Monday, January 26, 2015

ICF owner / builder

In addition to designing homes for people, I am a distributor for Logix ICFs (insulated concrete forms). I think ICFs are a great product. My wife and I build our home with ICFs and we are very, very happy with the results.

As an ICF distributor, I sell the forms to contractors as well as individuals. Selling to contractors is fairly straightforward. They have a customer who wants a new home built and they have chosen to utilize ICFs. These contractors typically have experience at building with ICFs.

Selling ICFs to an owner/builder is a bit different.

Some people know they want to build with ICFs but have no experience with them. Many of these people have prior building experience, just not with ICFs. If they have building experience, utilizing ICFs is typically not a problem. ICFs are a very simple product to use There are just a few basic rules to the construction process. I do often provide advise to these individuals when they have questions and may visit the building site if requested. We also have a manufacturers rep that is available to answer questions or provide advice.

Other customers may have no building experience at all, they just know they want to use ICFs for their home. For these customers, I typically give them the names of some general contractors or ICF subcontractors to contact.

Owner builders are most often attracted to ICFs because of the energy efficiency, security and sound isolation they provide. However, often times the do-it-yourselfer will realize an economical advantage of using ICFs no only for the foundation, but for the entire structure.

A few years ago, I had a rather industrious owner who saw the cost advantage of an ICF structure when you build it yourself. In this particular case, rather than spend $20K for the basement alone, he spent around $9K for the ICF blocks needed for the basement and main floor. He hired a helper and they constructed the entire home, exterior walls with ICF, interior framed walls and a trussed roof. He got a better home and saved money at the same time.

I had another customer who was acting as his own general contractor. He chose to utilize ICFs for the basement and main floor. He and his wife performed all the ICF construction and hired a framing crew to build the rest. Again, he ended up with a better, safer more energy efficient home and saved money!

I realize that this is not an option for everyone, but it is certainly an option for some people. So, if you are planning to build your own home, maybe you should checkout ICFs and see if they offer some advantages that you have not considered.

No comments:

Post a Comment