Fox Blocks Experience?
Last Post 27 Aug 2009 01:17 PM by cking2. 58 Replies.
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GreenDoakDIYUser is Offline
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20 Jan 2009 04:59 PM
Hello all,

I have tried to search for this but found few results. I may have not been searching hard enough. I am looking into doing an ICF house and have considered Logix, PolySteel and Fox Blocks. Fox is far cheaper, but I am wondering how it "stacks up" (no pun intended). I am mostly worried about R-value, ease of installation, strength.

Also, just an FYI, I plan on doing it myself, using 6" forms, and I live in Central Iowa. I have experience with Owens Corning, didn't like it too much. Any thoughts from anybody? Thanks!

Alex Doak

Paul StevensUser is Offline
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20 Jan 2009 06:24 PM
If you search a bit on this site you will find a thread about Fox blocks and the price. They get a low price by selling you a whole truck load at a time. If you need a truck and a half, it is my understanding that you would need to buy 2 full trucks. if you are a contractor this might not be a problem, for a homeowner you will have product you will never use.
Don't know too much about Polysteel, I think they have a thin metal web holding the block together.
My opinion on the 3 would be to go with Logix. Its the one block I have used, it is well represented and from my experience, a good solid ICF!!
Paul Stevens
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20 Jan 2009 09:07 PM
I have used all three, Polysteel is harder to work with and has the least amount insulation of the three 2.5", but is a great ICF.

Fox Block is what I currently use the most, I buy it by the truckload, has a little above average insulation 2.625". Only there 8" T form is lacking, check the T form thread. Flippable, a plus another great ICF.

Logix has lots of distributors, access to forms, yet a little more insulation 2.75". An odd sized 6.25" form, a great ICF.

You should not do the ICF work yourself.
Brad Kvanbek - ICFconstruction.net
TB MACSUser is Offline
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20 Jan 2009 09:09 PM
Alex, If you have experience with Owens Corning , Logixs should be a walk in the park.We installed 3 story renovation to a historical house in Raliegh NC and we hate the Owens Corning block( foldform).Polysteel we have never installed ,but Paul is right it does have a galvinized web.Price shouldn't always be the deciding factor, I would go and look at all the blocks be installed.

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TODD / TBMACS ICF CONTRACTOR
STACKING THE CAROLINAS ONE BLOCK AT A TIME
arkie6User is Offline
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20 Jan 2009 10:49 PM
Note that it is not just the thickness of the EPS foam that matters with respect to strength or R value, but also the type or density of the EPS. Not all ICFs use the same type of EPS. Most use type II EPS with a nominal density of 1.5 pcf, while some (generally the plank or panel type ICF) use type IX EPS with a nominal density of 2.0 pcf. The type IX eps has a significantly higher compressive strength than type II and a slightly higher R value.

http://www.benchmarkfoam.com/benchmark/poly/properties.asp
GreenDoakDIYUser is Offline
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21 Jan 2009 09:43 AM
Paul: I saw the thread on the FoxBlocks pricing and such, but it didn't talk about the product any.

ICFconstruction: Why do you use the Fox Blocks the most? Just wondering what you like about it that you use it more. Because you can order more at a time and have some for the next job? Pricing? Customer service? Also, why do you suggest me not doing the ICF work myself? I saw the T-form thread too, but doesn't apply to me. I am using 6", and no "t"'s.

TB: I have personally seen the PolySteel. There is a guy in town that sells it, which is a plus for going with it. But I think it's close to $31 per block, which is kinda on the high side, I would think, for forms. I would very much like to see all the forms side by side at a show or something. I would like to compare GreenBlock, Fox Blocks, PolySteel, Quad-Lock, and Logix.

arkie: I've noticed the difference between different companies. Fox Block uses II EPS with the 1.5. I think Quad-Lock uses IX EPS. I've seen a company called Durisol that doesn't use any EPS but uses a wood composite/cement board. I think they may be the original company to introduce the ICF? It has a low R-rating though. Standard 6" wall was only R-8, plus effectiveness of concrete wall...

I am also thinking about GeoThermal but have been reading it's overkill for ICF houses. Maybe dependent on how much money wants to get spent. Any thoughts on this too? House is about 3,500 Sq/Ft (with basement finished).
icfcontractorUser is Offline
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21 Jan 2009 10:14 AM
It is interesting that when I add shipping and that their corners are significantly more expensive, Logix is cheaper. Then add to that no local distributor, no bracing, no tech support, and no good ability to get a small order. Fox Block is not a bargain by any means for me.
GreenDoakDIYUser is Offline
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21 Jan 2009 10:35 AM
How much is the Logix per SF? The Fox Block is approx. $2.77 and then PolySteel is close to $3.80..
Chris JohnsonUser is Offline
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21 Jan 2009 09:32 PM
Posted By icfcontractor on 01/21/2009 10:14 AM
It is interesting that when I add shipping and that their corners are significantly more expensive, Logix is cheaper. Then add to that no local distributor, no bracing, no tech support, and no good ability to get a small order. Fox Block is not a bargain by any means for me.


