The house plans are far enough along for the first set of bids to go out! In this case we're letting them to three different ICF companies, telling them to give us bids for both simply supplying the parts (we do the work) and bringing in a crew (they do the work). I strongly suspect that it'll be far, FAR more desirable for us to do the work ourselves (and that's what we've always planned to do anyway), but I wouldn't be a good engineer if I didn't explore all the options.
I've done a ton of research on the various ICF products, read various comparisons and user experiences, and talked to the various reps and customers at the Home and Garden shows. For the moment I've let the bids out to three ICF companies that were selected in part because I like their products and in part because, well, they're local. That will make it a lot easier to get parts and/or help if we need it. Here's who we're exploring right now:
- Polysteel - The biggest company in the industry and the one I took the installation class with, this is probably the product I know the best. I like the steel straps but worry about the block fitting mechanism being prone to blowouts for newbies like us.
- Greenblock - I like their Lego-style interface, which looks to make things very forgiving for newbies putting things together. They've got a good rep and have done a number of projects in the area.
- Reward - Another Lego-style interface with the same pluses as the Greenblock system. I only met them once at one of the Home and Garden shows but was very impressed.
I suspect it'll take a couple of weeks for them to analyze the house plans (heck, I couldn't understand them but then I don't speak Architect) and get something back to us.
But it's our first bid on the house itself! Cool! This thing might actually, you know, happen!
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