SuperForm Blog

Building ICF Homes: What You Need to Know

You probably already know some benefits of building with insulated concrete forms (ICF). They create exceptionally strong concrete with superior insulation. However, there is much to consider when building ICF homes. This post will cover what builders and homeowners need to know about building homes with ICFs.

What You Need to Know About Building ICF Homes

Planning and Expertise

ICFs are very easy to use on the job site. However, they require specific knowledge and expertise during the design and planning stages, so you must find designers and contractors with the necessary skills and knowledge to work with ICFs.

Might Cost More

An ICF construction project might cost more than some alternatives. While ICF homes will have several advantages over traditional wood framing, it will cost more. ICF construction may also cost more upfront when compared to conventional methods for pouring concrete. However, you might save time and labor with ICFs to mitigate the additional upfront cost.

Pour Rate is Important

ICFs are hollow blocks that builders stack to create concrete forms for structures. The real structural element is the concrete they pour into the forms. However, it is crucial to maintain the proper pour rate. If you pour too quickly, the forms could burst.

Vibrating the Concrete

The pour rate is one element of creating reliable ICF walls. Another critical point is to vibrate the concrete when pouring. It prevents voids and bubbles in the poured concrete. It also ensures a more consistent pour for stronger structures.

Bracing and Leveling

Bracing and leveling are fundamental to ensure the structural integrity of ICF construction. Leveling ensures that you have ICF walls that are level and consistent. Bracing protects the ICF forms from wind and other lateral forces while the concrete cures.

Below-Grade Waterproofing

Building codes may require the waterproofing of below-grade walls. It is especially true for below-grade walls that have interior living space. The builder should consider various drainage solutions and install a waterproof membrane.

Must Use the Right Accessories

Depending on the ICF system, the builder may need to use various accessories to complete and secure the forms. That said, due to the strength of  Superform, most fasteners such as wire clips, zip ties, and spray foam are not needed. However, ICF bracing and additional support are needed to make sure the concrete pour goes more smoothly.

Are you interested in building ICF homes? Click here to contact the team from SuperForm. Our innovative ICF system creates stronger structures while simplifying the building process. Reach out now to learn more about the benefits of SuperForm products.

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