View Full Version : Hey, why don't you guys use ICF's up north for your foundations?


1320stang
10-28-2007, 12:08 AM
(ICF = Insulated Concrete Forms) I don't recall anyone ever suggesting it on here, I figure it can't be cost as some of you have Taj Mahal's for shops and garages. Seems like it would be just the thing for a shop with radient floor heating. you could even go up above grade and brick the outside or even just put metal up if you wanted.

Steve in Mi
10-28-2007, 01:03 AM
Nephew used icf construction in his new garage last year. Radiant heated with loft and ran a loop of radiant heat outside to keep the apron area free of ice and snow also. I'll see if I can interest him in posting some details here.

EDIT; My nephew used a product called Reddi Wall. Here is a link to several manuals covering this product for those that may be interested in learning more about using ICF's.

http://www.reddi-wall.com/Manuals.cfm

V-10 Killer
10-28-2007, 11:48 AM
I know it would be a wise way to go. I guess it mainly depends on the cost of the forms for most people I've talked to about it. For example, Menards sells the 12x12x48" ICF for ~$15. Now figuring that out for the square footage of a foundation, it can get pricy real quick. I'm sure there are cheaper places to get them, but the interest in them usually seems to die off from the sticker shock alone.
On a side note, A guy I work with just did all his house walls that way.

Franzę
10-28-2007, 01:52 PM
In this area the masons have conducted a productive campaign against poured walls pointing out you can fix a block wall but you can't fix a poured wall.

A lot of foundation walls that were poured in the past lacked sufficient rebar, and became seriously flaued, and now the building inspectors are scared too. It's also probably a factor of the residential construction being performed primarily bu dopers, drunks and 18 year old kids.

Currently there is an outfit making inroads using panforms developed for the purpose. They can set up a pour in a day using the pans and a boom truck, and then move to a cured basement and take down the forms. The system looks good, but I have no idea of pricing.

kbs2244
10-28-2007, 09:02 PM
Franz has a real point.
A whole lot of construction pratices have to do with local tradition and history.
Around me most foundations are poured. But I have been in parts of the country, sometimes only a 100 miles away, where they are all block. Why? "That is the way we do it." And that means that is the way inspectors are used to seeing it.
Anything new means homework on the contractors part, and on the inspectors part.
Why rock the boat?

NWOhioChevyGuy
10-28-2007, 09:14 PM
I am going to look seriously at using ICF when I do my Attached garage addition. If the cost isn't to out there over block + labor I will use it for the garage foundation and mudroom / laundry breeze way. In addition to using some Radiant floor heating (Insulation is a great plus) I will be facing the foundation on the outside with field stones to match the house foundation that was built in 1845.

I will get some help from my Father In Law who is a licensed contractor in the area, so making the inspections shouldn't be a problem.

JCByrd24
10-28-2007, 09:29 PM
I'd say one major reason is that insulating basements of houses in any way hasn't even become standard or normal yet, even here in Maine (and you just don't see many insulated garages) We are just starting to see insulated foundations in the last couple years. The next issue is cost, it can't compete yet if you are paying contractors. DIY though it starts to look OK and I'll definitely be leaning that route if I ever build again.

IDASHO
10-28-2007, 09:45 PM
Why rock the boat?

Thats hitting on the answer right there.

The 'traditional' way of building WORKS.

Everyone knows that it works.

And Everyone knows how to build this way.

Thomarann
10-28-2007, 10:31 PM
My entire house including the attached triple garage with in-floor heat is all ICF....and it gets darn cold in Northern Alberta. :eyecrazy:

Marc

V-10 Killer
10-29-2007, 08:22 AM
Franz has a real point.
A whole lot of construction pratices have to do with local tradition and history.
Around me most foundations are poured. But I have been in parts of the country, sometimes only a 100 miles away, where they are all block. Why? "That is the way we do it." And that means that is the way inspectors are used to seeing it.
Anything new means homework on the contractors part, and on the inspectors part.
Why rock the boat?

While I can see the point of view of "why rock the boat", there's always justification to try to improve. Heating costs aren't what they were when these practices became local tradition.
What if we never improved on lead based paint or asbestos insulation because they got their intended job done?

1320stang
10-29-2007, 08:56 AM
I've not priced ICF's, but I would tend to think they'd be inline with either poured or filled block once you insulate the pour or block including all the labor. If it's a wash, the time factor comes in as well. No forms to put up or tear down, no applying the insulation... Placing the rebar in it incorrectly sounds like someone was trying to cut corners, most of the forms I've seen have saddles or plastic clips to clip the bars in.

I won't put any in when I build my shop, the ground hardly ever freezes here, nor will I put in radiant heat. I might run the tubing so that if I ever change my mind, I'm ready though.

I just figured, for a working shop that it would be a good thing. Saving energy and time and all.

kbs2244
10-29-2007, 12:45 PM
Just so everyone understands:
I am not against ICF, or any other inprovments.
It is just a fact that construction "standard pratices" are very regional and very traditional.
As an industry they don't like call backs to fix things, and would rather stick with what they know works.
That said, the battery powerd drill, swept through the industry like Serman through Georgia.

rt66jt
10-30-2007, 10:31 PM
In this area, block foundations for basements are becoming extinct due to insulation being required. ICF and Superior wall systems are becoming more common, but still plenty of poured walls with insulation board stuck to them. No such regulation for garage foundations, though. BTW, poured walls can be repaired, but they rarely need any major repair.

Krodad
10-31-2007, 12:16 AM
I happen to think everything should be built with ICF's, but I am responsible for the division of my company that manufactures them, so of course I'm biased.

One thing to consider... when poured wall contractors come in for a basement, you will often see them set up the forms in the afternoon, pump concrete the next morning, then strip the forms at the end of that same day. Even if they wait until the next day, this is hardly the way to let concrete cure for a foundation. When using ICF's, the forms stay in place of course, and the concrete cures wet, and usually much stronger after 7 day, and 28 day tests.
As for costs, just keep in mind the turnkey costs involved in the other methods. In the upper midwest, codes are now dictating that basements be insulated.

W-Cummins
10-31-2007, 02:08 AM
I want to use a product called rasta for my ICF's. They (www.Rasta.com) make them out of shredded Styrofoam and Portland cement so unlike the common icf's they are totally fire proof ( rated at a 4 hr tested wall ) and much more substantial in their construction. The blocks weigh in at about 90lbs each.

William....