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Old 07-23-2007, 03:53 PM   #16
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Do you live in an ICF house?


Nice house comp1911.

What's behind, on the second floor where the wall jets out somewhat?

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Old 07-23-2007, 04:00 PM   #17
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Do you live in an ICF house?


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Nice house comp1911.

What's behind, on the second floor where the wall jets out somewhat?

I guess you could call it a "great room". Living room and kitchen. We installed the T&G ceiling, cabinets, Bellawood maple floor and the tile. Not to mention the 5.6 million coats of red paint.




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Old 07-23-2007, 06:15 PM   #18
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Do you live in an ICF house?


It looks absolutely beautiful.

How high is the ceiling at the peak?

I also have a "great room".
But not as "great" as yours! I don't think.


How large is the room?
I love the ceiling.
Did you do all that yourself?
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:29 AM   #19
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Do you live in an ICF house?


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It looks absolutely beautiful.

How high is the ceiling at the peak?

I also have a "great room".
But not as "great" as yours! I don't think.


How large is the room?
I love the ceiling.
Did you do all that yourself?
If I recall correctly the peak is around 13'. The room is 26' wide and the long wall is 34".

My dad and I did the ceiling. My wife, mom and inlaws poly'ed the boards prior to installation.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:14 AM   #20
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Do you live in an ICF house?


Looks great!
Enjoy it.
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:13 PM   #21
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Do you live in an ICF house?


I'm not seeing to many manufacturers being recommended. I'm using Quadlock. I'm putting in a full basement with a 27x68 manufactured home It's complicated system with a definite structure as to how the sheet of styrofoam get connected. It has to overlap the joints properly to make the pegs fit the holes and it needs to be overlapped in the 1/2 sheets everyother course. Once you get the system figured out there will the exceptions that will try to get the joints out of sequence. Window and door bucks never seem to come out dead on the joining marks on the styrofoam. This makes for a lot cutting and custom fitting and lead to a lot of waste or short pieces. I'm going 10' high or 10 courses. I'll have a little over1200 sheets used or 120 per course with a lot of custom custom fitting. In 100 degree heat it's a duanting task. I'll have the forms up in abother 2 weeks. I couldn't rent coventional forms so unless I wanted to be packing around a bunch of 1" thick or thicker plywood this was the only this was the only alternative. Yes, I'm satified with it. The local venor are good people and I've eve called the factory in Vancouver CAnada a couple of times. My grown daughters have help me put it so it saves on just being able to do it ourselfs. Pretty good stuff overall. bjr
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:27 PM   #22
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Do you live in an ICF house?


An ICF home is not an ICF basement with a stick built, manufactured home or log home on top of it.

A real ICF home, in my opinion, is a real ICF (foam & concrete) structure set on top of a slab, frost wall or basement foundation. The actual foundation is not of real consequence since it is site specific and climate specific. - Not all areas can justify an ICF formed foundation and the details required.

I do not like to get into recommending systems, but Reward has an oustanding site for engineering, destails and construction techniques. Too bad the ICF manufacturers try to push the product for the entire home and will not admit there are places that other construction techniques are much better suited. - this includes foundations and floor systems.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:12 AM   #23
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Do you live in an ICF house?


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...ICF manufacturers try to push the product for the entire home and will not admit there are places that other construction techniques are much better suited. - this includes foundations and floor systems.
Outta curosity, what would you recommend as a better foundation? Am I correct to think that you're saying this thinking that the house is on a crawlspace rather than full basement? I went with ICF from the footing to the roof trusses, and given the winter cold in central Iowa, I haven't looked back. If I choose anything else, I'd consider the Superior Walls pre-cast concrete.

I used the blocks by PolySteel this past year on our 2400 ft2 house and 1100 ft2 garage. Each block is 2'x4' and we got along well. The only down side to PolySteel's product is that the corners SUCK with regards to the available space to securely fasten corner supports. I've been told that they are re-designing the corner block. The rest is pretty straight forward...choose your screws wisely (always going into steel struts) and it works well.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:03 AM   #24
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Do you live in an ICF house?


