The ICF Walls of the First Floor

of the Ventura-Gutek ICF House and Studio

After the ICF's have been cut and stacked, changes are still possible. Windows may be moved and new ones can be cut out and framed in. 

Ryan cuts an ICF block to size with a handsaw.

A brick ledge (created with an angled block) follows the ground level. Rebar supports the upper blocks. The window was cut out, then pressure-treated wood was secured to the sides and top of the opening. Extra care should be taken with the size, level, and square of all rough opening.
Larry completed a wall, aligning the plastic spacers that are 8" apart (marked by indentations). 

Tubes were inserted into the walls for electrical wires, plumbing, and H/C vents. Carol Ventura cut the ICF block with a compass saw and the plastic spacers with a reciprocating saw. Don't forget any holes!


If you forget to make a hole - this is what awaits. A core drill could not be used because of the location, so Steve Lloyd removed the foam, then he and Bo Taylor drilled around the circumference with a 5/8" bit in a rotary hammer drill. After letting the drill cool down, they drilled and chipped away the inside with the same drill and used a metal-cutting tool to cut the rebar.

Mike Montgomery adjusts the level of an ICF block.

Most of the inner walls are also ICF (and many of them continue up onto the second floor, where they support the roof). Chris and Daniel insert rebar horizontally and vertically into the outer and inner walls of the garage.

Looking down inside the ICF wall with rebar in place.
To avoid blowouts, the back wall is poured in three passes. After a three-foot layer was complete, Larry stoped the pump and moved the boom back to the beginning and then continued the pour to avoid air pockets. A vibrator could have / should also have been to avoid air pockets.

Larry supervised and operated the boom from the back of his pump truck, next to the hopper.

Mike troweled the brick ledge as Daniel poured concrete into the wall.

After the pour, Mike and Chris straighten the wall by adjusting the inside and outside braces. A  string stretched along the length of the wall would have helped assure that it was straight.

Link to footer and slab construction.
Link to construction of second floor.
Link to construction of walls of second story.
Link to ICF roof construction.
Link to stovepipe installation.
Link to insulated rubber roof installation.
Link to the window and door installation.
Link to steel framing.
Link to steel stairs installation.
Link to brick laying.
Link to overhang installation.
Link to gutter installation.
Link to electrical work.
Link to plumbing installation.

Link to septic tank installation.
Link to sheetrock/drywall installation.
Link to mudding / sheetrock finishing.
Link to painting of the walls and ceiling.
Link to the installation of the floor tile.
Link to solar installation.
Link to the installation of the exposed aggregate driveway.

Back to the ICF main page.

Web page, text, and photographs by Carol Ventura in 2003.