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By j in augusta, GA on 1/21/2009


The wife and I have just decided to go the O-B direction. She is great with organization and more than willing to work to save a buck. I have a bit of an electrical and construction background. It looks as if ICF is going to be the choice for us. Does anyone have any suggestions on an ICF builder in this area?
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By Don in Sandy Springs, GA on 1/22/2009


Re: ICF construction. I think the first thing you need to do is research the various ICF systems out there; there are many. One I've been looking into is Quad-Lock. There's a dealer in Elberton, Miles Supply Co.  (888) 283-5863 or (706) 283-5863.

I visited a house being built on Lanier. The ICF supplier
can recommend builders. I hope to build ICF in Dahlonega one of these days.

Don


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By Bob in Villa Rica, GA on 2/2/2009


Hey J,

My wife and I were also planning on using ICFs when we started our project in 2007. After speaking with our design engineer, we were told ICFs were overkill for our area. His suggestion was to use 2x6 construction and this is what we did. The local builders told us this was overkill because of cost... but, we ignored them. The 2x6 option was the correct one.

Bob


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By Michael in Martinez, GA on 2/3/2009


I live in Harlem. I used a company called Superior Walls out of South Carolina. They did a really nice job. They did my basement, roughly 3,300 square feet. If you would like to know more let me know.
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By j in augusta, GA on 2/3/2009


Bob,

Thanks for your response. I am a little confused though. Did you go with the ICFs or the 2x6; and what were the problems you came across?

Thanks,

Jody


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By Belinda in Augusta, GA on 2/4/2009


Bob,

In choosing the 2x6 option, how sealed do you feel your house is and what type of insulation did you go with in your walls?

Thanks, Belinda


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By Bettie in Harlem, GA on 2/4/2009


I wanted to respond re: using ICF, I am completing a 4,200 sf home in Harlem and I too was told by all the builders that I encountered that using ICF's was overkill.  I went with stick built and used R-15 in my walls, R-19 floors and blown-in R-38 insulation in roof.  I feel that I have a very sound house.


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By Bob in Villa Rica, GA on 2/5/2009


Hello Bettie:

I believe ICF's are a superior product, however, the cost to install in Georgia is really not warranted. If this is your "forever" home, then go with ICF's and a geothermal heat pump and be done with it. I went with 2x6 (R-19) in the walls and R-30 in the floor and ceilings, and my energy bills show the difference.

The extra cost will take about 3-4 years to realize the difference.

 

Bob


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By Bob in Villa Rica, GA on 2/5/2009


Good Morning Belinda
 
This is a very good question. 
 
In the research Ive done, I discovered that sealing a house is not a great idea. If a home is too tight, the air quality is not the best and an air-to-air exchanger is warranted to keep the interior air clean.

I did use Tyvek housewrap on the outside and Owens Corning batting inside the walls.
 
I also had a dual-fuel furnace installed. It's a heat pump for temperatures above 35 degrees and a propane furnace when the temperatures dip below 35 degrees. My average heat and A/C bill is about $100 a month (balanced billing); my highest being $179 and the lowest $63. My average for propane is about $40, and the bulk of this from December to February.
 
I hope this helps.
 
Where are you building?
 
Regards,
 
Bob
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By Michael in Martinez, GA on 2/5/2009


Jody,

Here is the web address for the company that did my walls... superiorwalls.com


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By Belinda in Augusta, GA on 2/6/2009


Bob,

We are planning to build in a rural area out from Augusta. Hopefully, it will be the last house we are in, so we are trying to make it low maintenance, limited wheelchair accessibility, and with the perks we want (and can afford). We are still having the plans drawn by a friend who's an architect.  The initial plan was to get an estimate of a 2x6 frame and compare it to ICFs. We knew with ICFs we would need an air exchanger, but I am also someone who likes to have windows open as much as possible. My biggest concern is the power bills. The winter one doesn't concern me as much as trying to stay cool in the summer. I'm most curious on how the ICFs will do in the summer. Have you heard how they do?

Thanks, Belinda


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By Jack on 9/9/2010


Seems most people are considering ICFs for floors above ground (as they are going with 2x6 walls), but I'm looking to use them for basement walls, where I want R-22. Considering the walls would already be made out of concrete, how much do the ICF forms add to the cost? Guess I'll be finding out soon.


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By Belinda in Augusta, GA on 9/12/2010


Jack

We are planning for a basement and a main floor with all the walls being ICFs. This is mostly my husband's area of knowledge, but I will pass along what I have picked up. Of course we will put down a moisture barrier before the slab and will need to have French drains along the sides. We did an estimate about a year ago for about 2,080 sq ft for each level, 8' ceilings in the basement and 9' ceilings on the main floor. The cost difference between the whole-house/basement ICF quote and stick built with 2"x6" and ICF basement walls was less than $3,000. Also, we were told that the price depends on the price of concrete at the time. But the same can be said for the price of lumber.

Belinda


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By Bob in Villa Rica, GA on 9/13/2010


Good Morning Belinda

My wife and I built our home in Villa Rica in 2007. We also contemplated using ICF's and after speaking with several contractors and a couple of engineers, we changed our minds. Our winters here just don't warrant the extra funds. We did go with 2x6 walls and additional insulation in the attic. You could opt to have spray foam insulation in the walls and achieve the same outcome. 

That being said; can I ask why you would be willing to spend an additional $3,000 just for ICF's in the basement and yet you're only going to have 8' ceilings. I'm sorry, but it doesn't make sense. You have the opportunity here to have a basement you can expand at a later time. Once you limit the ceilings to 8' the mechanicals will make a lot of the space seem really small. We went with 10' ceilings in the basement with engineered floor trusses, so when the funds do become available, we have something a lot easier to expand.

Another suggestion for the basement... do the plumbing for an additional bath and kitchen before you pour the slab.

I hope this helps.

 

Bob


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By Belinda in Augusta, GA on 9/14/2010


Bob,

My husband has been the one pushing ICFs and since the cost difference wasn't that great, I have agreed. Our plans are for this to be the last house we are in, so we are looking at something with very-low maintenance. Our basement ceilings are 8' from floor to ceiling. We have allowed room for our mechanicals in the floor trusses, so it will not take away from our basement room. We have plans for the plumbing for a bathroom, an extra bedroom and a rec area or storage area.

The ONLY drawback that a local GC could offer us with using 2'x6' on the main floor was the expansion/contraction of the wood over time. He agreed with you in that ICF could be overkill, but with wanting low maintenance this could be the way for us. Also with Georgia Power raising rates and the expansion of Plant Vogtle, I am trying to achieve as low energy bills as possible.

Belinda


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By Don in Sandy Springs, GA on 9/14/2010


Belinda,

I don't understand the folks who are telling you that Georgia weather doesn't warrant ICF construction. A/C cost is often greater than heating cost down here, and a well-built ICF home (all levels, not just basement) can cut both heating and A/C cost in half, or more. Do more research before caving. And you are spot-on about the direction of future electricity cost.

Don

P.S. I'd rather sit out a Georgia tornado in an ICF home, as well.


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