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Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
An ICF home is not an ICF basement with a stick built, manufactured home or log home on top of it.

A real ICF home, in my opinion, is a real ICF (foam & concrete) structure set on top of a slab, frost wall or basement foundation. The actual foundation is not of real consequence since it is site specific and climate specific. - Not all areas can justify an ICF formed foundation and the details required.

I do not like to get into recommending systems, but Reward has an oustanding site for engineering, destails and construction techniques. Too bad the ICF manufacturers try to push the product for the entire home and will not admit there are places that other construction techniques are much better suited. - this includes foundations and floor systems.
Good point. A complete ICF home is of course a different animal to what I have posted. I just wanted to post my experince with ICF's.

I agree that Reward has an excellent web site. It made detailing drawing very easy.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:12 AM   #25
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Do you live in an ICF house?


Skippy -

Based on being around basement construction since 1970, I would go for a reinforced block or a poured concrete basement. While an ICF wall is great above ground, it is hard to justify the cost and amount of insulation for a below grade application where the soil moderates the temperatures and there is no infiltration. It is also easier to insulate to the amount needed and to waterproof with poured or block (at least in Minnesota).

I also like to be able to see the surface of concrete that is poured for below grade. It is to easy to have voids, honeycombing, etc because of normal placement methods. Corners and windows also add to the potential. If the wall is exposed, any problems can be easily determined and corrected. With ICF wall you never have this opportunity. I can live with some honeycombing or segregation is an above wall, but not below grade. The exposed foam in the unfinished basement also bothers me.

As an engineer, I am not a fan of any precast or segmented wall system because of stability. The lack of horizontal continuity decreases the strength. Also, these systems really do not develope any real degree of fixtity (engineering term) with the foundation. These segmented walls require substantial horizontal retraint at the top to be stable. Unfortunately, the wood floor shinks and distorts over time. I suspect this is the reason for the radical increase in the number of anchor bolts required in the new codes (as close as 6" in some cases).

While I would like to build an ICF home, I certainly would not put it on a segmental or panel basement wall system.

Last edited by concretemasonry; 07-26-2007 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:54 AM   #26
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Do you live in an ICF house?


Good points, thank you.

WRT to the voids and honeycombing -- I don't know if all blocks allow or recommend vibrating, but I know mine was...each lift. In all the basement pour was vibrated 4 times and the the upper walls 3. When I was making spaces for exterior wall outlets and cutting slots for wire, I didn't find a single void of any sort. Lucky and just didn't hit the right spot? Maybe, I'd like to think not.

And yes the ICF on a segment or panel wall could be bad news...Before the ICF house I was considering a SIP.

I do appreciate what you say though and was just looking to learn a bit more.

Thanks again...
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:03 AM   #27
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Do you live in an ICF house?


A foam block house is quiet and sturdy. The insulation factor is also good. There are a number of problems associated with it, however. There is no way to attach storm shutters to the walls. My home was built in 2004, and I was able to get the builder to remove the "attempt" after threatening a law suit. Also, I have not been able, yet, to stop cracking at the seams between the blocks. I used elastomeric caulk and paint, but some of the cracks returned. I am still looking for a solution. If you build this type home in a hurricane zone, use high impact glass, since you will not find any type of shutter that will be practical.
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:39 PM   #28
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Do you live in an ICF house?


I would suggest you look hard at the numbers before going this route. An ICF house is solid, etc, as mentioned. However, they are incredibly expensive and, in my limited experience w/ them, not super easy to keep straight all the way up for a DIY cat. Doable, sure, but it takes a lot of work and is probably best done by someone w/ experience and all the bracing, etc. Depending on where you are, they are not thermally the best. Their reported R value is a lot of bunk; there is 2.5" of EPS on the outside, which is the only side that is important for keeping heat IN. The thermal mass benefit may or may not be there, depending on whether or not you have a lot of sun to heat them in the winter. They are poor in a heating dominated environment if you have to provide the heat from inside. Why put insulation between the heat source and the thermal mass? All the insulation should be on the outside, and the mass on the inside; that is how thermal mass best works. If you pay to heat the mass, there is a larger delta T on the outside than the inside, so the heat will travel out more than in. ICFs are a good product, but for a whole house some number crunching is in order. Plumbing and wiring needs careful consideration, too; plan meticulously, 'cause you ain't makin' any changes later. Good luck. j
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Old 12-05-2010, 05:34 PM   #29
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Do you live in an ICF house?


