Why We Chose to Build our Dream Home Using Fox Blocks ICF
I’ve shared how my husband and I always wanted to build our Dream Home together, but I haven’t shared why we chose Fox Blocks ICF ICF instead of building our Dream Home with traditional 2×4 framing. Today I’m going into detail about ICF wall systems and why we chose to build our DIY Dream Home with Fox Blocks ICF and answer some common FAQs I have been receiving over on Instagram! Ready?! Here we go…
What are “Fox Blocks” and what does “ICF” stand for?
ICF stands for Insulated Concrete Forms. Fox Blocks ICF blocks are a double insulated, reinforced, concrete wall system that stacks and clips together and is then filled with rebar and concrete giving you the strongest most sustainable wall system available.
The blocks come in many shapes giving you unlimited design options. Our home’s blueprints called for 8” walls in the basement and 6” walls on the main level. The blocks have just over 2” of foam on both the interior and exterior with a 1.5” webbing that runs through it and makes up the stud as well as a slot to place any needed horizontal rebar. Each stud is 8” on center instead of 16” on center like typical lumber construction. The blocks can be used to build basement walls, second-story walls, commercial buildings, churches, schools, even in-ground swimming pools (that’s on our to-do list) …you name it, the possibilities are endless! They look a lot like a large lego block and you just stack them together. They are lightweight making them really easy to work with! Because they’re made of foam they are also really easy to cut. When stacking the seams must be alternated and blocks clipped together according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Horizontal and vertical rebar is inserted, windows and doors are framed out using foam “Bucks” and then the concrete is poured into the walls.
Why we chose Fox Blocks wall system for our DIY Dream Home Build Project
We chose to build with ICF walls for many reasons. Twenty years ago, a friend of ours built his home with ICF construction, and the more research we did over the years, the more we were convinced that we wanted to build our dream home using ICF. There are too many benefits to list, so today, I’m going to list a few of the ones that were most important to us.
Like I said earlier, we knew a long time ago that we wanted to build our home using ICF construction. We decided to go with Fox Blocks over other ICF brands for a few reasons. Two of my brothers-in-law’s built their homes using Fox Blocks ICF walls and we learned a lot from them and their research. We also helped with their builds which made us even more impressed with the product. Two years ago we started working with our architect and after talking to him about various ICF products on the market we found Fox Blocks to be superior.
Short Term Savings
Building with ICF will have you saving money right upfront. We were able to save on freight due to the Fox Blocks being so lightweight. We are going to be able to downsize our HVAC system due to how energy efficient our home will be. We will also be saving countless hours of our time and labor due to the ICF being so easy to build because ICF are so light they are super easy to transport, cut, handle and stack in place!
Fox Blocks have an R-Value of 23 making them more energy-efficient and less drafty than any other way of building (especially wood-framed homes). To make your home the most efficient it can be, make sure to invest in high-quality windows and properly insulate under your subfloor (slab) as well as your roof (attic).
Long Term Savings
We live in northern Michigan and we have to heat our home in October through April and in the summer months, we have to cool our homes because it can reach 90+. It was really important to us that the home we built would require significantly less energy than a typical home. Homes built with Fox Blocks ICF will require 32% less energy to cool and up to 44% less energy to heat than wood-frame homes. That adds up to HUGE savings long term!
Another great perk of an ICF home is that it’ll require less maintenance and repairs because it’s made of concrete so it’ll resist rot…unlike wood.
Did you realize that Fox Blocks ICF can withstand hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and floods far better than any other wall system? Yep, it’s true! We’re basically
building a fortress! They also have an ASTM E119 fire-resistance rating of 4 hours for 6’ walls and are considered fire-resistant.
Ease Of Building with Compared to masonry or typical 2×4 lumber framing
As a DIYer, building our own 4,000+ sq ft home, building with ICF compared to 2×4 construction, or doing masonry work is a hundred times less labor-intensive! No joke! They are so light and so easy to work with that really all you need is two workers (or one really strong person like my husband who can lift a 20’ piece of rebar into the blocks by himself…lol!)
Another huge reason we chose ICF is that it saves us from having to frame the interior walls of our entire basement and it saves us from having to purchase insulation separately for all the exterior walls in the basement and main floor…AND because we are building our home ourselves, it saves us all the work of installing all that insulation! This system is such a time saver! I for one and very excited that I WON’T have to install any wall insulation in our home (because that is a really nasty job)! One less dirty job for me!
Unlimited Design Options
If you are considering building with ICF, definitely check out www.foxblocks.com. They have endless options for designing your build and all the helpful tools and resources you could need are right there on the website.
How to learn more about ICF and Fox Blocks and get started with your build:
The best way to get started If you are interested in more information on ICF walls is to go to www.foxblocks.com and use all of their free resources. If you are working with an architect, make sure that they know you are building with Fox Blocks ICF from the get-go! Once you have your blueprints you can use their online Estimator Pro with worksheets to help you calculate what you’d need for your project.
You can also contact a local representative or dealer to work alongside you as you plan for the build. Thank you for following along as we are Building Our DIY Dream Home With Fox Blocks ICF and be sure to follow on all the social channels so you don’t miss out on the build progress!
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*Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Fox Blocks and contains sponsored content. The compensation received will never influence the content promoted on this website. All opinions and views expressed in this post are solely mine (Dena/owner/writer) and mine alone and have not been swayed in any way by this sponsorship. I (Dena) am a DIYer, NOT a licensed contractor or builder and all opinions are my own. I recommend hiring a licensed contractor or professional for any and all construction projects. I have pulled all required permits. I recommend that you always pull the required permits.