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vkscafe214 10-09-2012 05:22 AM

ICF Garage
My wife and I are planning on building a large garage this summer to get our feet wet in DIY ICF. We are also very interested in putting a concrete deck on top as well.

I like the idea of pouring the walls and footing at the same time and am very interested in whether or not someone has experience with Fastfoot.

I have done a ton of reading/researching on the various ICF maufacturers and related products.

However, no matter how much I read, I can't seem to find an answer to this question...

When it comes to frost line (we are building in SW MO) I understand the footing must be below it, but at what point do we pour the slab? In other words do I run one course of ICFs and then pour essentially even with that, or pour even with the footing below the frost line?

It is all very confusing to me and I would obviously prefer to get it right the first time.

Thanks for your replies!!

woodworkbykirk 10-09-2012 03:45 PM

first off icf isnt a diy project. nearly everywhere icfs must be done by licensed installers or with a licensed installer on site aiding as its a engineered product. i am one such installer both on nudura and Arxx.

as for the slab height it goes whereever you need it to be as long as the footing is below the frost line, simply continue the frost wall up above grade at least 8". then backfill inside the frost wall with gravel

vkscafe214 10-10-2012 02:50 AM

I appreciate your answer as well as your discouragement. I think we will forge ahead however.

I am hopeful to hire a crew on pour day and am also hopeful to take the course offered by Nudura before beginning construction.

It does not appear to be rocket science, no offense intended. Nudura's own website seems to be geared toward the homeowner doing their homework, getting trained and then trying it out.

If it fails, it fails, I've spent more money for less results in the past so that's why I am starting with a garage first!!

Oh yes, by the way, I am way out in the country with no codes!

GBrackins 10-10-2012 06:31 AM


Originally Posted by vkscafe214 (Post 1027928)
Oh yes, by the way, I am way out in the country with no codes!

so does that mean you can built it anyway you want without any regard to safety or proper construction? That is the basis for building codes, not merely a device to be used to hit you over the head by the town/city.

Just make sure you do not need a permit, some places without codes still require permits. Wouldn't want to get in trouble over a few bucks.

make sure you properly brace the ICF's in strict compliance with the manufacturer's specifications. One issues I've seen with them is blow outs when the forms where not properly braced, and keeping the wall lines straight.

ants and termits (rodents too) love living in the styrofoam so you'd need to remove it above grade (about 6" below grade up).

It's probably more work than you'd expect but if you're willing to sweat and take what you get ......

Good luck!

woodworkbykirk 10-10-2012 01:10 PM

i would not wait til pour day to have a crew come out and help. have the supplier send the rep for the product out to work with you or have someone work with you while you put it up.

odd corners, rebar details and rough openings are the tricky part and not something a diyer will be able to handle smoothly. and as stated when you go to get the inspection they`ll want the license of the installer so they can sign off on it

concretemasonry 10-10-2012 01:58 PM

I see it coming, just like a deer staring at the headlight on a train.

Any idea of the size or the garage (sf), below grade depth of the wall, height of the walls above grade? Don't forget the bracing, to use a pump or find a way to break the concrete up in lifts without and cold joints and rebar splices. If you have a shifting or a blowout from bad placement methods, it happens when the foam blocks are full of wet concrete.


shazapple 10-10-2012 02:06 PM

Seems like an awfully expensive method of building a garage.

concretemasonry 10-10-2012 05:12 PM

Not everyone wants do it the cheap way. Somepeople want quality, strength and durability.

Personally, I would not waste money on ICFs for a wall below grade. They are great above grade. - About as good as a concrete wall and have great insulation. There is a limit to the height because of the concrete thickness.


GBrackins 10-10-2012 05:16 PM

I agree. if in a cold climate they can work well for a crawl space or full basement. but knowing how to work with them is key to your success. I've seen guys that were "qualified" by the manufacturer screw them up. a few blow outs and some not so straight walls ....

woodworkbykirk 10-10-2012 07:19 PM

i build with icf all the time and wonder the same thing about doing frost walls with icf... in one way its a waste of money but the labor is still much quicker than conventional forms as you dont have to strip all the panels and clean em off.

vkscafe214 10-13-2012 01:49 AM

Thanks so much for all the advice. I will indeed do my due diligence in regards to permits, inspections and such.

As far as spending the money, the end of the garage will also house two root cellars. I will also be covering the last 10' or so with earth to create a more stable temperature for the "root cellars".

This is also our test run for a later build on an entire house.

Last thing, both Nudura and Quad-lock (the two vendors we are speaking with) are willing to assist in any way we need to include inspecting, assembly and pour.

Great advice all and if you have further thoughts please include them, or perhaps links to other discussions!!

woodworkbykirk 10-13-2012 10:54 AM

speaking from experience i would go with nudura. its a better designed system. there area roughly 10 different systems available here and nudura is easily the most used for the reason stated.
i framed a house earlier this year that was built on a quadlock foundation..... not impressed, though it has a thicker layer of foam on the outside for better insulation it makes for a much weaker connection where the mudsills attach where the plates wont have full bearing on concrete unless you want to pull your plates in and create a ledge detail or use 2x10 for a mudsil

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