Saturday, February 7, 2015

ICF Framing - Days 1 & 2

Guys! This update is the one I have been so eager to share with you. If I only had one thing I could share about this whole building process, it would be this.

Nudura


The foundation was poured Tuesday and I didn't expect anything to be done for another day or so.



But, the ICF blocks were delivered on Wednesday.

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ICF stands for Insulated Concrete Forms. There are many different brands, but we are using Nudura.

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They are Styrofoam blocks with webbing in the middle.


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Rebar is laid vertically and horizontally in the webbing. There are places they can "click" into place.

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There are only two contractors in town that build with ICF. We met with both of them, but liked one over the other. With most of our contractors, it was important we get along with each other, and that was a key factor in choosing them.

You can get the blocks in many different thickness. We chose a 12" total width. Concrete is poured in the middle and will be six inches wide.

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The forms are not just forms that will be removed once the concrete is poured. The Styrofoam stays and provides insulation.

This block system goes up fast and replaces three steps of the framing process. The outside is marked for "Studs" for drywall application, and you can add your exterior material just like you normally would.

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Piping can easily run through the Styrofoam. I'll make sure to highlight that part when we rough in electric and plumbing soon.

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One common misconception is the price. We reviewed bids to do the whole house stick and the whole house ICF. We won't be doing ICF on the garage. The weakest link is your garage door. If wind were to really tear through, your garage door would come off. That made it pointless to ICF the garage. But the wall between the house and garage is ICF. The cost difference between ICF and stick was the price of a nice used car! And where we have stick framing, we will be using spray foam insulation like we did in the last house. It was a no-brainer to choose ICF.

On Day 1 of framing, 3 courses of block were laid and the window and door frames were formed. This way you aren't cutting through concrete to make a window.


It was neat to see it as I came up the street! The blue/green color stands out.

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The door frames were on legs.

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The window frames had holes in the bottom for pouring of concrete.

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It was a mad house inside the framing on Day 1.


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Nudura


At the end of the day, they put of the metal framing to stabilize the blocks. They're Styrofoam, so wind would blow them away!

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Building with them is just like Legos. Use a mallet to hammer them into place. And you use a handsaw to cut the shapes. The Nudura brand is 8-foot long blocks and corner pieces. It makes it easy to place an order with the pieces being so versatile.

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On Day 1, I also walked around with the contractor to verify window heights. All the window tops will be level, and the bottom measurement will vary based on the window length.

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We caught a few errors, so I was glad we walked through.

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On Day 2 of framing, a smaller crew came and all they did was install the window and door frames.

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Our window sils will be deep. Almost like having a window seat. (Not that drastic, but it's not shallow like you're use to.)

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Nudura

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By the end of the day, only two door frames and one window frame were not installed. The window frame left is one that is up high, so they need to lay more blocks first.

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Also on Day 2, we got our garage poured!



I was wondering when they would do that. When they poured the foundation, it was already a long day and they didn't want to be there til midnight.



I don't blame them. They framed it on Day 37, so I knew it was about to happen.



I could have stayed at the house all night and just stared. It was fun to see things come together.

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I love having my vision come to life.


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No crew members will be out there today, as they will be finishing up another job. But the full crew will be out there on Monday and at the very latest, we will be filling the walls by concrete no later than Friday!





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