Cost Estimates for ICF Installation
Last Post 26 Sep 2010 08:12 PM by JohnyH. 13 Replies.
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MontaukUser is Offline
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27 Jun 2010 01:26 PM
Any thoughts on the estimate of an ICF system for a 2,300 sq. foot house with minimal angles.  I am thinking of doing the basement and 1st floor only and then use stick for the second floor due to the layout.  I have read numerous articles that suggest the cost should be about 5-10% of the cost of the house but I am having a hard time seeing how that would tie to the cost of a regular concrete poured foundation for the house. Thanks
BrucePolycreteUser is Offline
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27 Jun 2010 01:49 PM
If you are paying a professional installer, figure about $11 to $14 per square foot of wall. Geographic location can impact the price. If you are doing it yourself, cost will depend on a lot of factors such as your cost of concrete, which form you choose, how you plan to handle bracing, etc. Much of the cost is labor, and if you work for free with a crew made up of friends and family, your cost will be less than what you will pay a pro. Of course it will take a lot longer and the quality of the result will be a function of the skill level of your friends and family!
dmaceldUser is Offline
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27 Jun 2010 08:30 PM
This is another topic that has been pretty well beat to death the past 3+ years on this forum. Again, you will find opinions and experiences all over the map. It isn't always easy, and it is mundane and time consuming, but do a search on cost estimate and dig in!

For the foundation portion you will find several contractors who say an ICF foundation is less costly than a conventional poured concrete foundation. But, by doing ICF you demonstrate you are not wanting a cheap job which means you will do a proper job of waterproofing the foundation wall. That aspect won't be in most conventional construction bids as most contractors short change that part of building. This complicates a direct conventional to ICF cost comparison. For the exterior walls you have to use different methods for electrical wiring and plumbing than is used for frame walls. This can impact cost estimates. Window and door framing is different and more complicated than for frame walls. There are various ways to do those and again, there is no one best way. Because of the various approaches to the details of ICF construction, and regional variations in construction costs, a reliable frame to ICF cost comparison is all but impossible.

Based on my one time DIY house building experience I believe an ICF house will cost quite a bit more than a typically constructed frame house. I even worked on it full time for the 14 months of construction. But the ICF house will be a h*** lot more comfortable to live in. And, in the end it may not cost any more than a very well built energy efficient frame house. In other words it's tough to get a good apples to apples type comparison when so many frame homes are built more like lemons.

One part of your question that you will find consistent answers about, ditch the frame construction for the second floor and do ICF all the way, even if you have to modify the wife's dearest wishes on floor layout in order to make it work!


Even a retired engineer can build a house successfully w/ GBT help!
renangleUser is Offline
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28 Jun 2010 08:10 AM
I am going to side with demaceld that this topic has been beat to death and hopefully new members will do some search on the forum before asking the question. If not, then PLEASE at least give some information allow others help in answering the question.

One very important question is location...where are you? Are you in a city, county, or in the middle of no where? Its always possible that there is a person with knowledge of your area that will be able to assist you better. If there is not an ICF professional close to you at all nor a manufacture/distributer nearby with equipment, the cost of building with ICF could be much more expensive. Once you have all the information make the best informed decision.

That said, I will agree with both Bruce and demaceld.

GFasanoUser is Offline
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28 Jun 2010 09:20 AM
Montauk, is that where you are located?
Full ICF HomesUser is Offline
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28 Jun 2010 09:36 AM
IMPROVED SEARCH ENGINE ???

Personally, I think that something that would help this web site a lot would be to change the search engine to include a number of variables. I am not sure but I think Google offers this kind of internal search.

If a person could search articles with these options (as an example), the search could be much more specific to thus eliminate hundreds of threads and go to specific information.

LABOR COST
ICF type
STATE
NEAREST CITY
seasnarkUser is Offline
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24 Sep 2010 10:12 PM
Hi All, I have spent a lot of time trolling the web and have heard a lot of pricing data that is consistent with what you have indicated here. Given that, you can imagine my stunned response to prices provided to me by local contractors. I have a 2750sqft bungalow with walkout basement. I asked them to estimate shell only (including footings, windows, door, roof) but nothing on the interior. No framing, electrical, drywall, ceiling insulation, exterior finishing. You can imagine my surprise when prices starting coming back in the $380K to $400K range. Are you #@*!&^ me? I know that without the details, it is really tough to comment on this, but $140 - $145/sqft for a shell seems rich. My general feeling is that these guys are assuming that because I want ICF, I am pretty well willing to pay whatever premium they decide is appropriate. So, am I out of line here
wesUser is Offline
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25 Sep 2010 10:11 AM
Seasnark,
Your outcry is heard. However, once again, we don't have enough information to provide a legitimate opinion.
Geographic location, exact floor plan, grade of windows, doors, roofing, etc. Also, why do not include the basement sq. footage in your calculations? I know some people don't consider basements 'living space' but some of us do. The full basement increases your sq. footage to 5500, and makes your sf cost about $70. I don't have a clue as to how much your project SHOULD cost, way too many variables unanswered. And we certainly cannot agree or disagree with you as to whether you are being taken advantage of.
Wes Shelby
Design Systems Group
Murray KY
wandr@ainweb.net
JohnyHUser is Offline
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25 Sep 2010 02:39 PM
I've talked to and consulted a couple of ICF builders and this will be ongoing for the next 6 months, also trolled quite a few internet sites. 

