The exterior walls of your home have many functions besides looking great for curb appeal. Today we have put a lot of thought into the colors and finishes considering the possible resale value. Yes, this is important, but so is the performance of your home throughout the years. Do you know if your exterior walls can perform all their necessary functions?
Your exterior walls need to be able to support the load of the roof, provide security from outside threats and extreme weather, deter pests, regulate temperature, and keep out unwanted exterior pollutants and sounds that can affect the quality and performance of your home.
Traditional homes are constructed with wood. Wood does require more maintenance and repairs over the years from weather, temperature, and aging. Also due to an increase in lumber in 2020, the price for wood has increased as well. Normally this method is the best upfront savings for construction but over time it can increase home repair and energy bills.
Thankfully, there are other home construction methods you can now choose from. ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) provide a solid envelope for your exterior walls. They are hollow foam blocks that are stacked into the shape of the exterior walls, reinforced with steel rebar, and then filled with concrete. They are designed to provide quality home performance for decades upon decades.
Benefits you will receive with an ICF Home are:
Lower energy costs due to the energy efficiency built in. (Energy Star Certified) An R-value of 23.5+ plus ( Zero Energy Ready builds).
Sound-blocking ability with a STC rating of 51+ - creating a quiet space.
Low maintenance due to the resistance of mold, rot, mildew, and insects
Increased security due to steel reinforced concrete walls.
Disaster resistance with a fire rating up to 4-hours and wind resistance exceeding F5 hurricanes and tornadoes.
Cost savings with lower insurance premiums.
Increased comfort and health benefits of improved air quality with 75% less outside air infiltration.
The typical ICF home will use 6" core ICF, which after drywall and stucco create a 12” thick exterior wall versus the standard 2x4 inch wood framed homes are normally a little over 5” thick. Thicker exterior walls are known to provide more comfort and security. This is a financial point to consider when making a large investment into your home's construction.
There is a lot to consider when building a brand-new home. Good news is some interior items can be updated over the years like fixtures, cabinets, floors, appliances, and more. However, it is more difficult to update the bones / exterior walls of the home. You will have to choose for yourself where to add lasting value to your home.
If you are interested in building an ICF Home give our office a call (623) 935-5004