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Think With Logix.

How To Build A Foundation With ICFs – Planning & Design

download a PDF of this articleCongratulations on choosing to build your concrete foundation with ICFs! Your new basement will now perform far beyond regular building code and will provide you with additional living space that’s not only valuable but also extremely comfortable.

basement picFor planning purposes, if you conservatively allocate 45-50% of your ICF basement to mechanicals and storage, you’ll be left with a full 50% of your new basement to devote to extremely comfortable and fully livable space. It’s important at this point to consider that, with this additional exceptional living space, you do have the option of reducing square footage of your main floors if you wish, thereby making your new home more space-efficient and therefore less expensive.

And remember, you also have the option of choosing to design your above-grade walls with ICF as well – and if you do that – you’ll get a stronger, more resilient and more energy-efficient home that will significantly reduce both your consumption of natural resources and your personal contribution to climate change, while still surrounding your family with unsurpassed comfort and safety.

Chicagoland Passive House picThe most important tip we have for you though – get in touch with your local Logix ICF dealer sooner than later!

Your local Logix ICF dealer can provide you with take-offs, advice and technical support, and can also refer you to local ICF-experienced construction professionals for competitive quotes as well as installation and design services. Logix products are generally purchased through Logix dealers. Many Logix dealers also offer ICF bracing rentals and some even provide installation services.

Helpful Design Tips

  • If you’re planning for a 9′ foundation wall height in the basement – design to 9′ 4″ if you can. This way, you will use seven (7) courses of 16″ high Logix blocks, which will be very fast and efficient. You can design to any height you wish, but if you choose not to design a wall height that is a multiple of 16″, you’ll have to use Logix half height blocks, height adjusters, or you may even have to cut the top course.

Logix One Minute Engineer software

  • Design your corner jogs to be 16″ (which is fine) or 32″ (which is best). In any event, avoid 1′ corner jogs.
  • Design 16″ steps in your footings, if possible, to perfectly match the height of a course of Logix ICF blocks.
  • For engineering and steel-reinforcing your Logix basement – use the Logix One Minute Engineer or refer to the Logix Prescriptive Tables.
  • To find an ICF experienced engineer or designer, click here.

Helpful Planning Tips

  • You may want to get a Geotech survey done. It’s always good to know early in the process the type of soil conditions you’re building on. This will help you avoid potentially nasty and unexpected surprises.

Logix One Minute Estimator app

  • Once your footings are in place, you should allocate about a week for the installation of a regular-sized ICF concrete foundation.
  • To get a handle on costs, you can get a quick materials estimate by using the Logix One Minute Estimator. Your local dealer can give you advice on this as well. For a firm detailed quote, speak to your installer directly.

Halo® Subterra® picHelpful Installation Planning Tips

  • Closely follow the Logix Installation Guide.
  • With ICFs, it’s very important that your footings are extremely level. Inform the installer that your footings MUST be +/- ¼”.
  • If you find that conventional ICF bracing is unavailable for rental at the time of your build, there are other types of bracing which can be used if needed. Your local Logix ICF dealer can assist you with this.
  • Installing a cost-effective layer of protection board over the waterproofing membrane is wise and is cheap insurance against accidental penetrations and leaks. Halo® Subterra® 1/2″ rigid insulation, which is manufactured by most Logix manufacturers and sold by many local Logix dealers, makes a great, cost-effective protection layer.
  • Plan to bring in at least 6” of drainage material for placement over your weeping tile.
  • To obtain your occupancy permit, you will have to drywall the interior basement walls. Plan for this eventuality.

Coming in the next article – “How To Build A Foundation With ICFs – Finding & Choosing Your Installer”.

By | 2018-07-26T14:48:13+00:00 May 21st, 2018|

About the Author:

Director of Commercial Solutions