What are ICF’s?

ICF is an acronym for Insulated Concrete Forms. Think of ICF forms as hollow “Lego” blocks. ICF blocks are assembled to the desired size and shape of the project. The hollow center is then reinforced with rebar and filled with concrete. The foam ICF forms remain in place, providing insulation, nailing surfaces and a vapor barrier, all in one. It’s ready to finish right away.

How long has ICF technology been in use?

The origin of ICF technology belongs to Werner Gregori, a German immigrant to Canada. In March 22, 1966 Werner applied for the first ICF panel patent. Today in the United States there are over 25 different manufacturers of Insulated Concrete Forms.

What is the cost difference
between ICF and wood frame?

Compared to wood construction, the initial cost difference of building with ICFs varies from 2%-10%, depending on the design and size of the home. However, ICFs continue to provide a cost savings to the homeowners as long as they live in the home. ICFs give a 50-80% saving on the energy costs, allow for downsizing of HVAC equipment, and qualify for insurance and tax credits.

How much wood do you save
building with ICFs?

You can save approximately 42 trees on an average size home using ICFs.

Can I use any floor plan?

Yes! Crane Builders has their own 3-D drafting arm that can draw any plan to ICF specifications. In fact, ICFs offer greater flexibility in building a home than wood home construction. There are many new exciting products to compliment ICFs superiority. Click here to see some of our building styles to give you an idea of the diversity ICF brings.

Can you tell if a home is built
with concrete just by looking?

No one will be able to tell the difference. The outside can have any form of cladding (brick, stone, stucco, siding, etc.) The inside may have deeper window wells, but you can have your walls finished any way you like. The real differences you’ll notice are the sound and air quality, energy efficiency and cost-savings!


Can I hang pictures, cabinets
and shelving on ICF walls?

Yes. Compared to a conventional wood wall with studs every 16 inches, the block used by Crane Builders has a fiber stud every 6 inches. In addition, heavy items can be fastened directly to the concrete wall with tapcon fasteners.

How much savings will I see
in my energy bills?

Your concrete home can save you up to 50-80% on your energy bills! How much you'll save depends on many factors, like the number and type of windows in your home, the roof structure, the heating and cooling system and the area where you live.

Are there insurance benefits
to building with ICF?

It varies according to the insurance company you choose, however your insurance bills will usually go down. Many insurance companies recognize concrete as being safer than any other form of construction when fire threatens a home. Crane Builders ICF built homes are much stronger than conventional homes, engineered to withstand winds up to 200 miles per hour.

Will it take longer to build
with ICF?

It should take about the same amount of time - and sometimes even less time - than building a traditional wood-framed home.

Are ICF walls as strong as
concrete block walls?

Stronger! When cured, the concrete in ICF walls is 50% stronger. Plus, ICF automatically provides insulation and furring strips, and it's ready to finish right away!

Are ICF walls straight
and plumb?

When installed by a qualified contractor, ICF walls should exceed conventional standards for straightness.

Do the ICF forms stay in place
after the concrete is poured?

Yes. Actually, the forms act as insulation, nailing surfaces and a vapor barrier, all in one.

Do you waterproof ICF walls?

Yes, waterproofing is required below grade just as it is with any form of below-grade construction.

How are doors and
windows installed?

A wooden or vinyl buck is built and incorporated into the ICF wall as it is being stacked and prior to pouring the concrete. Once the concrete cures, doors and windows are installed as usual.

Which size doors & windows
forms should I choose?

It depends on the home you're building. Prior to the start of construction, we will choose the wall width based on your design and the structure.

How can I visit a ICF job site
or a completed ICF home?

Contact Crane Builders today at (317) 481-1470 and set up your visit today to see many of their ICF projects.