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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I attended the BuildBlock roundtable yesterday, and one of the topics discussed was how to get contractors involved with ICF's. We, as distributors, were offered a few small incentives to see if we could a, get some guys to come on board, and b, offer to mentor contractors who want to build with ICF's, but need or want the help from a pro.

So, I am putting this out there: If any of you are qualified as a homebuilder, or maybe a concrete contractor who can work with home builders, I will help you get set up with special pricing, technical advice, estimating, how to sell, what to do, and get you started in insulating concrete form construction....if: you really want to, are not a quitter, and don't even think about starting with building your own home and nothing more.

This does not require a boatlaod of cash.....what it requires is you to have contacts or prospects, or the ability to get out and hustle them up, and then we (BuildBlock and I) would partner up to help you get going. I could even come and help on your first job, and rather then you going to some bogus "training", you would get to come and actually work an ICF with my guys, complete with pouring, so you will not only have hands on, but real experience.

I repeat....this is not an investment of anything except your desire to expand into ICF's, and with the increasing energy costs and codes, now may be the time. I will add though, that you need to be at least financially stable and meet what we would call the absolute bare essentials on insurance, not be a dead beat with credit.

We are not looking for guys who will quit after 1 or 2 homes or projects, but guys who want to make this a part of their business.

Post questions, or message me, or call me.
 

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And to assist Jay with this, my own testimony being when I finally took the leap I wish I had of started 4 years prior.

Currently, we do custom homes, multi family I.e. Townhouses, high rise and commercial projects.

We have done projects as small as 100 sq ft to larger then 35,000 sq ft of wall space.

I'll also say when starting into ICF it is a great way to break out and separate yourself from the competition who isn't getting into ICF
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mike said to tell you hello Chris.

It looks like BuildDeck is going to be modified as suggested to be a pretty neat product. And the new one piece bracing they have for us is way cool. I might finally break down and buy a set.
 

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Send me a link to the new brace, hopefully it's not like PlumWalls that has a habit of slicing digits off if your not paying attention
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think PlumWalls is building it for BB. And yeah, I can see the sliced off fingers.

I need to build a new set and it comes down to fabrication time, steel, and hours on my end..and if added up, I think I am within a few bucks of having factory braces complete with crates to move them. 48 braces for 7k or so.
 

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I attended the BuildBlock roundtable yesterday, and one of the topics discussed was how to get contractors involved with ICF's. We, as distributors, were offered a few small incentives to see if we could a, get some guys to come on board, and b, offer to mentor contractors who want to build with ICF's, but need or want the help from a pro.

So, I am putting this out there: If any of you are qualified as a homebuilder, or maybe a concrete contractor who can work with home builders, I will help you get set up with special pricing, technical advice, estimating, how to sell, what to do, and get you started in insulating concrete form construction....if: you really want to, are not a quitter, and don't even think about starting with building your own home and nothing more.

This does not require a boatlaod of cash.....what it requires is you to have contacts or prospects, or the ability to get out and hustle them up, and then we (BuildBlock and I) would partner up to help you get going. I could even come and help on your first job, and rather then you going to some bogus "training", you would get to come and actually work an ICF with my guys, complete with pouring, so you will not only have hands on, but real experience.

I repeat....this is not an investment of anything except your desire to expand into ICF's, and with the increasing energy costs and codes, now may be the time. I will add though, that you need to be at least financially stable and meet what we would call the absolute bare essentials on insurance, not be a dead beat with credit.

We are not looking for guys who will quit after 1 or 2 homes or projects, but guys who want to make this a part of their business.

Post questions, or message me, or call me.
I'm all in! :D

I'd build ICF like crazy if I could convince the buyers/GC's to use the ICF blocks.

I've pitched more than a few projects, and I cannot get the builders on board. All they seem to see is "the foundation costs more", they overlook all the benefits.

You know I am in for the long haul, any ideas on how to sell this area I am in? We are not in a seismic zone, very rare tornado risk, we get pretty hot and pretty cold, but the extremes only last a month or so.

If I were to build my own home, or an addition to the one I have, I'd be ICF all the way.

What's the plan?
 

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I sell on energy efficiency. Does it cost more...yup

Let's do the math, for my area, which not dollar for dollar, but % should be the same.

Price just the basement only, we are probably 40% more, go to the roof, probably 60% more, question is 40% or 60% more of what? Have they taken into account in the basement, no studding and insulating...it's done, have proper credits been done for the above foundation work? credit for insulating? Usually not.

ICF cost is 2-5% more of the entire project budget. If you plan on spending $ 500,000.00 to build you new home, going the ICF route is going to cost you $ 510,000-525,000.00. $ 10,000.00 is the realistic number, the extra $ 15,000 is if the framer you hire doesn't credit for exterior wall framing he is not doing (which happens, that's why we also frame 1/2 our projects) do the mechanical contractors understand ICF or are they bumping their price as a safety factor (This is common too).

The heating and cooling bill will be 50-70% less every year using full ICF to the roof, Payback should be 3-5 years.
 

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They're harder to sell in the far north. The heating costs equal a fiberglass wall with about a 30% higher cavity R-value than the ICF true R-value of the foam.

Many other advantages though.
 

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Chris Johnson said:
The heating and cooling bill will be 50-70% less every year using full ICF to the roof, Payback should be 3-5 years.
What's that number on the west coast? I've never seen an ICF home around here, I don't know if it's because our winters are not that cold or if people simply don't know about it.
 

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What's that number on the west coast? I've never seen an ICF home around here, I don't know if it's because our winters are not that cold or if people simply don't know about it.
I would guess never because it would always be cheaper to add more fiberglass insulation and wall thickness here.

