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By CJ in Stratford, ON on 7/6/2007


Hello Everyone,

This is my first post and hoping for any feed back - good or bad.
We have just purchased an oceanfront lot on an out island in the Bahamas. We are going down shortly to meet with a couple of builders.  The construction on the island is mostly stick or concrete block.  I have researched both ICF and SIPs and am leaning towards ICF.  I don't believe any of the builders have used this yet.  Have contacted a supplier in Nassau who can provide Amvic but says it is  imperative to have someone familiar with the product.  We will have to build on pilings/stilts as it is only 12ft above sea level and there is 6 ft surge.  So I guess the main question would be  -- is do we be the first to go with the ICF or should we stick with what the builders are familiar with?   Hope to get lots of feed back.   We live in a 150 year old house here in Ontario and have no experience with new construction.

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By Joe in Ruskin, FL on 7/7/2007


Hi CJ,

I am in the process of building a steel SIP home on Tampa Bay, Florida where my first floor had to be 9 feet off the ground.  I am in both a velocity zone and a 120 mph wind-borne debris zone.  I know you are considering ICF but have you considered what the concrete costs will be at such a remote location?

My place, when finished should be rated for winds in excess of 150 mph.  Also, for material shipping purposes, the steel sip panels are relatively light.  Several neighbors have been inquiring about my structure wanting to build something similar and the Contractor that is doing the shell, Marquis Construction, offered a couple of suggestions different from the foundation I used which was to change from the concrete columns to red iron or steel and replacing the concrete filled lintels with a box beam frame.  Chris said this could reduce the costs somewhat and improve the overall quality of the structure.  Additionally, it reduces the concrete work to basic flatwork which many more concrete people are capable of doing well.

This type of construction goes up relatively quickly and with the above changes, I would suspect it to move even more rapidly.  My shell is almost completely dried in now, other than windows and doors, and they are working on the interior stairs and interior steel framing for the room layout.

I'd be happy to share any additional info with you if you are interested.

Joe H


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