The closing on the infill lot will be this Tuesday coming and I've decided that I will be going to an architect and getting plans done  on a poured concrete foundation and stick built first floor bungalow, walk out basement, in otherwords traditional built! I should expand on the thoughts that I do live in a superinsulated passive solar home that I designed 23 years ago, this bungalow will be again superinsulated, but not passive solar as the location and direction are not condusive to it.

The reasoning behind it is I have to consider what the cost of building  and the selling price for the area will be in the end.
 
I'm not building to sell it, (kids inheritance in the end) it will be my retirement home but the cost maybe to high to justify going with ICF. I really want to do it with ICF but first the plans and then the estimates another 6 months away!

John .
TexasICFUser is Offline
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25 Sep 2010 06:28 PM
JohnyH,
If your minds made up, I'm not clear on why you will continue consulting with ICF buiders for the next six months unless you are hoping they might change your mind. In this neck of the woods when you add $50/month to your mortgage and save $100 in utilities in todays dollars you are better off with ICF. If you are paying cash for your home -- well, then your kids are better off with ICF. Please don't say you are going with traditional construciton and by the way it's superinsulated. I don't think so.
seasnarkUser is Offline
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25 Sep 2010 09:20 PM
Hi Wes, I appreciate the response and I understand you comments. I know that without the details, it is really hard to give an opinion but I will answer some of your questions.

There is no doubt, the exterior of the house is a little complex with a number of corners and the garage set off at a 15 degree angle. I guess for me, the real indicator that there was an issue in pricing when we started to discuss the garage. He had quoted me a price based on 2 x 6 construction for the garage. Given that it has usable space over it I asked him to re-estimate the garage in ICF. He estimated that changing the garage to ICF would be an additional 50K. Given that this is an incremental cost, I have to admit I was stunned by this number. I would expect to be able to frame a garage in ICF for 50K, not an incremental cost.

As a side note, you questioned why I did not count the basement. First, that is the standard in our area, square footage never includes basements (even walkouts). Secondly, I am comparing pricing with other bungalows built in our area and when calculating the square footage cost, I am only counting the main floor as they (and I) will be leaving the basement unfinished. With those projects (traditional framing) they are coming in at $180 - $225 per sqft. I was hoping not to be beyond $250 including main floor finishing.

Anyway, I appreciate the response and will keep working to see what I can do to bring the costs a little more in line (or decide I will have to suck it up). Cheers
JohnyHUser is Offline
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25 Sep 2010 10:39 PM
Is a home built with R40 walls, R60 attic, a great deal of care not puncturing the vapour barrier(a double wall), using an HRV and very little energy to heat and cool,superinsulated? Or I guess what is your description of superinsulated, I do realize that it is a very subjective and open term, it can be described or used in many different ways!

John

TexasICFUser is Offline
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26 Sep 2010 04:29 PM
JohnyH, my apologies for not being more clear and for going on the rant. My hangup was not with whether or not your home was superinsulated. I was trying to say that superinsulated and conventional don't go together. If you agree that conventional is "normal" then your description of a double wall system is way beyond the typical normal conventional etc. If you handn't mentioned the double wall i would have asked you how in the word you pulled it off.

Incidentally, once you go to all the trouble of the double wall system so as to not degrade the foam performance with the wood aren't you getting close to the cost of ICF? Regards.
JohnyHUser is Offline
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26 Sep 2010 08:12 PM
As I had stated, I am in discussions with ICF builders in the area, I have yet to complete a floor plan, when they are done then I will see where the costs  will come in. 23 years ago ICF was never seen or talked about by the custom builders in the area, the costs of nonrenewable energy was escalating and R2000 homes were more in the news. What I had built was custom and costly I may regret it when I try to sell next year as I do have a PWF foundation which I think is going to be a hard sell, we'll see next year! It has been a very comfortable and quiet house to live in but it's time to downsize, I do not regret building it, life is a science project!

John
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