this system started out in europe over 30yrs ago & have captured about 12% of the bldg mkt here now, i think,,, personally, i can't imagine anyone NOT using icf's for their home for all the abovereferenced reasons,,, for best results, come off the footer w/poured conc as dick says then sub the icf walls to a pro,,, our next to last home in nc will be icf.

blt several homes, mall, & a church w/reward & we'll use them again but there are many avail - pick a good 1 who's got a plant nearby for frt savings,,, still have braces & bucks so its di-meself,,, if you think energy costs are dropping, don't pick icf,,, as i recall, the addl expense of icf's was amortized w/i 18mos from energy savings - heat AND a/c,,, not sure where klinger gets his info, tho
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:39 AM   #30
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Do you live in an ICF house?


First, I was in a hurry to get to my workout when typing above and mis-spoke. Both sides of the ICF are useful in keeping heat IN, not just the outside. The statement I made was in reference to their ability to act as good thermal mass; that is when only the outer layer is doing you any good, as I see it. Why would you want an insulation in your way if you want to send heat to the inside? Does not compute, to me. Next, to answer the "where klingeL (no R, but I'm used to it) gets his info from", I'll tell you, since you asked. (I thought I posted this, but can't find it. Maybe I hit the wrong button?). Answer: various places. For reading, I spend time on the buildingscience.com, greenbuildingadvisor.com, cold climate housing research center here in Frb, Oak Ridge Nat Lab, etc, sites. I read what Joe Lstiburek writes, when I can. I've been DIYing for decades, not professionally but often in place of professionals, and often doing just as well if not better. (Applause?) I have a scientific background, and came to realize many years ago that, hey, physics and engineering were not INVENTED, but rather DISCOVERED. For ex, Q = uA (delta T), etc, came about because "that is how it works", not because El Braino said it should. I don't accept an unknown professional's opinion until I can substantiate it independently, esp when it comes from sales people. Being professional only means you take people's money to do work; it says zero of your knowledge. You gotta prove it. I always tell folks that what I say is my opinion, and encourage them to do their own homework. Nothing I know, or think I know, is esoteric; a million other people know it, too. If you get yourself educated in building science (both theoretical and practical), know basic physics, and THINK, life goes along pretty well with this stuff. Anecdotes are meaningless. Well thought out and executed studies, when replicated, are of use. NOW, and not to be acidic....The anecdotes I hear, for instance, building ICF houses and them working so well, blah, blah, does not mean much. Sure, they work, but one needs to ask Could it "work" better? Could it be cheaper and use less energy if it were built differently? Some houses in Frb "work", but are still substandardly (a made-up word) insulated. Mine is one. It works WELL (about 6 or 7, maybe less... forgetting) btu/hr/sq ft, but I did not know BS (building science) much then, and did things like using fiberglass in my 13" walls. Works, but could be way better. What I would like to see from one of the ICF builders is a QUOTE for someone in your area, and you'll therefor stick to it. What will you install a house's ICF wall for (forget all the other stuff), per square foot of wall area? Then I'd like to see what a wood man would build a double-wall type (see Larsen or Riversong Truss, or just a standard double wall) using 2-bys and dense packed cellulose. For the materials, it is not even a contest where I live. Then, look at what you have for thermality (another word I just made up). All I am saying is "Do your homework." Here is a quote for y'all to chew on. If you know as much as Robert, go argue with him. I'd like to read it. LINK:
http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...humid-climates

QUOTE:
ICFs are among the worst of all insulated concrete wall systems in terms of thermal mass advantage.

... as in the ThermoMass system. Such walls have almost double the dynamic mass benefit of ICF walls in climates such as Miami and Phoenix.

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Last edited by jklingel; 12-06-2010 at 12:44 AM.
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