Frequently Asked Questions
I already have my plans drawn using wood frame but I want to use ICF. Do my plans have to be redrawn?
Yes, the wall thickness is greater with ICF and must be accounted for on the plans. Plans will also need to show ICF details for permitting purposes.
I currently have an architect I am working with, they aren’t very familiar with ICF. Is this going to be a problem?
Not at all. We are happy to meet with any architects and answer any questions they may have. We have the CAD details for ICF to upload into their drawing software program.
Is ICF less expensive than wood frame?
Initial material cost for a builder is about 5-7% more. However, you will experience significant savings in heating and cooling costs, home owner’s insurance and maintenance. Plus, the added safety and security of owning a solid concrete home.
How do you add plumbing and electrical to the ICF walls?
Electrical boxes are attached to the built-in webbing in the ICF much like it would be to a wood stud. The foam on each side of the concrete is 2 5/8” thick. This allows standard electrical and plumbing boxes to fit within the foam and not protrude into concrete. The wiring or conduit is “hot knifed” or channeled right into the foam.
Can I use ICF for a basement?
Absolutely! In fact, that was its original application in Canada in 1967. There is a waterproofing step that is needed prior to backfill. It works perfectly for walk-out basements where one wall doubles as a retaining wall.
What other applications can ICF be used for?
One of the more popular uses is for stem walls. We’ve done this in both residential and commercial applications. Other ICF uses are retaining walls, swimming pools, safe rooms, shooting ranges and concrete roofs.
Why isn’t everyone doing this?
That question we can’t answer. With its energy-efficiency, sound proofing, security, durability and green building benefits, we can’t imagine why everyone isn’t doing this.
How hard is the ICF to get? What is the lead time?
Our ICF block is manufactured right here in Phoenix and is always in stock making order fulfillment very easy.
Am I limited in my design using blocks?
Not at all. We’ve can build anything from radius walls to contemporary to Santa Fe styles.