We roasted a little bit in the sun today getting are farmer’s tan prepped for summer.  Still, a good day for stacking the ICFs (insulated concrete forms) that will become our basement foundation.  The ICFs are like giant lego pieces that easily snap and stack together provided you have a level footer.  They consist of 2.5″ of foam on the inside and outside and space in the middle for concrete.  In this case, we have an eight inch cavity.

Every six inches there are plastic webs that connect the inside and outside foam together and give it tremendous rigidity.  We’ve poured six foot high crawl space walls before unbraced and it barely moves because of these webs.  They also give a perfect channel for dropping in horizontal rebar.  With a perfectly level footer, the stacking is a breeze and we were able to stack everything in half a day.

Because the site drops off so precipitously from the street we elected to step down the foundation.  The finished basement will actually all be the same height as we will build little cripple walls out of wood and stack them on the lower ICF wall.  We’ve elected to go this route for a few reasons: 1)It’s honestly easier for us to frame a wall with window and door openings out of wood.  2)We will be able to pack in more insulation than the ICF. 3)We still don’t quite have our act together and haven’t finalized our window specs.

Hoping to pour later in the week.