ICF-House-Extension

Instead of packing up and going though the pains of moving to a new home out of necessity for more square footage, many homeowners in Alberta are seeking to add an extension (a new room or wing, etc.) to their house. This can be a viable and financially wise choice that can also increase the value of a property, if done right. On the flip side, it can have the opposite effect if extension construction is poorly planned and executed. One way to ensure homeowners move forward in the favorable direction, is to offer them the option of using insulated concrete forms (ICF). Let’s find out why.

5 Reasons Why Insulated Concrete Forms Are the Smart Choice for Building a Home Extension

Cost Effective Construction

While a side by side comparison of wood frame vs insulated concrete forms indicates favour for the former, ICF requires less labour and fewer construction materials, making it a cost effective solution for building a home extension. But there is more to cost efficiency than the direct cost of what the homeowner pays for today. Keep reading.

Long Term Cost Savings

The biggest benefit of applying insulated concrete forms to any residential construction project is found with its superior thermal resistance, with an R-Value of nearly 24. Rigorous testing from the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and International Accreditation Service (IAS) proved an energy savings of approximately 60 percent better than that of the alternative (wood frame). This is the biggest reason that ICF contributes to a lower longterm cost of construction and ownership.

Offers Quick Construction

When a homeowner wants to build an extension, they don’t want to wait. They don’t want weeks or months to pass with construction on their property. Insulated concrete forms allow builders to construct a superior room, solarium, guest house, or any other extension in the shortest turnaround time possible. Because of the LEGO-like nature of ICF blocks, the learning curve for builders new to insulated concrete form construction is a small one. In Alberta, training programs are available to contractors/sub-contractors which will get you and your team building in no time at all. In fact, savvy homeowners with a penchant for construction are turning to ICF as a DIY home extension solution. For example, across the pond celebrity chef and author, Gill Meller of River Cottage restaurants and cookery school, has received press for taking on his own home extension project in Devon England using none other than ICF systems from NUDURA (which we supply).

Increases Property Value

Smart home extensions not only expand upon the usable living space for current homeowners/occupants, they can effectively increase the property value. This is due to the lower cost of utilities, enhanced structural integrity of ICF concrete blocks, improved air quality (NUDURA ICF does not emit CFCs or HCFCs), and the fact that ICF is simply the building block of the future given its status as a NetZero home building solution. Learn more about how ICF (and thus ICF extensions) can increase the resale value of homes.

Creates a More Comfortable Living Space

There’s only one side effect of building an extension (man cave, home office, bedroom, etc.) with ICF. All occupants (unintended users included) may very well converge upon the space making it the most crowded room in the home. This is because ICF rooms are far more comfortable that traditional builds. Superior thermal resistance properties make it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer and cozier in between, while soundproofing qualities (Sound Transmission Class of over 50) create a quieter and more soothing environment, even if the extension faces a high traffic area or airport landing strip.


Make ICF a part of your residential construction product/service offering in order to gain a competitive edge not just in new home construction, but for house extensions and renovations too! Contact Total ICF in Central Alberta today to learn more.