The reason why we see a lot of insulated concrete forms for sale today is because of the fact that is preferred by many people due to a number of reasons. Some of its benefits would include being tough, long lifespan, and energy-efficient that only needs very minimal upkeep.
What is ICF?
It is a pre-made foam that fits together like interlocking blocks. The outside is are flat sheets of foam insulation. The sheets are connected with the use of a plastic framework. During the time of construction, the blocks are fitted together, then laced with rebar, and filled with concrete. The forms are then insulated both outside and inside, this providing a high level of wall insulation that is not common in standard home constructions. Due to the fact that the blocks fit together, there is very little air infiltration which then increases the insulation value.
Insulated concrete forms for sale are used to build houses that are consisted of two layers that are approximately two inches thick, both inside and out.
The rigid insulation has a 6-inch thick layer of concrete. It measures almost 16 inches by 4 feet long by 12 inches wide. They also have an inner and outer framework made of plastic which helps stabilize the form and provide strips that could be drilled to the mount drywall, wood trim, cabinets, and siding on the outside.
Moreover, ICF is also used for underground homes, multi-story homes, and basements. They begin at the foundation and go all the way to the roofline. There are some builders that only make use of ICF forms and combine them with other building methods.
Among the primary reasons why people choose ICF construction is because of energy efficiency. Since the walls are uniformly insulated with solid sheets of foam, there are no channels for air to get through. In an ICF wall, there is no hot and cold spot. In stick-built construction, the r-value is diminished by air infiltration and heat transfers on the wooden studs, around the outlets, and other wall penetrations where fiberglass insulation does not fill the area.
One more reason why people choose ICF construction is its durability. It is capable of withstanding different weather conditions. If the home is built with ICF, you can rest assured that it will not be easily destroyed.
ICF homes cost almost 6% more compared to stick-built. Part of such is material cost and part of the cost is added labor that is involved in working with other aspects of ICF. This may vary as the cost of materials could fluctuate. There are some manufacturers of ICF that offer discounts on forms to those who are in the process of rebuilding homes that were destroyed by storms.
As mentioned, these concrete forms are laced with rebar, assembled, Lego-styled, and filled with concrete. Due to the fact that rebar and concrete provide strength to the wall, temporary framing is being used during the pour.
Many homes today make use of ICF because through the years, they have seen how beneficial it is to use one. If you are in the process of building your home, then this can be one of the best options you can consider.