use too,.. Does 'stick' framing work? it can if you are again willing to spend a little more.  I wanted a 6" frame wall on all my external walls... this would have giving me a good bit close to the r-value insulation I wanted.  But I only got it in the basement.. the main floor is standard 4" with batt insulation.. Oh well.. kept some of the cost down I got a house that appraises higher then the cost to build.
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Offline Philip

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2012, 11:20:26 PM »
I built our house with Rastra on the main floor and double stick frame on the second floor. The Rastra blocks are a type of ICF that are cast from 85% recycled styrofoam and 15% cement. I used 10 in. thick block but it is available up to 14 in thick. The thing I like about it is the rough porous surface that can be plastered or stuccoed directly. The blocks I got were the commercial size, 10 feet long 30 inches high, so it didn't take very many. My dad and I stacked them in a weekend. Rastra is popular in the southwest because it is thick and it's easy to sculpt large radius corners to get an adobe look with better R-value.

Offline P_Coltrane

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2012, 06:37:25 AM »
Assuming I can get my excavator out here this week, I will be starting an ICF foundation next week. We'll see how it goes.

Offline onesojourner

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2012, 12:03:53 PM »
Just finished up on the upper walls. Check the blog if interested in the details.

Offline causeway

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2012, 07:09:59 AM »
i looked at the conceptual drawings of your dream house and was really impressed.  It's very similar to what my wife and I are wanting to do. We would want to add a basement and eliminate the need for a garage. Our proposed house site is small incline and a drive in basement would be helpful. Did you get a cost analysis from your builder? Would love to compare. thanks for posting the drawings.

Offline onesojourner

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2012, 05:11:32 PM »
i looked at the conceptual drawings of your dream house and was really impressed.  It's very similar to what my wife and I are wanting to do. We would want to add a basement and eliminate the need for a garage. Our proposed house site is small incline and a drive in basement would be helpful. Did you get a cost analysis from your builder? Would love to compare. thanks for posting the drawings.


This is a basement house. You can see pictures in the blog. The basement will be unfinished for now to save costs. I am the GC - builder. So I collected as many bids as I could and I came up with 182k. I think we will be in the neighborhood of that still at this point. Maybe 10k more.


Offline Perfesser

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2012, 07:56:41 PM »
I have 2 issues with ICF.
If the styrofoam is exposed to fire the fumes are extremely toxic. If by chance you do escape all the fumes are carcinogens. They will tell you it's coated with a flame retardant but once past that things happen fast. Fires will travel where you have holes, anywhere you cut has no protection.
If you insulate the inside of your thermal mass (concrete) you loose the benefits of that thermal mass. 
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Offline onesojourner

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2012, 11:57:08 PM »
Your right. If this house catches on fire I do not want to be inside but when you think about it that is true of any house.

Quote
Accidental Fires
Of course, not all dangerous fires start outside the residence.  Neal and Linda Anderson had a fire break out in their home just three months after they moved in.  Built on a remote area of the Oregon coast, the home was everything the Anderson's had hoped for, with a beautiful view of the beach and the abundant wildlife.
According to Mary Lou Fletcher, fire marshal in nearby Pacific City, hot ashes smoldering in a garage trashcan triggered the blaze, eventually spreading into the attic before it triggered a smoke detector.
The family and neighbors stood in the driveway and watched it burn for 35 minutes before the volunteer fire department arrived with a truck large enough to tackle the blaze.
Built from Reward ICFs, the home was not fire-proof, but it did resist the flames far better than an ordinary house would.           
"Any other house would have burned to the ground," says Fletcher.  "When there is a fire in this remote of an area…by the time we get to the scene, the frame houses are gone.  But in this case, the plastic flowers in front of the house didn't even melt."
 Despite significant damage to the interior, Linda Anderson says, "We were able to save all our furniture, clothing, jewelry and photographs."
I'm so grateful for these walls," she continued.  "I built them the first time for their energy efficiency.  I wasn't even thinking about fire.  There is no doubt in my mind that they saved our house, and may have saved our lives."

Arson
Fire investigators in Kansas City, Kansas, say ICFs saved home there when it was targeted by arsonists.
Just days before the new owners were set to move into the Habitat for Humanity home someone threw a gasoline firebomb at it.
Dennis Cranor, the local arson investigator, says that the damage was minimal compared to what it would have been with a wood frame house.
Built from Arxx ICFs and sheathed in fiber-cement siding, there was virtually nothing flammable for the flames to ignite.  When firefighters arrived, the burning gasoline and glass, spread 12 to 15 feet along the front porch of the house, was easily extinguished.
Damage was limited to the plastic porch soffit, which had melted, and the front door, which the firefighters had kicked in to gain entry to the unoccupied house.  There was no significant damage to the interior.   “There was also some soot on the siding, but that wiped off pretty easily,” says Kelly Willoughby, executive director of Heartland Habitat for Humanity.
The local ABS news affiliate reported, “If the house had been wood, it would have been a total loss.”
 Instead, repairs cost less than $500, according to Willoughby.
Since the arson attempt, Heartland has constructed more than a dozen other ICF homes. “We are very proud of the quality of our ICF homes and continue to build as

You are also right about the thermal mass. People that tout this as a pro are reaching. TF does make a product that has all the foam on the outside walls. It is more expensive and more labor intensive to install though. The benefits of ICF stand out even with out the thermal mass though.

