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nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

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  • nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

    Has anyone on here ever used the nuform building system. I am going to be be building myself a house her before too long and am considering this system, but I cant find any info from people who have actually used it. I want to go from footing to trusses on a bungalow. I know of a hutterite colony that used it for a kitchen, and they swear by it, but I would like to hear from some other users. My hutterite buddy said the material is about $11 a foot to 9' forms.
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  • #2

    Re: nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

    Re: nuform

    i have some info for you. they are very costly. but is it worth it it depends how long you plan to live there. i know they make it difficult to DIY. they make you pay for a rep & use there pumpers.

    i got a quote for 24' x 36' shop foundation $3500 just for the forms 4' high wall

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    • #3

      Re: nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

      Re: nuform

      Have you looked into building with Structural Insulated Panels? I plan to build a house and work shop out of them- one day!

      http://www.thermapan.com/index.html
      Don't trust everything you see on Holmes on Homes;
      http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com...lems-with-them

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      • #4

        Re: nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

        Re: nuform

        I've been on several builds that have used ICF (not the nuform brand, but several other similar ones, e.g. nudura).

        couple thoughts:

        * spend extra time on your plans and foundation layout. Once the ICF is poured, there's no "oh I forgot to leave a hole for the drain pipe" or "oh, that window is over to the left 3" too far!" or anything like that. You pretty much have one chance to get it perfect, so double check everything, and then double check it again.

        * consult a lot with your local building inspector. ICF is not a new product, but its recent popularity is new, and so many inspectors aren't fully experienced with it. As a result, they don't always know all the details of what you really do or do not have to do. That works against you, because then you end up with an inspector convinced that you needed to have done something that you didn't do and don't really have to do, but there's no convincing that guy and suddenly you're hammering out concrete to insert rebar that you know you don't really need. You can't fight city hall, so don't even try, just consult with the inspector in advance, find out what silly things he's expecting, and do them.

        *On the day of the pour (heights require multiple pours usually), double check that everything is sufficiently braced. Then, make sure you have lots of extra bracing material on hand (as well as screws and screw gun) to attach it in a hurry. Even the best prepared always seem to get at least one joint that starts to blow-out, and being able to throw on some emergency bracing in half a second will save the day.

        *expect to spend almost as much time plumbing and straightening the walls as you did pouring them. So many ICF walls I've seen are all over the place, wavy like a dog leg, out of plumb, and so on. There's just no reason for that, since the long-set time on the concrete means you have enough time to adjust the supports, run string lines, etc., until the walls are perfect. I've seen ICF walls that are perfect, and it was because they guy was willing to take the time to make them perfect. So put the time in. Also, I'm sure they'll tell you this, but it's easiest to lean all the walls slightly in before the pour, then after the pour adjust your braces to push them out as needed for plumb. This is because it's easier to push a poured wall out than it is to suck it in, so start with it in and all you'll have to do to plumb it is push out. yes?

        hope that helps.

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        • #5

          Re: nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

          Re: nuform

          I am a framing contractor and I have put lots of floors and roofs on ICF houses, and I dont like the system. In theory its good, but in reality is just is not an accurate enough system for my liking. Thats what is nice about nuform, its torsion box design makes it extremely rigid with almost zero chance of blowing out. But it is very expensive. So I am just going to go with a conventional foundation, 2x6 frost walls, and all exterior wall will be 2x8 with staggered studs (2X4) every eight inches. So 16" centres up and down. That gets me a good r value and I can still do it quickly and efficiently. Maybe I will try nuform in the future, but I am in a rush on this house I am planning now. I drew my own plans. (check out the workshop) Gotta be out of my house aug 1, hole will be dug within 2 weeks.
          Attached Files

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          • #6

            Re: nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

            Re: nuform

            looks like it would be a fun build! If you can be on it full time, I would think that Aug. 1 is plenty reasonable. Good luck!

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            • #7

              Re: nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

              Re: nuform

              GFalls nice house, triple glazed windows ?

              Bill

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              • #8

                Re: nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

                Re: nuform

                I figure I will be living in the rv for a month, and yes triple glazed windows. For siding, I am leaning towards canexel. I hate vinyl and hardie apparently has an inferior finish, according to my siding buddy. Any opinions on siding?

