Ed Catterson, State Licensed Inspector, Wisconsin Home Inspections
I cannot compliment the (CELBLOX) product enough. Because of the research (I) did, (I) was convinced that if we ever built a house we would use this type of product for our basement. Well, it was not long after this decision that we found a piece of land and decided to build. The great thing was your company as so close to our building site we came to check out your products specifically. We were astounded at the quality and technical craftsmanship that went into your product, they were far superior to any other company (I) had researched.
When we began to construct the basement with the “blox,” they were so easy to use, at first it was unbelievable, our confidence was boosted greatly, then it just got fun! (I) myself and our three teenage boys, with a small flat concrete crew built the entire basement for the house and foundation walls for our three car garage.
The finished product is as wonderful as it was easy to use; the basement is considered bombproof and I would have to agree with that. When we have heavy weather of any kind we just go down to the basement and literally cannot hear a thing, and for a worrywart mother, this is a comfort knowing our family is safe, extremely safe.
The environment this product has created is also wonderful; we have fi9niehd the entire basement with drywall, carpet and drop ceiling, which has literally doubled our square footage size. We never have to worry about dampness or cold. We did not put radiant heat in the concrete floor, but we do not need it either, it stays evenly warm throughout the year. We have two bedrooms used by our older sons and they say they are very comfortable all season long.
If we ever build another home, I know we will use your product for the entire thing, not just the basement, we just could not be happier.
Blake and Teresa Pace, Reedsburg, Wisconsin
We have been in our CELBLOX home for a year now and would not live in any other type of home. There are no creaks, no floors groaning and wind noise or other outside noise is not noticeable. With radiant floor heat, the house is always warm without any cold spots or drafts.
As we desired EFIS (stucco appearance finish) and stone as our outside finish, we were thrilled to find the cost was much lower than in typical wood frame construction. We also saw a cost benefit in our homeowners insurance policy.
We are heating approximately 6,000 square feet with 10 foot ceilings on two floors for an average cost of $191 per month for propane. This includes our hot water heater and dryer use. Our average electric bill has been $150 per month.
The previous home we lived in was typical wood frame construction built new. The outside walls were 2” x 6” with the highest level of insulation in walls and ceilings. Even though the house was almost 2,000 square feet smaller with only 8’ ceilings, the average cost to heat it was well over $200 per month and it still felt cold. The cost reduction with our ICF home is even more significant when taking into account the dramatic increases in heating fuel over the last year and one half. I shudder to think what the cost would be today (if not living in an ICF house).
Beyond the measurable improvements we also experienced a number of intangible benefits. We love the appearance of thicker outside walls with the deeper window wells. The peace of mind generated from the knowledge that our house is safer in storms, fire and internal air quality is tremendous and the added benefit of helping to conserve our environment is the final icing on the cake. It has been said that a man’s home is his castle. I would add that a CELBLOX home is his FORTRESS!
(We) want to take this time to thank all of your support staff in guiding us on this project. We now live in our CELBLOX home and we both love it. We moved into the home in early September. When we moved in they were still working on the landscaping with all of the heavy equipment and I was so amazed that while they were working; we can honestly say, we could not hear or feel them driving around. We have built a number of houses over the years but must say without a doubt this is the most comfortable home we have ever lived in. It is now January and our weather has been extremely snowy and cold. Our last heat bill was nice to look at for a change. Last year the house we lived in was around 2600 square feet. Our heat bills were running around $120 per month. Our (CELBLOX) home is 4500 square feet and we heated it in December for only $113 per month. I am so happy! I want to let your people in the company to know I love my new house and I will never build anything again unless it is a CELBLOX home.
Mark Stewart, Landmark Homes, LLC
(from an article by Jeff Richgels in the Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin)
We did it mainly to find a bit of a niche in the market. Everybody’s always looking for something and we don’t specialize in prairie style homes or traditional homes or transitional homes. The use of concrete in the upper stories produces some of the extra cost since concrete is currently more expensive than wood. But it’s all going to come down in price as concrete homes become more popular. The first one we did ran about 10% more but we found a ton of cost savings and now they’re about 2% to 5% more than comparable stick homes.
5% on a $500,000 home is $25,000. I have people who spend four times that much on cabinets. That 5% is a fixed cost in a (30 year) mortgage with tax deductible interest. And energy prices (continue to rise over time) and are not tax deductible.
I think the safety factor (in ICF homes) is incredible and because moisture can’t get through concrete, mold is much less of a threat. And these features make concrete homes cheaper to insure than stick homes. (And) concrete homes are so quiet, it’s like stepping into a Mercedes-Benz and closing the door, you can’t hear anything.
When people first did these concrete houses they were just a square box. They were kind of institutional. There were no bump-outs or angled walls or hip roofs or anything. But now anything I can do in wood construction I can do with (ICF’s). People aren’t familiar with concrete homes and you have to have promotion and show them it can look like a conventional home. I think it’s the biggest thing. People just have to see it.
Josh Munson, Munson Drywall
I have been installing sheetrock for ten years now. It has only been in the last two years that we have had to hang sheetrock on ICF buildings. That being said, it is very surprising that there are so many different ICF blocks out on the market. I have worked with five different ICF forms now. As far as sheetrock goes, you would not think the block would make that much difference and at first it really did not seem that way. Then I used CELBLOX.
I never really looked forward to working with ICF’s until I worked with CELBLOX. We use a lot of screws in a house and when we used other blocks we had a high number of pull outs. I honestly don’t think we had a single one with CELBLOX.
I want to let your company know that from my perspective on the job site, your (CELBLOX) form is in a league of its own. I think it is unmatched in quality from every standpoint.
Brian Tourdot, Service Electric, Reedsburg, Wisconsin
Service Electric acted as the electrical contractor for a new 82 bed skilled nursing facility that was built with CELBLOX Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) As an installer, I found that running the electrical components throughout the ICF walls was easy and convenient. I used the following methods of installation:
Metal Clad Cable: I used Roto-Zip with a ½” dado bit, cutting a ½” deep channel. Cutting in the chases through the EPS foam was very fast and easy.
Electrical Metallic Tubing Conduit: I used the Roto-Zip with a round dovetail bit (3/4”” bit for ½” pipe and a 1” bit for ¾” pipe). The dovetail (tapered) channel allowed the conduit to be pressed into the channel, preventing it from popping back out. This eliminated the need to secure it to a stud or foam the chase.