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.