Again, other advantages that can sell. Super quiet, feeling of security and strength, etc.
 

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Golden view said:
I would guess never because it would always be cheaper to add more fiberglass insulation and wall thickness here. Again, other advantages that can sell. Super quiet, feeling of security and strength, etc.
They are not non-existent, I've just never seen one. There is a company in Washington that sells them, I think they are rare because people just haven't been sold on them. But in areas where you have extreme cold winters or tornadoes, unlike here, you'd have a stronger selling point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
There isn't a fiberglass insulation system in the world that will compete with the thermal barrier of an ICF wall...period. While opposition to ICF claims R values of 19 or so on our 6 inch walls, the true effect is closer to R40 or greater, because A: there is NO AIR INFILTRATION, and B: THE THERMAL MASS of the CONCRETE is a FACTOR, not a LIABILITY.

Any time you want to try it Tom, I would love to hook you up. I think you can get to be a distributor with me getting you in, and all you need is with a little help on selling. If you built your own home, that would be a sell for you, as you will never want to go back to framing. And yes Tom, I will be happy to trip up and help you on a project.
 

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How does icf compare to k-tech? I wired one about 2 years ago and haven't seen one since.
 

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There isn't a fiberglass insulation system in the world that will compete with the thermal barrier of an ICF wall...period. While opposition to ICF claims R values of 19 or so on our 6 inch walls, the true effect is closer to R40 or greater, because A: there is NO AIR INFILTRATION, and B: THE THERMAL MASS of the CONCRETE is a FACTOR, not a LIABILITY.
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When there is little solar gain, and heat flow only happens in one direction, thermal mass is not a factor until the power goes out, then it keeps things warm longer.

In Fairbanks, we are doing some of the most cutting edge building research for cold climates. See CCHRC.org.

We use our own energy modeling software built from empirical data from 10s of thousands of homes. One project I am doing soon has 2x10 walls with compressed R-38 fiberglass insulation and advanced framing techniques, which gives a real wall R-value of 28.6. The house calculates to 34.4 MMBtu annual heat load. I estimated 1.2 ACH50 which I am able to achieve easily with good vapor retarder techniques. (usually beat 1.0)

I calculated the same home with the Quadlock system to the roof, which is common (and superb) here for foundations and basements, and I used a common ACH50 of passivehause level .60. The heat load is still more at 39.1 MMbtu. An additional 2" of foam can be added and then it will surpass the fiberglass system, but there are other fiberglass, cellulose, and foam on wood options which are always cheaper for an overall project.

I'm not trying to argue against a great product, I'm just saying there are limited scenarios where it is not the best option. All products in all sectors of life are the same.
 

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ICF is only one component of a system, great walls but improper roof insulation, improper windows, improper HVAC design and you defeat anything you are trying to gain.

The 50-70% figure is consistent with all areas, on the west coast the $ value may be less, but the % stays the same with costs.

In Alaska I would say someone hasn't build the system properly if you are not seeing the savings. A lot of people still size HVAC for a conventional house which doesn't work on ICF, the systems generally short cycle which increase your operating costs. This is just one of several things to be addressed
 

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Chris, I'm talking well designed homes as a system with both techniques. Science based building, best practices. Some of us care a lot about sizing heating systems right, avoiding shot cycling, etc. this is why we calculate the heat load before sizing the heating system. We're building homes that heat to 110 degrees warmer than outside with 13,000 btus per hour.
 

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I can't see it from here unfortunately, I hear these horror stories all the time from people, something is amiss though.

I've got 5000 sq ft homes with fully finished basements, in floor heating, January is our coldest month averaging (I'm guessing) -8 and heating costs of $45 month.

The entire house is either ICF walls, 2" below slab EPS or 7" spray foam to underside of roof sheeting (hot roof).
 

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That is extremely impressive. Fairbanks' fuel oil cost for most homes is 350% of Toronto natural gas annual total pricing (including all fees) and the heat load (heating degree days) is about 225%, so the same home should cost $345 in Fairbanks. Not bad for 5000 square feet, older smaller homes commonly cost $1000+ in January to heat. I get business by making that figure cover them for a year.

We do at least 4" below slab EPS, and generally more insulation everywhere else. One guy is doing 12" EPS below slab, 24" cellulose packed walls and R-100+ in the lid. Quad pane windows, foam shutters for night time, etc. It has a 5000 gallon water tank that stores heat from the sunnier months and almost completely heats it in the dark months

I'd like to think that our ICF veterans are building close to as well as you, but while they handily beat traditional top notch construction, they don't beat newer techniques, in this city, when considering only long term heating cost savings.
 

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Despite all my negativity, I'd love to join one of your crews for a week or two as a free grunt if you let me pick your brains. I may end up out of Fairbanks and Tacoma (two of the least friendly places for ICF), and it would be good to add to my repertoire if not move my business that way entirely.
 

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Personally, I wouldn't put my money into a structure that hadn't been real world proven for a couple decades - ICFs have been in use for a long time. New designs are always needed, but if they haven't been out there for even 5 years, I don't view them as being ready for prime time.

That isn't to say that a double walled system with rain screen and 18 or so inches of compressed cellulose and a vapor retarder (that's how I read the use of Tyvek Homewrap) isn't interesting. I'm pretty sure I can find examples of real world moisture loads that ICF will handle and the cellulose won't. Additionally, response to events like a roof leak is a factor.

I suppose it would all boil down to life cycle costing, but what's the lifetime of a house?
 
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