Is polystyrene the same as styrofoam?
Absolutely not! Polystyrene is far more dense than styrofoam and has a different make-up. Polystyrene will not sustain a flame (thus giving ICF its 4-hour fire rating) and produces no off gases or other toxic fumes.
What makes Logix different from other ICF's?
We've worked with other ICF forms, but prefer to use Logix forms for several reasons. They are more dense than other forms on the market, and have the highest R-value of any other form (currently R-27 in the foam alone, before considering the thermal mass contribution of the concrete). Logix forms are by far the most versatile, offering a wide variety of shapes, sizes and options. And since Logix manufactures their own forms (unlike most other ICF's), if you can design it, they can manufacture it! Not to mention, Logix provides the installers and builders with unsurpassed engineering and technical support.
Is ICF construction more expensive than traditional construction methods?
Believe it or not, this far superior method of construction only costs about 4 or 5% more than traditional construction methods. And while this may increase your mortgage payment by $50-60 per month, you just cut your utility and insurance bills by 50-60% (no kidding), so it actually costs you less each month to live in an ICF home. Our recent customers with homes in the 2,400sq.ft. range are enjoying utility bills that average $52-$85 per month....in Florida!!! And insurance companies are now recognizing ICF as superior construction and providing significant mitigation discounts on insurance (as required by Florida Statutes). In fact, one of our customers in a coastal area has an annual premium of $780 on his homeowner's insurance, while his neighbors are all well over $2,000. So the answer is no, it's not more expensive!
Can you recommend an architect or draftsman who can design an ICF home for me?
Yes, we have worked with several draftsmen, architects and engineers who are well versed in ICF design and construction and who we would gladly recommend. However, we also have our own draftsman on staff at Rock Solid and can provide full design/build services, offering value engineering from the beginning, and design to your taste and desires, while keeping the design within your budget.
What if my home has already been designed for wood or concrete block construction?
Even if your dream house has already been designed using traditional construction methods, our draftsman can convert your wood or concrete block design to ICF.
What kind of siding can be used on the exterior of an ICF building?
Any siding you can use on conventionally built structures, can be used on an ICF building. Stucco can be directly applied to the ICF foam, hardi plank and vinyl or metal siding can be attached by nailing or screwing into the polypropylene webbing which serves as a furring strip (8" on center) just below the surface of foam. Brick and other exterior applications can also be used. The ICF does not limit you in any way.
What about an ICF basement?
Absolutely! In fact, ICF originated in Canada where it was being used below grade to construct basements. Eventually, the vast benefits of the construction were recognized and the ICF began to be used above grade as well.
Does Rock Solid install the ICF wall systems, or do you hire another subcontractor to do that?
Rock Solid has an advantage over most builders in that our sister company, Maximum Building Systems, Inc., is the North Florida distributor/installer for Logix . Maximum's crews have been constructing ICF walls and framing the interior walls of those ICF buildings since 2003, so you can rest assured that the most experienced crews available are building the walls for Rock Solid.
Can you use ICF for additions, or just new construction?
ICF is ideal for new construction, as well as additions. Whether you're considering a new master suite that will be quiet and comfortable, or a safe room for your home or office, an ICF addition will deliver the energy efficiency, safety and comfort you're seeking.