ICF for Wrap Around House Extension Construction Alberta

Residential wrap around extensions are perfect for homeowners who don’t want to move but need more square footage. It allows them to maximize the space available on their property, typically incorporating both a rear and side return extension to create an L-shaped expanse that wraps around the house. When successfully constructed, it creates additional living space on two sides of the home. While there are options for building a residential wrap around, there is nary a better method choice than insulated concrete forms (ICF). Below we detail the practical reasons why this is the case.

3 Reasons Why Insulated Concrete Forms Make Sense for Residential Wrap Around Extensions

Easier Construction

While a wrap around uses a previously untapped external area around the home, it is still a renovation and can disrupt and displace occupants for a significant amount of time, unless you use insulated concrete forms. ICF offers builders the most seamless way to add a premium wrap around extension, one that not only matches the current construction, but exceeds it. Take this award winning 2,784 square foot family home as an example. Though sub-freezing temperatures of winter (similar to Alberta), entire house construction was completed in 34 weeks with a NUDURA ICF installation time of just 7 days. Imagine how fast it will allow you to add a simple wrap around to your client’s property, no matter the time of the year? While contingent upon the total size of the extension, ICF installation for a typical wrap around can be completed in just 1 or 2 days! In addition, ICF walls can be finished with practically any material so you don’t have to worry about matching the current aesthetic of the house.

ICF requires far less labor and equipment, fewer materials, and will ultimately allow you to complete the project so quickly and seamlessly that occupants will barely notice. View more on how ICF allows builders to build homes, and extensions, faster.

An Extension That Doesn’t Add Ongoing Cost

Aside from disruption (addressed above) and initial cost of construction, one of the biggest concerns homeowners have surrounding a wrap around, is the long term cost. After all, they’re essentially adding an entire room or wing to the home, so won’t utility costs increase proportionately? Not at all. The thermal resistant properties of ICF (R-Value of nearly 24) offers a 60% energy cost savings when compared to a traditional wood frame build. So taken on it’s own, the new wing/room will not result in a proportional increase of energy consumption. But it gets better.

Given that a typical wrap around embraces the rear and side return extension of a house, the L-shaped extension now serves as a comfy sheath, keeping cold or hot air out, which will reverberate throughout the home, especially for rooms that now extend into the new wrap around. The longterm cost of an ICF wrap around is negligible at best, and may actually have owners saving money on overall utilities should the L-shaped extension cover a significant area of the house. View more on how ICF lowers the long term cost of construction.

ICF Better Accommodates Common Motivations for a Wrap Around

There are common motivations for clients to want a wrap around. Within each is a reason why ICF is perfectly matched.

One popular rationale for a wrap around, is a baby’s nursery or child’s room. In this case the client will want the best comfort and protection for the infant/child possible. Not only will the thermal resistance of ICF provide for optimal room temperature, ICF offers a 4-hr fire resistance rating, and boasts superior soundproofing properties to keep them sleeping snug at night even if the house is located near a major roadway. The same climate and sound control benefits apply to other wrap around extension concepts, including home theaters, personal music rooms/studios, and home libraries. Then of course there’s the panic room concept, which may absolutely be added as a part of a wrap around extension. As the world is finding out, ICF is quickly becoming the standard for residential safe rooms.


ICF is not only a the construction method of choice for residential wrap around projects, it’s the only way to go for any home extension. Contact Total ICF to learn more about how you can adopt ICF for your residential construction and renovation business.