Frequently Asked Questions

Can I build my own home using ReddiForm insulated concrete forms?

Yes, you can build your own home! It requires some basic construction knowledge related to square, level and plumb, and it requires some construction experience with pouring concrete. ReddiForm has had many homes successfully built by their owner/builder. Know that mistakes can be costly and dangerous, just as they can be when building a home using any construction material. We support you with a manual, weʼre available by phone, and we are flexible in arranging whatever level of support you need. Despite the many warnings that you canʼt build your own home, it is no harder than building a wood home, just different.

Does it cost more to build a ReddiForm ICF home?

The extra cost up front to build a ReddiForm concrete home is little to none. While no costs are exact, ReddiForm foam concrete form foundations typically cost less than other methods, and above grade concrete wall costs are competitive with energy efficient wood frame construction. A basic 2×4 frame wall with fiberglass will cost less up front, but the energy efficiency will be at least half of the ReddiForm home. We guarantee 50% to 70% energy savings over wood frame walls which means your real costs are much less than other methods. Richard Rue at www.EnergyWiseStructures.com states that, “Iʼve never had a house that was built based on our recommendations that wasnʼt in a positive cash flow from day one.

Will ReddiForm really save me 50% to 70% on my energy bill?

Yes, and almost by itself. However, the home must be designed as a system. So what does that cost, and how is it done? It doesnʼt cost much more to air-tight detail and caulk a home correctly. Energy efficient windows and doors will cost slightly more if the plan was to use low cost units with low energy efficiencies, but higher efficiency units will pay for themselves quickly, and keep paying you back year after year in dollars and comfort. A designed system will actually cost less since the HVAC (heating and cooling) unit will be much smaller, more efficient, and less costly, in your ICF home. ReddiForm offers a no charge, insured, guarantee that your home will be 50% to 70% more energy efficient than today’s standard. It’s the EnergyWise Guarantee.

Is ReddiForm a sustainable building system?

In short, yes. At the minimal guaranteed 50% energy savings level, studies have estimated significant savings. Energy required for heating and cooling a typical home is between 48 and 90 million BTUs per year according to statistics from the EPA. At 50% savings that would save 24 million to 45 million BTUs each year. In a 100 year life cycle, savings amount to as much as 4.5 billion BTU’s, and estimates are that CO2 emmisions are reduced over 100,000 kgs.

Our product is recyclable, nontoxic, has no CFCs, and reduces building waste to near zero. ReddiForm’s concrete building system also saves most of the 40+ trees needed to frame a wood wall home, and eliminates the disruption of one acre of natural habitat. ReddiForm is more than a sustainable home building system, it helps in many ways to save our earth.

What is the R-Value of a ReddiForm home?

It depends on how you measure it, and how you calculate the energy efficiency of a structure. ReddiForm R-Value is calculated with ASTM C-236 at R-20. Construction Technology Laboratories (CTL) using the ASHRAE 90.1 EVNSTD program finds that ICFs campare to wood frame buildings of R-32 in Northern climates, and R-50 in Southern climates. ReddiForm’s R-value is but one factor in calculating the energy efficiency of an ICF building. Continuing studies on R, K, and U Values, and how they are affected by a homes details help us understand exactly how a ReddiForm ICF home can be 50% to 70% more efficient than other methods of construction.

Is a ReddiForm ICF house strong enough to keep me safe?

Insulating concrete form homes have proven themselves time and again to easily withstand earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Many older homes in high risk tornado locations have added an ICF safe-room to the existing structure.

What is ReddiForm made from?

ReddiForm is manufactured with Modified Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam because of its fire performance, structural performance, and environmental advantages. Modified EPS contains no formaldahydes or toxic chemicals, and no harmful CFCs are used to manufacture it. Modified EPS uses fewer resources than other insulation products, and it is a sustainable product for a greener world. EPS is a recycleable product. Please check with your local recyclers. You can find more informaton on EPS at this site: www.epspackaging.org/images/stories/EPSSustainabilityTenets-lores.pdf

How do I finish the outside of my home?

