- Single pane to triple-insulated windows
- Vinyl flooring to ceramic tile or hardwood
- R-13 batts to R-38 blown-in insulation
- 8-foot to 9-foot or 10-foot ceilings
These are builder upgrades –– options and choices builders provide to buyers of new construction homes, if the buyer
wishes to… and is willing to… pay for these upgrades.
Whether their new-construction home costs $200,000
or $2,000,000, most new homebuyers have one thing in common:
They request and specify at least some upgrades.
While they cannot and do not request or purchase
every upgrade offered, they do specify the ones that seem
most important to them.
The reasons for saying “Yes” to certain upgrades are
simple and logical:
- In the long run, homebuyers know they will be happier
with a better quality option.
- They know the name-brand option will require less
maintenance or provide a higher level of comfort or prestige.
- And they know, when the time comes to sell their home,
they’ll get a higher resale value because they had the foresight
to make wise selections.
But people don’t usually specify concrete homes as an upgrade –– because they don’t know much about them… don’t understand what ICF technology can do for them… and, even if they’ve considered it, they don’t know what it would cost.
The Most Important Upgrade Is Also The Ultimate Upgrade
Of all the available builder upgrades, the one that is rarely offered –– and rarely requested –– is a concrete home that utilizes insulated concrete form (ICF) technology.
Because ICFs are not often offered –– and because most U.S. consumers (and many builders) don’t know much about concrete homes –– it’s not a common upgrade.
Perhaps one reason is that ICF homes aren’t visible to the eye like higher ceilings, hardwood floors, or granite countertops. On the outside, ICF homes look like any other home. But underneath, ICFs create a comfortable energy-efficient home that lasts longer, provides a measurably quieter interior environment, withstands just about anything Mother Nature can throw her way, and keeps its occupants… your family… safe.
ICFs are more about what you don’t see than what you do see.
It all starts in the construction process. Instead of a framing crew building the exterior walls of your new home, a trained team of ICF experts arrive on the scene, erect insulated concrete forms for all the exterior walls, reinforce it with steel, place the concrete, and wait for it to cure.
Unlike poured concrete foundations in which forms are removed, the insulated forms remain a part of the construction, adding R-value, quiet, and superior strength to the entire home.
Benefits Of ICF Technology
The list is long… and the benefits are numerous:
- Energy savings –– acting like a virtual barrier against the elements, ICFs provide superior insulation, significantly reducing heating and cooling costs.
- Fire resistance –– up to a 4-hour fire resistive rating.
- Structural integrity –– superior strength over any other building technology.
- Ecologically sound –– less wood in the home means less impact on the environment.
- Sound suppressing –– interior rooms are shielded from outside noise.
- Faster construction time –– an experienced crew of three or four can install ICFs in about a day (or two, depending on size). In addition, exterior sheathing, exterior vapor barrier, and insulation is integrated into the wall system. This saves additional labor and scheduling of work crews.
- Versatile –– any exterior or any interior finishes can be utilized –– brick, vinyl, stucco, and so on.
- Better moisture and mold control
- Greater wind sheer and seismic stability
- Healthier living environment
The bottom line is that while you can always add a better refrigerator or countertops, crown molding, or wallpaper there are certain upgrades you can’t add later –– and that includes concrete. After all, it’s impossible to change what’s underneath the exterior siding after the home is completed… and after you’ve moved in.
That’s why, when you’re in the market to build a new home, you and your builder will want to explore ICFs with the people who know them inside and out.
Consider these helpful links to learn how and why a concrete home that utilizes insulated concrete form (ICF) technology is an important upgrade for any home in any price range.
Ask your builder, or follow the links below to learn more about the building an safe, quiet, sturdy, energy-saving home..
Learn More About Concrete Homes And ICFs
Ancillary Products and Services of Interest To ICF Homeowners
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On the outside, concrete homes built using ICFs look like any other home. However, under the brick, vinyl, or stucco exteriors are short-term and long-term benefits to the homebuyer, making ICFs one of the most important and cost-effective upgrades for new home construction in virtually every price range.
Call us at 1-866-THINK-ICF