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Sticker Shock

by pk last modified Nov 12, 2005 02:40 PM
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Sticker Shock

Posted by pk at November 11. 2005

We phoned a local ICF dealer the other day to get information about their system, references, etc. We own the property outright and would probably GC the project (he doesn't know this part). He later sent an email with some info (nice references) and told us we could build a *basic* 2000 sq foot home for $300,000!!! :huh: What!! This is insane...have prices really gone up that much since the hurricanes? Anyone on the list work with or knowledgeable about local ICF sources and pricing?


Posted by paul schuster at November 11. 2005

that is not out of line from what we are finding. ICF is not a cheaper way to build. and at $150 a sq ft that does not sound very shocking to me.

try calling shelter building. we recently inteviewed them and they are getting into a rastra icf and claim it's not costing more than if they stick framed (2x6). and they build very green.

if you went sip, you might get down to 135 a sq ft, and less if you stick built.

I'm not sure how much of this increase is due to natural disaster. gas prices go up every year as does the cost of milk. we can't expect for materials and labor to remain stable.


Re: Sticker Shock

Posted by Mark Meyer at November 11. 2005


What is the decision behind your desire to go with ICF? Conrete is becoming VERY expensive due to a general cement shortage, so ICF starts to become quite expensive. You may want to consider Autoclaved Aerated Concrete as a material. Unlike ICF's it is more like a concrete block, and requires considerably less conrete. Contec is the most used local distributor. They are out of Monterrey Mexico and provide a very good product. Like ICF you end up with massive walls, which have a certain charm. AAC is also easily sculpted and can very easily accomodate interesting niches and deep window reveals, like you'd get with an ICF or other massive wall system (adobe, concrete, rammed earth)

Do you have a design yet for your home? And if so is it based on a specific construction system, or are you still shopping systems?

Mark Meyer

Re: Sticker Shock

Posted by pk at November 12. 2005

Hi Paul Mark -

We're not locked in to anything yet...still shopping.

Mark, I've emailed Contec for more info. What about the insulative value of the EPS exterior of the'd loose that then using Contec, correct?

Paul, I've heard that Rastra/Amazon isn't a very stable product...apparently it disintegrates when it gets wet. Seems like a bad idea for a humid climate like ours? I will contact Shelter Bldg. to see what their experience has been.

I also re-read the email from the ICF dealer. He said the system would add approx 3000 to 8000 to the cost of a home over stick built. I think he was just assuming high end finishes - hence the $150 per sq foot. So I need to focus on the 3000 to 8000 rather than the sq foot cost he quoted. Do you think the 3000 to 8000 is an accurate figure?

What would that figure be for SIP? Is there an SIP source that doesn't use OSB as the exterior layer of the sandwich? Again, questioning the wisedom of using something that will disentegrate if it gets damp...

Re: Sticker Shock

Posted by paul schuster at November 12. 2005

I think shelter is new to the rastra block. so no long term experience. but if you go to the Y bar and grill (near the 290/71 Y in oak hill) that bldg was made from the stuff as was that old world looking theater on bee caves rd near rob roy.

I'd not get to concerned over price if you've spoken to only one builder. we are aiming at 125 a sq ft and the first builder I met w/ sort of laughed at such a goal. he tried to explain to me that it would be closer to $200 a sq ft (and that is not an ICF build). but since then I've met w/ there others who understood the goal and pledged to work with me to attain it.

you may need to indicate a budget goal to your builder early into the game and try to find ways to make it work.

and for our sip build, we are not considering any osb sip method. there are quite a few great options out there that use, galvanized steel, concrete board and solid resin (like fiberglass). the last two options also allow for stucco to be applied right to the exterior and no drywall for interior finish.


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