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Comparing the Average Cost of ICF House vs. Wood Framing

More builders and homeowners are becoming interested in ICF home construction. They’ve heard about the benefits and want to move away from traditional wood framing. However, they might have concerns about the cost differences. This post will cover the average cost of an ICF house vs. wood framing.

Average Cost of ICF House Vs. Wood Framing: Which Is Better?

Initial Investment

Building a home with Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) usually costs about 3-5% more than a traditional wood-frame home. While this higher upfront cost might worry some homebuyers, the long-term advantages often make it worth the extra money.

Utility Costs

  • Wood-Frame Home: About $0.10 per square foot each month.
  • ICF Home: Around $0.03 per square foot each month.
  • Savings: This means ICF homes are much cheaper to maintain, leading to significant savings on utility bills over time.

Long-Term Financial Analysis

  • Initial Costs: Wood-frame homes are cheaper to build, but ICF homes save more money in the long run.
  • Wood-Frame Home: Cheaper to build but with higher utility bills. Along with that, ICF walls are typically cheaper to maintain.
  • ICF Home: More expensive to build, but much lower utility bills. Additionally, the moisture resistance and strength make ICF homes more durable.

Example Cost Analysis Over 30 Years

For a 2,500-square-foot home with costs calculated at a 2% inflation rate over 30 years:

Wood-Frame Home

  • Mortgage: $375,584
  • Utilities: $106,650
  • Total: $482,235

ICF Home

  • Mortgage: $422,536
  • Utilities: $31,995
  • Total: $454,531

As you can see, choosing an ICF house over wood framing can save you money in the long run. However, mortgage, material, and utility costs will change over time.

More Advantages of ICF Homes


On the one hand, wood-frame houses have cracks and thermal bridges that waste energy. On the other hand, ICF structures don’t have these problems and maintain a much higher insulation rating for their lifespan.


ICFs are durable and protect against natural disasters and calamities. Their durability makes them ideal for disaster-resistant construction. They can withstand 300 mph winds, compared to the 120 mph limit for wood frames. Additionally, the concrete core can provide fire resistance of up to four hours.

Moisture Resistant

Unlike wood-frame structures, ICFs don’t rot, mold, or get damaged by insects. Wood-frame buildings use chemicals and adhesives that can harm indoor air quality over time. In contrast, the concrete and EPS in ICFs are non-toxic and better for indoor air quality.


Soundproofing improves a building’s comfort and versatility, especially in residential areas. Installing soundproofing in wood-framed buildings can involve costly insulation. Tests show ICFs allow less than a third of the sound to intrude compared to wood-framed walls with fiberglass insulation.

Are you interested in building with ICFs? Click here to contact the team from SuperForm. Our innovative ICF system simplifies construction while creating stronger concrete. Reach out now to learn more about the benefits of SuperForm building products.

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