IntegraSpec Costs and Benefits vs Traditional Construction


Since the early 90s, Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF) have gained popularity because it offers many extra benefits and savings. It is also well suited for all weather conditions and natural disasters. 

The biggest challenge that the ICF industry encountered was resistance to change.  Over the past several decades, the ICF products, manufacturing processes, and ICF tools have all evolved -resulting in better training, higher quality, and improved efficiencies. 

Word of mouth spread by satisfied customers sharing their energy savings and quiet and comfortable living space with their friends and loved ones has been our best marketing asset.  More and more contractors and installers have since adopted IntegraSpec ICF and refined their installation techniques – making it more competitive, quicker, on time, and on budget – delivering a far better and advanced sustainable building / end product.  

Below is a sample comparison / analysis for a single-family house (unfinished basement) in the Ottawa, Ontario area for a typical 2000 square foot [185.8 Sq/M] home, average quality finish; (does not include building lot, permits, sewer / water connections, or septic system / well) <cost data from>:

Cost Comparison

  1. IntegraSpec ICF Construction:
    • Material Costs: IntegraSpec ICF system, concrete, rebar, drywall, etc
    • Labor Costs: Trained crew for IntegraSpec ICF installation
    • Overall Cost: Approximately $140-$225 per square foot
    • Total Cost: $280,000 – $450,000
  2. Stick Frame Construction:
    • Material Costs: Lumber, insulation, poly, caulking, drywall, house wrap, etc
    • Labor Costs: General carpentry and framing labor
    • Overall Cost: Approximately $140-$225 per square foot
    • Total Cost: $280,000 – $450,000

Short-Term Benefits of IntegraSpec ICF

  • Faster Construction: IntegraSpec ICF speeds up the construction process, despite higher labor costs, due to fewer steps needed to achieve a finished wall.
  • Energy Efficiency: IntegraSpec ICF walls provide better insulation and airtight building envelope / walls, reducing immediate energy costs and size of HVAC equipment required.
  • Soundproofing: Compared to stick frame IntegraSpec ICF walls offers optimal noise reduction in busy urban area and close proximity to airport, train station, bus stops, hospitals, fire station, noisy neighbors, etc.
  • Durability: IntegraSpec ICF is more resistant to fire and natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes translating in insurance premium reduction.
  • Offset Cost: The labour and HVAC equipment reduction will offset the initial costs, if the IntegraSpec ICF building happens to cost a little more in some location, to make it close to par or better than stick frame.

Long-Term Benefits of IntegraSpec ICF

Energy Savings

  • Insulation: IntegraSpec ICF typically provides an airtight wall with an R-value of 22-32+, which is significantly higher than stick frame walls (R-value of 13-19).
  • Energy Costs: On average, homeowners can save 50-75% on heating and cooling costs.
    • Annual Savings: Assuming an average annual energy bill of $3000, savings can be $1,500 – $2,250 per year.

Maintenance Costs

  • Durability: IntegraSpec ICF walls are not prone to issues like drywall nail pops/cracking, mold, rot, and pests, which are more common in stick frame houses.
  • Longevity: IntegraSpec ICF structures does not require repairs over time, reducing maintenance costs.

Insurance Savings

  • Lower Premiums: Insurance companies often offer lower premiums for ICF built homes due to their increased resistance to fire, extreme weather, and pests.
    • Annual Savings: Can be around 10-20% less than stick frame houses, translating to savings of $100 – $400 annually.

Market Value

  • Resale Value: IntegraSpec ICF homes have a higher market value due to their energy efficiency, quietness, durability, and low maintenance.
  • Appreciation: The initial investment in IntegraSpec ICF can lead to a greater return on investment when selling the house.

Long-Term Financial Benefits

  • Energy Savings Over 30 Years: $45,000 – $67,500.
  • Maintenance Savings Over 30 Years: Difficult to quantify exactly, but significantly lower than stick frame when looking at drywall nail/screw pops and cracks repair + paint.
  • Potential Insurance Savings Over 30 Years: $3,000 – $12,000.
  • Increased Market Value: Potentially 5-10% higher resale value, which could be $20,000 – $45,000 or more for a 2,000 square foot [185.8 Sq/M] home.

Total Estimated Savings Over 30 Years

  • Minimum Estimated Savings: $45,000 (energy) + $3,000 (insurance) + $20,000 (market value) = $68,000 + yearly appreciation

Summary The short and long-term benefits are clear. Savings on energy costs, reduced maintenance, lower insurance premiums and increased market value make IntegraSpec ICF a more advantageous choice, even if the initial cost of building with IntegraSpec ICF is the same (or slightly more depending on the location) than traditional stick framing.  Homeowners looking for quiet, comfortable, worry free, sustainable, durable, and cost-effective housing solutions will benefit from choosing IntegraSpec.  By choosing IntegraSpec ICF for the above example of a 2,000 square foot [185.8 Sq/M] single family home, you can expect to save between $68,000 and $124,500 (+ interests and yearly appreciation) over 30 years.  If you or someone you know has a building project, send it our way and we will recommend a local qualified distributor / installer to give you or yours a free quote; 1-800-382-9102 or