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Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol The Tri-Cities area
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Old 12-30-2021, 02:20 PM
27 posts, read 50,516 times
Reputation: 26


As soon to be imports, we are planning to build our retirement home, and are seriously considering ICF construction for it. I've been in contact with Parks ICF out of Knoxville, and though he's been super busy, has been very easy to talk to, and seems very credible as an ICF builder. Does anyone here have any experience with these guys? Also, to ICF home owners, any insight you could share would of course be greatly appreciated (cost, upkeep, things to avoid/insist on, etc.). Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-31-2021, 03:59 AM
Location: Jonesborough, TN
712 posts, read 1,488,270 times
Reputation: 810
I own a ICF home and am not a fan. One of the fundamental reasons is because it is so rare in this region, you can't get a contractor to agree to do some types of jobs. For example, I have two areas where the mortar from the brick facade has worn off at the ground level, but nobody wants that repair job and I have contacted about 10 different people who have turned it down because they don't want to deal with the foam. The other hassle has been hanging heavy things (TV, closet organizers, etc.) on the wall. I realize that this construction has the strips that you are supposed to work similar to studs, but it hasn't been easy for me to deal with.
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Old 01-03-2022, 06:56 AM
8,079 posts, read 10,081,779 times
Reputation: 22670
When i built we looked at using the Superior ICF system. Decided against it as overkill for the area. No frost, warmer temps and no need for the structural strength. We saved a lot of money by simply going with a block foundation with 2x6 framing lumber above. After several years it has worked out well with no problems whatsoever. And i have to admit, while we had rooms and a bath framed in the basement, we have yet to finish off the space; Just don't need it quite frankly.
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Old 01-03-2022, 07:50 PM
Location: Del Rio, TN
39,874 posts, read 26,514,597 times
Reputation: 25773
We did ICFs in our basement in a home we built. Great setup-very quiet (exposed, above grade walls in some areas), great thermal barrier (we were in Idaho, plenty of cool temps). We stacked the block/rebar/plastic ties and had it pumped. It does pose some issues with external siding, we did a synthetic stucco. Considered doing the whole house with ICFs but the effort in framing windows and door openings with my design wasn't something I was ready to tackle.

Benefits are reduced heating and cooling costs due to the insulation factor and thermal mass of the concrete, environmental protection in strong winds and quietness-would do a great job blocking traffic sounds. Negatives are specialized construction, challenges with wiring and plumbing (need to plan ahead!) and finishing, both exterior (siding) and sheet rock. Not sure how costs match up these days-normally ICF would be higher, but with today's crazy lumber prices that might not be true any longer.
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Old 01-05-2022, 05:28 AM
27 posts, read 50,516 times
Reputation: 26
Wow, great replies! Thanks for the insight and experiences learned. Never really thought about the weight limit of trying to hang things on the plastic cross ties, or the facia attachment issues. This is why I love forums like these. The structural rigidity/endurance, and energy efficiency is what I am most interested in by building this way, but as said, building with 2x6 and heavy insulation might get me pretty close as well. Thanks all!
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Old 02-06-2022, 07:06 PM
Location: NWA
108 posts, read 94,721 times
Reputation: 204
I built 800sf addition to my stickbuilt house and used Rastra. Before i started, the 1600sf house would shake in typical wind gusts, afterward it was rock solid in the heaviest gusts... Where i knew i would hang things (TV etc) i incorporated plywood sheeting behind the sheetrock for that purpose. I routed channels in the rastr for wiring and covered with sheetmetal strips. If I ever build another, I will use ICF of some sort.
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