ICF Barn Raising

As you may already know, we are sold on ICF (insulated concreteforms) building. For the do-it-your-selfer they are easy to use – they literally snap together like big legos and the insulation value is amazing! We have used them for the first phase of our house here at the vineyard which will eventually be our basement, the filter house/pavilion, greenhouse and now a barn.

In the past we have used the Rewards ICF but our supplier has changed to Fox Blocks. Slightly different in dimensions, they are put together the same.This time, instead of gluing each course (or layer) together, clips were used which made them even faster to put together. The barn is 40ft x 60 ft and we put the walls together in 2 days and poured the concrete into them the third!

First, however, we contracted the concrete pad. The site was leveled and forms built for the concrete floor.

It was exciting to see the concrete being poured and know that we did not have to do any of the work – this is definitely the way to do it!

We had them order extra concrete to pour the stairs at the filter house/pavilion. Now, all that remains is the final coat of the EIFS (exterior insulation finishing system) and it will be completed, except for the roof above the pavilion and banister!

After several days allowing the concrete to cure and harden, work on the walls began. The first day, half of the 16 ft high walls were finished and bracing was put into place for added support especially once the concrete was poured.

The second day the remainder of the 16 ft walls were completed. For our house, John built walk boards around the top for access, but this time we rented a scissor lift from the builder who completed the floor and will return for the metal roof. The large opening is for a 14 ft x 14 ft roll up door – large enough to drive the harvester through.

The real work came on the third day when concrete was poured to fill the walls! Well, to  be honest, it was easy for me – I just watched!   ;)

If you remember, when we poured concrete for the filter house/pavilion, we bucketed it from the truck’s shoot to the top of the walls. This was a relatively small amount and we did not feel it warranted the expense of a pumper truck. But, the 16 ft barn walls were definitely a job for a pumper!

As you can see, the pumper truck set up to the side of the barn and the concrete was pumped through the hose high in the air up to the top.

On the scissor lift, John held the hose and guided the concrete into the wall opening. The walls were filled in 3 rounds which took about 6 hours! Needless to say, everyone (including John’s brother, Joe who came out to help) was extremely tired and dirty by the end of the day!

Next week the contractor returns to finish the metal roof!









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