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                • #9

                  Re: nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

                  Re: nuform

                  Originally posted by gfalls View Post
                  I figure I will be living in the rv for a month, and yes triple glazed windows. For siding, I am leaning towards canexel. I hate vinyl and hardie apparently has an inferior finish, according to my siding buddy. Any opinions on siding?
                  I agree with your rejection of vinyl and hardie board.

                  I'm not familiar with canexel, though reading about it now it looks quite interesting.

                  myself, I think I would go with gemthane. It's just regular wood, but the awesome is in the coating, which is a type of coloured epoxy. It's virtually bullet proof, and the warranty is literally lifetime, including labour! We've used it before, and I would completely choose it for my house. Here's how they describe it:

                  GemThane wood is encapsulated by a tough multi-layer polymer coating. Other brands of pre-finished siding and decking are simply painted with ordinary latex paint or stain. Coatings cure by a chemical reaction unlike paints and stains which merely dry through evaporation. At a glance, both products look similar, but the performance difference is drastic.

                  Our system starts with marine-grade resins and then we add the GemThane touch. The first layer of totally waterproof polymer is fortified with a safe fungicide that lasts for the life of the coating. The topcoat is protected with invisible ceramic nanospheres, a concept just now appearing in luxury car finishes. The result is a surface that is extremely resistant to erosion, impact, driving rain, and climatic extremes. Relax, it's GemThane!

                  The coatings used in the manufacture of GemThane products are so waterproof, they could be used to line your swimming pool! The coating resists unsightly knot bleed-through. The impervious surface doesn't absorb dirt, so it's a breeze to clean. Unlike painted wood, GemThane wood siding and decking can be power washed year after year. Everything from dirt and grease to unpleasant spider webbing washes right off because the surface is so non-absorbent

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                  • #10

                    Re: nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

                    Re: nuform

                    Wow that seems like a great product. I just sent for my sample. What is the price point in comparison to hardie?

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                    • #11

                      Re: nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

                      Re: nuform

                      Originally posted by gfalls View Post
                      Wow that seems like a great product. I just sent for my sample. What is the price point in comparison to hardie?
                      sorry, I'm just the assistant carpenter, and from my point of view, the product just shows up on-site and I use it: as far as I know, it's free!

                      The boss does all the ordering and pricing.

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                      • #12

                        Re: nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

                        Re: nuform

                        Watch what you wish for. You're in Alberta and wood siding does not do well here. I don't care what the coating is or how good it is either. We use vinyl and stucco for a reason. The temps are extreme and it's DRY! Keep it simple and don't try to reinvent the wheel.

                        You won't follow my advice, I know that, but remember I said it when you're trying to fix it in 10 years.
                        "Do it Right!"

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                        • #13

                          Re: nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

                          Re: nuform

                          Originally posted by Rusty View Post
                          Watch what you wish for. You're in Alberta and wood siding does not do well here. I don't care what the coating is or how good it is either. We use vinyl and stucco for a reason. The temps are extreme and it's DRY! Keep it simple and don't try to reinvent the wheel.

                          You won't follow my advice, I know that, but remember I said it when you're trying to fix it in 10 years.
                          I might take stucco, but I just can't get over the ugliness of vinyl. To me, it's like the equivalent of having walmart furniture inside your home: it's fake.

                          That's just a personal impression, I know, and I wouldn't want to project that onto everyone else, but it's certainly how I feel.

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                          • #14

                            Re: nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

                            Re: nuform

                            You'd take what you get if you lived here and be damned happy it was warm and dry.
                            "Do it Right!"

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                            • #15

                              Re: nuform (and siding in Alberta!)

                              Re: nuform

                              Originally posted by Rusty View Post
                              You'd take what you get if you lived here and be damned happy it was warm and dry.
                              not really. warm, yes, but I already find ontario to be too dry. I've often thought about moving to new orleans, or something.

                              In any case, fwiw, the gemthane site does make the explicit claim that they've engineered their product precisely for a canadian climate, and wood shrinkage is explicitly covered in the warranty.

                              Of course, there's advertising claims and then there's advertising claims, but I'd say there's at least some chance that they mean what they say, and that their product would stand up just fine in your treacherous alberta climate, eh?

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