My ICF Project (and costs) - Winnipeg, Manitoba - Canada
Last Post 13 Oct 2012 11:14 PM by FBBP. 21 Replies.
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jimsabo21User is Offline
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03 Oct 2012 12:57 AM
While I keep reading that ICF should cost $15 per sq. ft. of wall space, my current project is costing me closer to $23 per sq ft. of wall space. I am using Fox Blocks, 8 inches. The price of concrete in Manitoba is $250 per cubic meter (slightly larger than a square yard).

I have created a blog of our modern ICF house build, and am including all construction costs along the way.

Winnipeg ICF Modern House Blog

Anyone else from Winnipeg on here, and if so, what was your cost per foot for ICF?
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03 Oct 2012 03:00 AM
Posted By jimsabo21 on 03 Oct 2012 12:57 AM
While I keep reading that ICF should cost $15 per sq. ft. of wall space, my current project is costing me closer to $23 per sq ft. of wall space. I am using Fox Blocks, 8 inches. The price of concrete in Manitoba is $250 per cubic meter (slightly larger than a square yard).

I have created a blog of our modern ICF house build, and am including all construction costs along the way.

Winnipeg ICF Modern House Blog

Anyone else from Winnipeg on here, and if so, what was your cost per foot for ICF?

$23 seems very high. Is this price just for the ICF blocks, rebar, concrete, and labor? Or are you including excavation, footings, plumbing, etc in the cost?

Why did the "friction piles" have to go down 20 feet deep?



smartwallUser is Offline
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03 Oct 2012 09:05 AM
Just did a cost estimate for a customer for 4" above ground without labor but covering almost every thing else, it came to $5.25 to $5.50 per sq ft. I'm glad I'm in upstate NY
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03 Oct 2012 03:47 PM
Posted By smartwall on 03 Oct 2012 09:05 AM
Just did a cost estimate for a customer for 4" above ground without labor but covering almost every thing else, it came to $5.25 to $5.50 per sq ft. I'm glad I'm in upstate NY

Assuming that labor costs are double the material costs, that would put the wall at $11.00 per sqft. So the average of $12-$13 still holds true.

As far as the OP, $23 per sqft is very steep. Double the costs up in Canada? Unless he is adding in other stuff (excavation, plumbing, his 20 foot deep footings)
jimsabo21User is Offline
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03 Oct 2012 03:54 PM
The $23 per sq. ft. for ICF included:
- Supply (Fox Blocks)
- ICF Ties
- Rebar
- Concrete
- 8 corners
- 40 Simpson Hangers ($2500)
- Pump Truck Rental
- Weeping Tiles
- Delta Foundation Wrap (membrane on exterior of ICF wall prior to back fill)
- all labour
- Taxes (12% in Manitoba)
The plumbing costs, in floor radiant heat, void form, insulation, sump pits,and form work was all part of the slab cost (which worked out to $25 per sq foot). The piles were separate, and were all specified by the engineer (size and depth) based on clay soils in Winnipeg, and the weight of the concrete house (we're building ICF to the roof). We needed 30 piles for 2000 sq ft basement slab, all between 16 - 24 inch radius, 20 to 30 feet deep. The piles alone were approx $750 each.
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03 Oct 2012 04:28 PM
What were the labor costs? When people refer to $15/sqft on here they are generally talking about DIY or material only costs.

It may be a lost cause or a waste of time, but subtract the costs of the ICF Forms and their components, then add in the costs of conventional form rental, labor and delivery costs for the forms and cleaning, plus the cost of adding insulation to the inside and outside of your foundation.

All the other costs (rebar, concrete, pump truck, hangers, waterproofing, etc) are still needed with conventional forming. I bet the difference is negligible.
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03 Oct 2012 08:28 PM
When people refer to $15/sqft on here they are generally talking about DIY or material only costs.
No, I am afraid the prices readily kicked around by those interested in selling block are in the range of $13 - $19 a square foot and that includes labor.
fallguyUser is Offline
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03 Oct 2012 09:11 PM
im from winnipeg, i have yet do build with ICF, but i have done a few standard grade beams and all the prep for flat work.

the thing that i can see that is out of wack is your pile cost.. for the most part you can get 16" dia 25' deep placed with steel for 300$ each.

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03 Oct 2012 09:54 PM
Posted By fallguy on 03 Oct 2012 09:11 PM
im from winnipeg, i have yet do build with ICF, but i have done a few standard grade beams and all the prep for flat work.

the thing that i can see that is out of wack is your pile cost.. for the most part you can get 16" dia 25' deep placed with steel for 300$ each.


Are "piles" the same as footings? I've never seen a footing where I am at deeper than 2 feet for residential but that is a different climate than Canada but 25 foot deep footings is something I never heard about for residential. Sounds like something required for a skyscraper or something.
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03 Oct 2012 09:56 PM
Posted By ICFHybrid on 03 Oct 2012 08:28 PM
When people refer to $15/sqft on here they are generally talking about DIY or material only costs.
No, I am afraid the prices readily kicked around by those interested in selling block are in the range of $13 - $19 a square foot and that includes labor.

So what is the TRUE average cost of an ICF wall here in the States?

This would include ICF, 6" concrete core, rebar, concrete, window bucks, bracing, labor. What would the average cost be per square foot of wall area with the mentioned criteria?

