Insulated Concrete Forms
Assembled with regular building skills, ICFs form airtight, insulating concrete walls that finish with standard materials.
Synopsis: The author explains how he used insulated concrete forms, or ICFs, to form basement walls for his new house. In addition to describing the advantages of these foam and plastic forms, he details the process of setting them in place and filling them with concrete. A short accompanying article describes the main types of ICFs that are available.
On a Saturday morning two summers ago, helped by my wife, Pat, and four usually desk-bound coworkers, I poured the concrete walls for my new home’s 28-ft. by 40-ft. basement. Containing the heavy slurry of concrete were insulating concrete forms (ICFs) made of foam and plastic ties.
Setting the forms, braces and rebar took Pat and me about two weeks of part-time work. However, fretting about pouring three truckloads of concrete into forms that resembled a hybrid of take-out coffee cups and Lego blocks cost me a lot of sleep…