How do ICFs compare cost and efficiency-wise with traditional 2x6 framed construction?

Asked by Paul Soltero
Verona, NJ

We are going to build a new home (1 story with a crawl space) in coastal SE North Carolina. I'm considering using ICFs for all the exterior walls. How do they compare cost & efficiency wise with traditional 2x6 framing?


Danny Kelly

Answered by Danny Kelly

Charlotte, NC

Kelly McArdle Construction

May 23, 2011

If you are in NC, I would suggest you:

  • do a 2x6 wall with advanced framing techniques -- 24" on center, two stud corners, ladder Ts, and insulated headers;
  • cellulose blown in insulation; and
  • 1" of rigid foam (DOW SIS) as the exterior sheathing.

The exterior foam will add R-Value as well as act as a thermal break. You can achieve an R-28 wall with this approach.

This wall assembly will perform as well as an ICF and will be approximately 20% the cost of the ICF wall.


For more information:

Read "What do you know about ICF construction? I am thinking about building a new home." a Q&A answered by William Janhonen.

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