Buying an ICF Home
Thank you for considering BuildBlock Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) for your new home! We’ve designed this website with you in mind. It’s packed full of information to help you research your options and answer your questions.
As you begin formulating the plans for your new home, there seems to be no end to the number of choices you have to make. It’s natural to pour hours of time and effort into choosing the right paint, wall coverings, exterior finish and other aesthetics for your new home. But first, take some time to decide what will be inside those walls.
Traditional wood-frame construction can’t compare to the safety, permanence, and energy efficiency of walls built with insulating concrete forms. To learn the many benefits for an ICF home buyer, start in our Why ICFs section.
Benefits of a BuildBlock ICF Home
- 30-70% savings in energy consumption and costs (good for your pocketbook and the environment)
- Tornado, hurricane and earthquake resistant (keeping your family and belongings safe and sound)
- 75% reduction in outside air infiltration (less dust and allergens)
- Three times quieter than a wood-frame home
- Building with ICFs saves at least 10 trees per home
- ICFs can be used to build virtually any home plan, using any finish – brick, stucco, siding, and more.
Energy Tax Provisions
While energy savings of 10 – 15% can be achieved by improving appliances, lighting, and HVAC equipment, there is no doubt that more significant savings must start with improvements to the building envelope. Increasing the insulation values and tightening up the thermal envelope is the most effective and durable approach. This has been proven time and again with advanced building systems, such as Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs). Additional savings for building with green materials can be achieved through government incentive programs. Please visit www.dsireusa.org to see your state’s incentive programs. More Detail: (PDF)
A common question home buyers ask is, “If ICFs are so great, why isn’t everyone using them?” The answer is two-part and simple:
- First, though ICF technology has been around for years and is continually improving in both function and affordability, it’s still relatively unknown to the general public and traditional homebuilders. There’s no doubt you’ll see more and more ICF construction as people become educated about its many benefits.
- Second, building an ICF home benefits you, the home buyer, not necessarily the homebuilder. Obviously, a builder benefits from the increased satisfaction his customers experience with an ICF home, but that’s a long-term payoff. In the short run, it costs more to build, it’s less familiar to them, and frankly, it’s less profitable than slapping up a good old wood frame home. So a home builder who is unfamiliar with ICFs is not going to educate you about this far superior option.
However, a home builder who is experienced with ICF will vouch for the many advantages of ICFs for both builder and buyer. And, generally, because of the minor learning curve on ICF construction and the great technical support available, many builders you choose would probably be willing to use ICFs at your request.
If you’re already familiar with ICFs, see our Why BuildBlock page to see how BuildBlock stacks up against the competition. Then, contact us and we’ll help you locate ICF home plans, architects, builders, and everything you need to make your ICF dream home a reality.
For DIY home builders, BuildBlock has created a completely free, online training course that teaches how to build with ICFs. Register and enroll in classes today!