Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) basements are becoming popular in new construction, and for good reason. They provide excellent insulation values, great structural rigidity, are cost-effective and can simplify development of the interior. ICF walls are constructed using styrofoam blocks, which are then poured full of concrete, with steel bars (rebar) inserted in the concrete. The result is a reinforced concrete wall with styrofoam insulation on both the interior and exterior sides. Finishing of interior walls is possible for anyone with basic knowledge of tools and construction.
Things You'll Need
- Exterior waterproofing membrane
- Chainsaw, router or circular saw
- Electrical wire, connectors and boxes
- Concrete drill and bits
- Metal or plastic sleeves
- Interior finishing materials (most likely drywall)
- Nails and screws
- Pens and markers
Installation of Infrastructure in ICF Walls
Install waterproofing membrane on the exterior of the ICF wall, below grade, before backfilling.
Drill the wall and install sleeves for required penetrations--(electrical wire, vacuum system, etc.--if these were not installed when the wall was poured
Plan routing of electric wire and locations of boxes, and mark these on the Styrofoam.
Use the chainsaw, router or circular saw to cut the Styrofoam where the electrical materials will be located.
Press the boxes and wire into the Styrofoam, and wire as required.
Follow the same procedure for other items, such as computer wiring, vacuum systems and security wiring.
Finishing the Walls
Locate the plastic ties in the styrofoam blocks--these are generally identified by a series of Xs. Mark the locations of these onto the drywall.
Apply adhesive--desirable, but not mandatory--to the Styrofoam.
Place drywall onto the Styrofoam, lining the marks up with the plastic tie locations (refer to Step 1).
Insert drywall screws into the drywall as marked. These will go into the plastic ties for a solid fit.
Complete this process for all ICF walls. Finish the drywall as required.
Tips & Warnings
- Check detailed information on the company website for the brand of ICF blocks you will be using. Printed materials supplied are often brief and lack the detail contained on the website.
- When using adhesive, do a test to ensure that it does not “eat” the foam insulation.
- Photo Credit builder on a ladder image by Cherry-Merry from Fotolia.com
How to Insulate an Exterior Face of a Concrete Block Wall
Concrete blocks are often used instead of poured concrete for foundation walls in houses. Properly installed, reinforced and with grouted openings in...
How to Wire a Basement
Having power throughout your basement adds value to your home and brings power to other areas of the space. Taking the time...
How to Install Styrofoam Basement Forms
Styrofoam insulated concrete forms are growing in popularity. They are used in basements to provide ample insulation and space to run utilities....
How to Finish Interior Basement Walls
If you have decided to remodel your basement, then you will have to probably start with your walls. Your basement walls are...
How to Apply ICF Stucco
Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) are form work for poured concrete walls that stays in place as part of the wall assembly and...
How to Build Fieldstone Foundations
Fieldstone foundations, common to older houses, lend an old-fashioned feel to a home's construction. Fieldstones were once the building material of choice...
How to Install Stucco Finish Polyurethane Insulation
Stucco finish polyurethane insulation is one type of exterior insulation and finishing system, or EIFS. This type of finish is an exterior...