There is alot of merit to this statement, DIY please take note.
Chris Johnson - Pro ICF
North of 49
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21 Jan 2009 09:42 PM
I use Fox Block because of the price. I don't need/want support, price drives the construction industry too much. If you were here and insisted on doing it yourself I would recommend LOGIX because of the local distributors (St. Francis Hardware's) service and support.

I want you to have a quality job and for you to have a good experience. ICFs are more difficult than CMUs, wood framing and require more expensive equipment. Most of the time a homeowner is better off to do what they do for work and hire experts to do what they do. Also one of the worst things for the ICF industry has been the DIYs, too many poor quality jobs.
Brad Kvanbek - ICFconstruction.net
eformsUser is Offline
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22 Jan 2009 03:32 PM
I use PolySteel primarily because of the size and quality of the block. It's coated with borax so it's termite resistant. The install time is also significantly reduced due to the size of the blocks. It's a quality product.

I second the recommendation to let those who are familiar with the products handle the install. The bracing is a significant piece of the installation and most don't have what it takes to do the job right.

E Forms of Tennessee
www.iwantabetterhouse.com
GreenDoakDIYUser is Offline
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23 Jan 2009 09:24 AM
Thanks everyone for the replies. I just got the quote from PolySteel and it is a lot less than I expected and includes everything I need for the walls except rebar and concrete. With him being in town, I will most likely go with him (PolySteel) when I decide to move forward.

I appreciate all of your input and will take ALL of it into consideration. Thanks for pledging your time to these forums, they are invaluable.
jamesmacdonald1User is Offline
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15 Apr 2009 07:13 AM
I still prefer the Durisol. I like the fact that their higher insulated blocks are insulated on the external side of the concrete to maximize thermal mass gains. The only issue that I find is that it is more $ than polystyrene ICF. It seems like you get something for the extra money, but I am not sure if all my customers are willing to pay the extra.
neilbUser is Offline
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15 Apr 2009 09:50 PM
If you want the best ICF, look @ Hobbs e-rated walls. They are the most energy efecient ICF of the bunch. Will take 1/2 the time to install, and use 1/3 of the concrete. far better on your bottom line!!!
mapnerdUser is Offline
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16 Apr 2009 01:29 AM
I live in Omaha, NE - where FoxBlocks are made. I don't have to pay any shipping costs - just have to drive down and pick them up. That being said, Nudura has been recommended to me and I have a local distributor. Anyone use Nudura?
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16 Apr 2009 11:35 AM
neilb - Hobbs walls are interesting. From a design standpoint, I can see some advantages. I'm just wondering where you got the data showing them as "the most energy efficient of the bunch". Can you share it?

While the cost savings realized by using 40% less concrete is certainly enticing, it also makes me wonder how they perform from a dynamic thermal mass perspective. I'm not saying they wouldn't be better or worse (would probably be geographic-region dependent), but I'd like to see some data on that too. Being located in a severe-temperature climate, I'd like to understand what I might be giving up for the benefit.
neilbUser is Offline
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16 Apr 2009 08:30 PM
Actually, you are not giving up anything. To start with, I have a structural Engineering background. I first look @ the structural aspects of a forming system. It took me several years to even look at a ICF. There are many false claims that hurt the industry. With that said I will give you my openion on this wall system. You mentioned thermal mass. This is a 2 edged sword. Summer - hot..... Winter - cold. If it works 1 way, it works both ways. Hobbs vertical system, works on a post and bm method. That has been around forever. With this in mind, we can make the interior web of this system only 2". Hense 7.75 full inches of EPS foam on over 75% of the wal. Please check out our web site and then give us a call. be glad to talk. www.bornhoft.net
phxphunUser is Offline
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20 Apr 2009 11:21 AM
Thanks neilb. As I mentioned, I'm sure the relative value of the thermal mass aspect is highly dependent on factors of the specific regional climate. Being located in an extreme cooling load climate, and one where the outside temperature varies higher and lower than the desired indoor temperature throughout any given day, I think the effect of the actual volume of the mass may be a bit more important than your comment of "you are not giving up anything" implies.

Anyway, at this point, I'm just doing the research and trying to educate myself to the many influencing factors before making a decision on which ICF product to use. I did like several of the design characteristics of the Hobbs product, but I contacted Hobbs directly and was told they are not able to provide their materials to my part of the country, so I guess their product is out of the question for me at this point. But I did appreciate your thoughts.
olegyUser is Offline
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20 Apr 2009 01:25 PM
We're building using FoxBlocks in San Diego. Quality of the block is very high. But people are right, there are a few gotchas. You have to order in full truck loads or price is skyrockets , plus they do not take any leftovers back.
However, we did not have any problems selling the leftovers on craigslist.
neilbUser is Offline
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20 Apr 2009 01:51 PM

My friend:

If you want the Hobbs system, I will get you the system. Anyplace, anytime. We know what they can do, and the added value you would recieve. Drop me a note, or call the office, and they will put you in touch w/ me. Also, the thermal mass therory needs to be updated....... Thanks for your intrest.

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