ICF FAQs

Building with ICF is easy. If your contractor is not familiar with ICF, we can walk them through the process. They can install the product themselves, or if they prefer to have the ICF installation completed by an experienced crew, they can give us a call, and we will get them in contact with certified installers in your area. Solid ICF is also available to offer installation services for our ICF products.

Yes, ICF products offered by Solid ICF are easy to build with. Along with training courses, we are able to help with accurate material take-offs, so you have everything for a successful installation. Equipment rentals such as bracing, rebar benders, vibrators and more are also offered. Some level of caution is good as concrete is permanent and not forgiving so construction experience is recommended.

It depends on your project. The simplest way to determine how much material you need is to contact Solid ICF or bring in your blueprints. From there, we will go over the plan and provide you with an accurate list of all the materials required. Along with the ICF blocks, we can also provide all the accessories required, such as clips, rebar, window buck and top plate material, bracing rental, etc. Everything required can be shipped in one convenient delivery.

Yes, waterproofing is required below grade, just like any form of below-grade construction.  Depending on the site conditions, we recommend water-proofing or damp-proofing with peel & stick membranes and/or drainage boards.

A wooden or foam buck is built and incorporated into the ICF wall as the blocks are being installed, prior to pouring the concrete. Once the concrete cures, doors and windows are installed as usual.

The utilities are installed directly into the foam. Channels or grooves are cut into the forms with routers or electric chainsaws, and plumbing and electrical lines are then inserted into those grooves. The drywall is screwed and/or glued directly onto the forms.

No one will be able to tell the difference without closer inspection. The inside may have deeper window wells, but you can have your walls finished any way you like, just like with any other building material, as there are plastic ties every 8" along the ICF blocks to fasten to. So your exterior can have any kind of finish, from stone to stucco to siding and any other exterior finish. 

What you and your visitors will really notice is the difference in sound and air quality, energy efficiency and cost savings!

Concrete walls require proper placement and consolidation techniques, including using a mechanical vibrator.

Absolutely. The many features and benefits of ICF construction make it a perfect choice for above-grade construction. In fact, to receive the full benefit from this type of quality construction and maximize the energy efficiency of the structure, ICF blocks should be used for all exterior walls.

The panels are made from safe, non-toxic, fire-retardant EPS (expanded polystyrene) and the ties are made from polypropylene. Element ICF panels contain no CFCs, HCFCs, polyisocyanurates, or other toxic chemicals. They also do not "off-gas" under normal use nor break down over time. 

ICF blocks carried by Solid ICF are extremely versatile and can accommodate any situation efficiently.  Forms are available in 4", 8", 6", 10” and 12” cavity widths. The standard forms are 48" long and 16" high. Specialty forms are available to make wall heights work in 4” increments. Solid ICF is able to provide an accurate list of materials required based on the drawings you provide.