ICF vs Wood Frame Cost: Light Framed Walls Are More Expensive Than You Think

For the longest time, builders have been using wood frames for their buildings. Wood has had the benefit of being cheap and somewhat durable compared to other materials and has served us well, until now. There’s a new sheriff in town, however when it comes to buildings frames.

ICF, known as insulated concrete forms, have quickly surpassed wood in almost every category. And while you might think it cheaper to use wood for your frame, even that is no longer the case. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways that insulated concrete forms like Bautex Blocks have managed to provide better value than wood when it comes to cost.

1. Disaster Proofing

One of the most popular aspects of ICFs like Bautex Blocks is their dura­bil­i­ty. They are naturally con­struct­ed in a way that makes them extremely well-suited for dealing with elements like heavy wind, rain, and flying debris. While these benefits are naturally achieved with Bautex Blocks, the same cannot be said for wood.

Wood is vul­ner­a­ble to a variety of dangers like fire, termites, and storm damage. Some of these dangers like fire and termites are simply unavoid­able with wood, while storm damage costs a con­sid­er­able amount to protect against.

Studies have shown that con­struct­ing a wood-framed building that is also disaster-proof can cost up to 30% more than a typical wood-framed building. This is due to the fact that it’s very labor intensive to fortify wood framing in such a way that it becomes durable enough to withstand heavy storms.

2. Soundproofing

If you live in a noisy envi­ron­ment, having a near sound­proof home can be vital to your peace of mind. If you want to achieve that with a wood-framed building, however, you’ll need to spend extra. While Bautex Blocks possess built-in sound­proof qualities, wood-framed struc­tures need added help to reach the same level of sound­proof­ing. Strategic stud placement, adding extra mass inside the wall cavity, and using insu­la­tion are all ways to help sound­proof a wood-framed structure. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, they also add to the cost of your building.

3. Moisture Reduction

Compared to Bautex Wall System, wood-framed buildings have inherent problems with moisture. Once moisture is inside a wood-framed structure, it can be hard to remove , because the same measure intended to keep moisture out also trap it in the walls once it has leaked in.

Once moisture is in a building, mold can quickly begin to grow. You’ll never have to worry about this with ICFs like Bautex Wall System, but with a wood-framed building, you could end up spending massive amounts of money on ren­o­va­tion and mold removal.

4. Energy Efficiency

Because wood has such a low thermal mass, it performs terribly in terms of energy effi­cien­cy when compared to Bautex Blocks. Simply put, wood-framed struc­tures lose energy quickly, and are poor at trapping heat. This could lead to increased heating and energy bills in the winter, driving up the overall cost of your building through­out its lifetime.

5. The Construction Process

Wood and steel-stud framing prices are on the rise in the U.S. ICFs such as Bautex Block on the other hand, remain fairly inex­pen­sive. The chal­lenges that builders face when putting together a con­struc­tion plan for a light-framed wall system are much harder to navigate as well. Coor­di­nat­ing the con­struc­tion phase of a wood-framed building compared to one with Bautex Block, is much more complex.

Bautex Blocks are very simple to construct. They are designed to interlock in a way that makes con­struc­tion simple. When installed properly, the Bautex Wall System possesses many positive qualities like sound­proof­ing, moisture control, strength, and high thermal mass, and the con­struc­tion time is dra­mat­i­cal­ly reduced. A typical ICF-framed structure can be built in less time than a wooden-framed one, while deliv­er­ing con­sid­er­ably more value.

ICF vs Wood Frame Cost – It’s a No Brainer

When you get right down to it, there’s really no reason to build a structure with wooden framing. Unless you have a specific desire for wood-framing, it’s a much better idea to go with ICFs like Bautex Blocks.

If you live in a storm-prone area, you’re really going to sleep easier at night knowing that you and your family are protected by the strength of Bautex Wall System. The dura­bil­i­ty and safety are head and shoulders above other framing materials. You might also sleep better knowing that your home or building is far more energy efficient, reducing your energy costs. 

The con­struc­tion process will also go by much faster, while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly costing you a great deal less than if you were to choose a more tra­di­tion­al framing material like wood. All in all, a Bautex Wall System is better.