Should contractors offer a selection of different building materials? Many homebuyers likely give assume the contractor used the best materials that fit within their budget. However, there are multiple options on the market now with some great benefits besides cost. One building material option is insulated concrete forms.
What Exactly Is Insulated Concrete Forms?
Insulated concrete forms are not exactly a new building material. The technology has been around since the 1970s. What’s new about ICFs is that contractors are building more residential homes with them. Contractors might have a cost breakdown for buyers to peruse.
These concrete blocks reinforced with concrete do need a different method in terms of contractor supplies such as fastener plates. Contractors are required to use different drywall installation tools, fastener plates, and other techniques to work with ICF blocks. The minor details such as the brand of drywall and fastener plates that will be used aren’t something of interest to most buyers. That is only a hiccup for the contractor, not the homeowner.
If You Want Energy Efficiency and an Eco-friendly Material, Consider Using ICFs As a Building Material.
ICFs are known for having good thermal mass, which is due to being built with concrete. This relates closely to insulating properties, which directly ties into energy efficiency. Good insulation means the air temperature inside isn’t easily effected by the temperature of the air outside. Heating and cooling can eat up nearly 50% of a home’s energy usage. There are four types of insulation used in commercial and residential buildings: loose-fill; rolls and batts; rigid foam; and foam-in-place. ICF blocks use rigid foam. This means a home that is nearly air tight, resulting in a fairly solid home.
Strong Building Materials Create a Secure Home.
ICF blocks are estimated to be about 10 times stronger than wood. As a house, this means a home that is resistant to heavy winds, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and fires burning less than four hours. Clearly, this type of insulation and re-enforced steel mean greater protection against forces of nature. This level of security is difficult to obtain in a comparative house made with wood and spray foam insulation.
Building Materials Have an Effect On the Air Quality of a Home.
ICF walls as established above are considered air tight. This feature not only cuts down on drafts, but has a positive effect on the air quality as well. The result is less dust, dirt, and therefore air-born allergens. The risk of mold developing is very low as well due to the low humidity from its excellent insulation properties.
There are multiple reasons to choose ICF blocks over other building materials. This option is not a perfect solution for every homebuyer, yet it is a great option for those looking for an allergy-reducing, secure, energy efficient home. If you are in the market for a new home and want to build it from the ground up, consider ICF blocks.