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ICF VS. Stick Built

By richm@tfsystem.com on 6/24/2014

ICF VS. STICK BUILT

ICF construction became popular roughly 30 years ago in Europe and caught on in the U.S. in the 1990’s. It has been proven successful in every climate and region and according to the Insulating Concrete Form Association; the use of ICF’s has risen 73% over the past 5 years.

The thought of a ‘concrete’ house may sound strange and unappealing, but ICF houses can be finished to look like any other house. You can use the same exterior and interior finishing materials as you would in a wood-framed house. ICF homes actually have more design flexibility as your designer/architect can easily form curves, contours and arches along with any sort of corner angle.  Plumbing and electrical are easily cut into the interior foam once the concrete has been poured.

There are many advantages of using Insulated Concrete Forms to build your home over wood-framed/stick built.

Energy Savings is probably the #1 reason, along with severe weather resistance. Concrete homes have withstood tornados and hurricanes with little to no damage where as a wood framed home is flattened. The only possible disadvantage of an ICF home would be the upfront cost. The cost of concrete does vary and sometimes can cost more than lumber. But those additional costs can easily be recovered in the savings you will have on your energy bills and possible lower insurance premiums.

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