Is $15 per sqft of wall space a bogus number?


jimsabo21User is Offline
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03 Oct 2012 10:06 PM
Who are you using for piles? Not sure a 24 inch diameter pile, 20 ft deep can be done for $300. The quick math:
24 inch diamter
20 feet deep
Concrete required = 1.78 meters
1.78 x $250 per cubic meter = $445 of concrete

So, without drilling, you're at $445 in concrete. We needed a pump truck ($2000) for 30 piles, so that's an extra $75 per pile, and we're already at $520 each. Add the cost of drilling, a bobcat and truck to remove fill, rebar cages, labour, taxes, and I thought the $700 per pile was somewhat fair. We actually got 3 quotes, and they call came within $50 of each other.
jimsabo21User is Offline
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03 Oct 2012 10:21 PM
Posted By Lbear on 03 Oct 2012 09:54 PM
Posted By fallguy on 03 Oct 2012 09:11 PM
im from winnipeg, i have yet do build with ICF, but i have done a few standard grade beams and all the prep for flat work.

the thing that i can see that is out of wack is your pile cost.. for the most part you can get 16" dia 25' deep placed with steel for 300$ each.


Are "piles" the same as footings? I've never seen a footing where I am at deeper than 2 feet for residential but that is a different climate than Canada but 25 foot deep footings is something I never heard about for residential. Sounds like something required for a skyscraper or something.


Libear, certainly not all Canadians need piles. In Winnipeg, the bedrock is too deep. Our soil type is clay and silt. This means the soil heaves when the frost arrives. This can lift entire houses, and make them unlevel. To keep your house level, many make their basement slab structural by drilling 16 inch (or up to 30 inch) diameter holes that go 20-30 feet deep into the ground. YOU STILL DON'T HIT BEDROCK; however, the side friction of concrete against compacted soil prevents the house from moving. Not all houses in Winnipeg are built on piles due to the relative high cost of doing so. It's an extra some choose to do to guarantee their house will stay level forever. The usual rule of thumb is approx 1 pile per 100 sq feet of slab.
fallguyUser is Offline
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03 Oct 2012 11:03 PM
tony at www.provincialpiling.com

16" x 20' deep is 48274 cu in

48274 cu in = 0.79106913 cu meter

250$ (last time i paid 220$) x 0.791 = 197$

so that gives them 103$ to drill and add the steel

now your piles are bigger and might have more steel in them, for my shop and house i just went 20-25' and 16" dia.

in 2003 i got the holes drilled for 50$ each.. for my shop 3 years ago i got tony to do the whole pile job for 300$ things might of gone up since then.
fallguyUser is Offline
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03 Oct 2012 11:06 PM
and looking at your drawing it looks like they spec'd 16" dia... but they are deeper with more steel.. 4 vert bars with rings http://static.squarespace.com/static/5036779024acfb39faacbbfc/t/503d18abc4aaf0e1f6a0b1f1/1346181292183/?format=1000w
jimsabo21User is Offline
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03 Oct 2012 11:37 PM
Posted By fallguy on 03 Oct 2012 11:06 PM
and looking at your drawing it looks like they spec'd 16" dia... but they are deeper with more steel.. 4 vert bars with rings http://static.squarespace.com/static/5036779024acfb39faacbbfc/t/503d18abc4aaf0e1f6a0b1f1/1346181292183/?format=1000w


Thanks for info. The engineer updated the drawings and called for more 24 inch piles after we committed to ICF up to the roof ... so, about 1/2 the piles were 16 inches 30 ft, and the other 1/2 are 24 inches, 25 ft ...

So far, it seems like all our original budgeted cost are out the window. The piles were more expensive, slab more expensive, ICF more expensive, etc, etc, etc ... although it's amazing to build a truly unique house via an architect, it seems about 90% of tradesmen don't want to touch this project due to the perceived complexities involved ...
fallguyUser is Offline
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03 Oct 2012 11:58 PM
nothing to do with ICF.. but look at this flooring when the time comes http://centiva.com/products/wood/ it wears like iron (life time residential and 20 year commercial) they use it in the empire states building observatory. www.kennedyfloorings.com sells it here in winnipeg i went with African walnut in my house... and its dinged up pretty bad after only a few years. this stuff can look just as good and i swear you could hit it with a hammer. and if you are doing heated floors it will transfer through better than hard wood.
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04 Oct 2012 01:07 AM
Posted By Lbear on 03 Oct 2012 09:54 PM

Are "piles" the same as footings? I've never seen a footing where I am at deeper than 2 feet for residential but that is a different climate than Canada but 25 foot deep footings is something I never heard about for residential. Sounds like something required for a skyscraper or something.
Because of the soft squishy ground in New Orleans most houses, as well as commercial buildings, are on piles. What I saw were wood poles about 12" diameter, 40' long, driven down. I've seen houses in Metairie where the ground had settled under the house and there is daylight between the bottom of the slab and the ground!
Even a retired engineer can build a house successfully w/ GBT help!
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04 Oct 2012 01:17 AM
So what is the TRUE average cost of an ICF wall here in the States?
Not all the information one might seek is available on the Internet. There is no independent organization that randomly samples ICF builds and reports on a true average. If a study was done, it is likely the data would only be good for a single market. Even a nationwide average would give you an artificially high figure for some markets and low for others. Bids for my single project varied by a factor of two.
smartwallUser is Offline
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04 Oct 2012 10:18 AM
The one thing that stands out is the Simpson hangers should cost around $800 give or take.  I just did a quick take off for a 200 lin ft x8' tall 8" icf, waterproofed and parged
$21000 complete with floor
FBBPUser is Offline
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12 Oct 2012 11:21 PM
Just finished a quote for a customer. Footings and everything inside of a 6" core. Right around $16.00 sq.ft. for Nudura. Logix a little lower, Intergraspec a little higher. Does not included floors hangers, moisture barrier or weepers. Around Calgary Alberta.
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