The number one question asked is “How does ICF construction compare in price to traditional construction?”
The answer to this is multifaceted. First of all traditional construction is not the same throughout the industry. Some builders try to build as cheaply as possible by using 2”x4” wall studs and fiberglass insulation. Others will step up to 2” x 6” wall studs and fiberglass insulations. Still other contractors will use 2” x 6” wall studs with blown-in insulation. Finally, the best contractors will use the 2” x 6”walls studs with foam insulation. Of these construction methods, Nudura ICF construction falls between the last two types of construction.
“What about ‘blowouts’”?
In the early days of ICF construction ‘blowouts’ were somewhat common. There were several reasons for this. One was the composition of the ICF. The ties that held the ICF sides together were not the full height of the ICF in question and were usually a greater distance than 8” apart. Another reason was that the ‘thickness’ of the ICF foam was usually less than 2 inches. A third reason was contractor error. Many contractors just didn’t know how to build with ICFs and therefore made crucial errors that resulted in ‘blowouts’.
Today, with the onset of better engineered ICFs such as the Nudura ICF, blowouts, due to the integrity of the ICF, are a thing of the past. Another reason for no ‘blowouts’ is the training that companies like Central Enterprises offers to its builders. Total knowledge of the Nudura ICF and its unique construction allows Central Enterprises to educate the builder in proper construction methods and techniques.
“My contractor says he can match the ICF R-values.”
That may possibly be true! However, what he doesn’t tell you is that his price will be higher than the ICF construction and will not have all the ‘additional’ benefits that ICF construction affords at no higher cost. There are many benefits that ICF construction has over ‘stick-built’ construction. Let’s just look at a couple. One benefit is that ICF walls will withstand up to 250 MPH winds. This is important when inclement weather invades your area. Another benefit is sound transmission. ICF buildings are exceptionally quiet. Still another benefit is that ICF buildings are fire resistant, which allows for lower insurance costs. These and many more benefits at ‘NO” extra cost.
“What happens if I want to add a window or door after the walls are poured, it will cost too much?”
Actually, that is not true! When adding doors and windows to ‘traditionally-built’ buildings, much of the wall has to be rebuilt to accommodate the headers that have to be installed so that the window or door will function properly in the future. That means much of the siding on the outside and the drywall on the inside has to be replaced. In ICF construction, only the rough opening of the window or door has to be removed because the concrete is the header. That being the case, the window or door trim is usually all that needs to be added.
“There are no ICF contractors in my area” or “my contractor doesn’t build with ICFs”.
Nudura does offer contractor classes at a reasonable price. Also, Central Enterprises does offer expert contractor assistance as long as the contractor uses the Nudura brand ICF.
“My architect doesn’t know anything about ICF construction!”
Nudura does offer FREE classes to architects and the web site contains everything an architect needs to complete his/ her drawings.
“Will my homeowners insurance increase?”
From past experience, the homeowners insurance should decrease from ‘typical’ construction. The main reason is that ICF construction is ‘masonry construction’ and does not support fires. Also, standard ICF construction will withstand up to 250 MPH winds, so it won’t blow down in a violent storm. However, it is incumbent upon the owner to point these benefits out to the insurance company. Most respected insurance companies already understand this and offer discounts.