Offline JustGreg

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2013, 03:14:48 PM »
ICF sounds interesting.

I've been in a SIP house and until then I thought it was a great idea...then I realized it sounded like a drum....really, really loud.

G.

Offline onesojourner

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2013, 11:07:11 AM »
We had the spray foam done yesterday. As soon as the doors get here we should have a pretty warm place to work.


Offline beakerello

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2013, 08:07:06 PM »
The one thing that I've been "warmed about" ICF is regarding the foam off gassing and making people sick. I'm like to go either this route or go with steel and spray foam.

Offline Jeremy Downing

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2013, 05:09:32 AM »
Building a custom ICF house has long been a desire of mine.  If I am not able to get the earth-integrated, steel-reinforced concrete home of my dreams in which to retire built, then ICF is my next choice.

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Offline onesojourner

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2013, 01:46:10 PM »
I am very  much anxious to know about the completion of this house and how it is being made with the use of woods.
What do you mean by the use of woods?

If it is possible for you then please try to make one manual in which there would be a step wise construction with the pics/images which you have taken through this project,This would be a learning tutorial for the upcoming makers.

I wont write anything formal but I would be glad to answer any questions you have here or on the blog. If you haven't read through all the posts on the blog during the ICF install be sure to do that. I think this is in the blog (and this may only apply to the vertical ICF systems) get 2 table saws and 2 miter saws. One miter saw should be set up with a metal blade for cutting rails, the other should be a sliding miter with a wood blade for cutting foam. One table saw should have 2 blades for cutting the track for the rail. You wont over brace these so throw a 2x4 up anywhere you think you may have a weak spot.

Offline onesojourner

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2013, 04:26:50 PM »
Hey morrisblue, I just wanted to let you know that this project is just about wrapped up. I kept pretty good documentation on the blog: http://icftfsystemshome.blogspot.com/

Offline JsutGypsy

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2013, 06:08:01 AM »
I poked around on the blog but did not find a floor plan. Are you willing to share a simple floor plan and final cost per Sq Ft?

GM

Offline onesojourner

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2013, 02:04:10 PM »
I am getting about $68 a foot counting the mostly unfinished basement.

Here is the main level. The basement is unfinished.



I poked around on the blog but did not find a floor plan. Are you willing to share a simple floor plan and final cost per Sq Ft?

GM

Offline sdcharger

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2013, 08:40:38 AM »
My parents have a neighbor who built an impressive 3 story ICF home.  He is a contractor and did most of the work with help from his son and some friends.  It is an impressive structure but I moved away before I got to see it completely finished.  It had a flat roof where he was doing to be doing container gardening up there.  Next time I am home I will snap some pictures.

I remember him telling me about the R factor of the home and such but I can't remember how high it was, just that it beat the snot out of regular construction.

Offline idelphic

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2013, 09:15:30 AM »
My parents have a neighbor who built an impressive 3 story ICF home.  He is a contractor and did most of the work with help from his son and some friends.  It is an impressive structure but I moved away before I got to see it completely finished.  It had a flat roof where he was doing to be doing container gardening up there.  Next time I am home I will snap some pictures.

I remember him telling me about the R factor of the home and such but I can't remember how high it was, just that it beat the snot out of regular construction.
From what I remember - the R value is close to r-70.  In a ICF house, you generally will have to have air exchangers since they are so tightly sealed.
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Offline sdcharger

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2013, 09:28:14 AM »
That R70 number does ring a bell.  Also, I was standing in the unfinished second floor talking to him and it was very hot outside but the room was quite comfortable.  He wasn't running any air, it was just well insulated.  And it was quite in there, a large truck drove by and I barely heard it.

He was saying he would use a whole house fan but had an a/c unit he could use for the few really hot weeks in the summer.

It was a really neat home, on a small lot, with a great view.  Small lot was why he was building up.

Offline onesojourner

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Re: Building an ICF house
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2013, 03:16:24 PM »
most ICF blocks with 2.5 inches of foam on each side are going to have an r value of about 30. You can get blocks with up to 4 inches of foam on each side. The problem with r value is that it does not account for air tightness. Many icf dealers are going to claim a performance of about an r 50.