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Mel’s Tips Research. I’d advise anyone considering this method to be comfortable with it, talk to people who’ve used it before. Everyone I spoke to at the time of building said they were happy with it and amazed at how easy it was to build. On site adjustments. An interesting benefit of ICF is that once you have a section of wall built you can stand back and look at where the window openings are and adjust them slightly before they are braced – the window might be a bit too big or too small or might benefit from being moved slightly, within reason as you can’t adjust too much due to planning permission (which was gained on the grounds of the submitted drawing details) and advice should be sought from the professional signing off on compliance with planning to ensure any minor tweaks are acceptable. Internally similar conditions as for a timber frame house apply – to hang anything heavy up on an ICF wall you need to find the fixing in the wall, spaced at 150mm centres. Additional costs. There were two for us – the proprietary silicone render you have to use on the ICF external walls is a specialised product that costs quite a bit more than a standard sand cement render, which I hadn’t expected. That said, cladding can be very cost effective with ICF so depending on the finish you choose you may not incur any additional cost. The second costly exercise was due to last minute changes which meant we had to add a vent in the wall during the build, and this required a specialist contractor to core it out as the concrete had already been poured.

AU T U M N 2 0 1 8 / S E L F B U I L D / 8 5

Selfbuild Autumn 2018  
Selfbuild Autumn 2018