You can finish the outside of your Rediform ICF home with any stucco, brick, stone, or siding of your choice. A finished home can have the look you want. EPS foam is the perfect substrate for a beautiful and maintenance free stucco finish. A brick ledge can be attached at any elevation required for supporting brick or stone. (See details in the ReddiForm Manual) The option to add horizontal fastening strips within the block is available for attaching whatever siding application is specified. ReddiForm recommends a rain screen detail which will extend the life of the siding and the stain or paint. Stain or paint will last to five years between recoating compared to the usual need to recoat every year or two. The rain screen detail is accomplished by the use of furring strips attached to the exterior wall. This serves two functions:

  1. It creates an air space which increases the R-value, and it permits air to circulate thus preventing a buildup of moisture which is critical when wood siding is used. Most manufacturers of wood and wood based siding recommend that an air space be left behind the siding.
  2. Furring strips permit aluminum and vinyl siding to expand and contract easily and naturally reducing warpping and loosening problems.

The Journal of Light Construction, in an October 1996 article explains:

Siding applied directly over rigid insulaltion sheathing has a history of failures. The consensus seems to be that rigid-foam sheathing is so impermeable that moisture absorbed by the siding (from direct rainfall or ‘splash back’ at the horizontal surfaces) cannot be buffered by temporary absorption in the underlying wood framing elements. The rigid insulation also prevents the wall framing from absorbing any of the heat generated by exposure to direct sun. Depending on the action of the rain, sun, and temperature, the siding cups as moisture is driven back and forth through the siding. In this case, the peeling of the latex stain indicates that a solid color stain was used. The surface film of stain lifts off the siding when underlying moisture tries to escape by migrating through the surface of the siding. Inward cupping results when the interior surface of the siding is drier than the extreior surface, and the back of any siding exposed to direct sun will often be ‘baked dry’ when the foam sheathing blocks heat transfer to the underlying framing. The siding should be installed over furring strips, creating what is called a ‘rain screen’ cladding system. The resulting air space allows both heat and moisture to dissipate. This buffering effect can be increased by venitng the air space at top and bottom.

How long will a ReddiForm Insulated Concrete Form home last?

Building a concrete house using ReddiForm will ensure it lasts generation after generation. Homes built using our building system donʼt rot, mildew, or crack, and they are very resistant to fires. A short circuit electrical spark inside a ReddiForm wall doesn’t start a house fire. ReddiForm foam concrete form homes will far exceed the average 60 year life expectancy of wood frame homes, and their resale value reflects the homeʼs added value.

What architectural designs and floor plans can I use?

Your imagination is the limit. ReddiForm adapts easily to round or arched windows and doorways. Curved walls and angled walls are often found in ReddiForm homes. Cantilevered floors may require additional support, however the use of engineered beans and posts can accommodate this design. Any wall length is possible although a maximum adjustment of 4 3/4“ plus or minus in dimension will completely eliminate waste, reduce the amount of bracing, and simplify the construction. Beautiful design with curves and arches can be seen at www.finebuildinganddesign.com.

Is ReddiForm Code Approved?

Yes. The IRC (International Residential Code) specifies the acceptance and requirements of builidng with ICFs. ReddiForm is also in compliance with the following national, international, and state organizations: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Oregon Department of Energy, Ireland approval, Prescriptive Code for ICFs, Florida Product Approval #4117, ARPAE approved in Puerto Rico. Commercial projects require engineering in most instances.

How fast, and how high, can I pour concrete?

ReddiForm is a tough block; you can pour 10′ to 12′ in one single pour without going around the project in multiple lifts. The engineered design of our ICFs allows higher slump concrete, faster pour rates, and eliminates the need to place concrete in lifts. Detailed instructions on pouring ReddiForm concrete walls can be found in the Construction Manual.

Other Questions?

We know you may have other questions not answered here or in our Manual. Please call us at 406-587-4903 or email us atRick@ReddiForm.com. We actually enjoy talking about ReddiForm ICFs, and answering your questions. We believe any question you have is a good question!