Concrete Home Improvements

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Many homeowners looking to make renovations to their homes may consider concrete home improvements as a viable building option. Concrete home improvements have many advantages over regular-wood framing options--advantages that offset the slight increase in the cost of building. Even if the rest of the house isn't constructed with concrete, using it for improvements and renovations may be an efficient and effective process.

One of the most popular techniques for building with concrete is to use ICFs, or insulated concrete forms, in construction. ICFs are generally large blocks of foam that are held together with steel webbing to create concrete forms for entire walls or home exteriors. The ICF blocks interlock like building bricks to form the wall, which is then reinforced with steel and rebar and filled with concrete.

Performing Concrete Home Improvements with ICFs

Using ICFs is simple enough that even people with limited exposure to concrete building techniques can successfully install them. Also, local ICF suppliers will usually provide homebuilders or do-it-yourself renovators with information on meeting building codes, installation information, and can generally even supply the necessary tools (scaffolding, vibration mechanisms, floats, etc.).

ICF construction is not only more durable than wood-frame construction, but it has a higher fire rating and is a more effective insulator as well. The foam used in many brands of ICFs is two to three-inch thick expanded polystyrene, which has tremendous thermal and noise insulation properties. Concrete home improvements can reduce heating and cooling costs while creating strong exterior walls that can last decades without damage.

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