One of the first questions asked when planning a home is “How much will my project cost?” Questions involving pricing, can’t be properly answered simply by information posted on the internet, regardless of how much information is supplied in one article. Same goes for the insulated concrete form (ICF) foundation cost.How Much Does It Cost to Build The Whole Home With Insulated Concrete Forms discussed here!
So, how much does ICF Foundation Cost?
ICF is a premium building system and does cost considerably more than stick construction when costs are compared for above the ground structure. From a foundation cost point of view, it’ll still be cheaper just to pour concrete, but from an insulated foundation perspective the costs are very comparable. Furthermore, for the foundation portion you will find many contractors who say an ICF foundation is less costly than any other conventional poured concrete foundation system.
To dive a little deeper into the subject, we would have to compare apples to apples. In other words, we would have to compare ICF foundation cost and the cost of poured concrete foundation with two sheets of R-12 styrofoam insulation on both sides. Even to someone that is not a building expert, it should be clear that it is much cheaper to build a foundation with ICFs.
On the other hand, if the comparison is ICF foundation and poured basement, a poured concrete wall will cost you approximately $7-$10 per sqft. To finish it, for studs, framing, insulation and vapour barrier you will spend another $5-$7 per square foot.
For the ICFs; concrete, rebar, all the labor to stack, place the rebar, pour the concrete, etc., you are looking at $11 – $18 per square foot of wall space, including windows. Most likely it will be somewhere in the middle $14-$15 per square foot unless you have curved walls, enormous openings or many angles to the house.
So, you end up spending as much money with a strip form wall as with ICF wall. Concrete block foundation wall construction would be in the same ballpark.
Other advantages of ICF foundation are:Speed of construction: On projects where time is money one step concrete pouring, framing, insulation and vapour barrier. Adverse weather conditions construction: You can pour in minus degree weather as concrete cures between two pieces of insulation. Do it yourself friendly construction: To save money on installation costs, many people undertake to build their foundation themselves.
You should know that ICF’s are not meant for basement construction. They perform the best in super energy efficient, complete ICF house or as basements to SIP and log home construction. But if you are going to finish your basement it is a no-brainer to use ICFs.
The following factors will influence ICF foundation cost:
- The price of ICF forms – manufacturer, size, supply, shipping, and unloading on site.
- The price of concrete – supply of and pumping.
- The price of steel rebar – supply and bending.
- The Price of window and door buck material- supply and install.
- The Price of buying or renting bracing and scaffolding –
- The price of miscellaneous materials: screws, nails, straps, foam, etc.
- The cost of labour – includes putting up the ICF forms, providing and setting up the bracing, installing bucks, rebar, and any inserts and cleaning up the site.
Adding insulation to your home’s building envelope can be one of the most cost-efficient ways to reduce your heating and cooling bills.
In new construction, investing in the insulation is a smart way to reduce future maintenance costs by reducing the home’s energy consumption. However, because no two buildings are the same, and because there are so many ways to insulate, it can often be confusing to determine what’s best for a particular project.
I love how you said that many contractors will say that ICF foundations are cheaper than other poured concrete foundation systems. People that want to build a new house or anything they should consider ICF foundation for it is cheaper and faster. Thank you for helping me understand what ICF foundations are and their advantages.