ICFs (Insulating Concrete Forms)


Custom Homes LTD is the Premier ICF Home Builder in Greater San Antonio. While a few other builders “offer” ICF as an option, Custom Homes LTD has SPECIALIZED in building custom homes with ICFs for over a decade. Contact us for a free consultation if you are considering an ICF home.


Whether you’re building a home or a multi-level commercial structure, you can’t beat the rewards of building with Insulating Concrete Forms (aka Insulated Concrete Forms). ICFs provide a lightweight, high-strength alternative to using steel or wood frame.


What are ICFs?
Insulating concrete forms (ICFs) are hollow foam blocks which are stacked into the shape of the exterior walls of a building, reinforced with steel rebar, and then filled with concrete. ICFs combine one of the finest insulating materials, Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), with one of the strongest structural building materials, steel reinforced concrete. The result is a wall system of unmatched comfort, energy efficiency, strength and noise reduction.


Is there a difference between insulating concrete forms and insulated concrete forms?
They typically refer to the same thing. However, the term insulating concrete form is more precise because it indicates that the insulating characteristic of the form is continuous and ongoing.


There are numerous reasons to use Insulating Concrete Forms in construction, some of which include:
• Eco-friendly and Energy Efficient
• Durable and Affordable
• Fire Resistant
• Termite Resistant
• Low Maintenance
• Tornado/ Hurricane Resistant
• Reduces Exterior Noise Pollution
• A Generational Structure
• Insurance Reduction
• ICFs Significantly Contribute to LEED Certification for Green Building


Comfortable & Quiet
When planning a new house, consider the greater well-being that comes from living with more even temperature, sharply reduced drafts, and noticeably greater quiet. When surveyed, over 80% of ICF home owners mentioned the great comfort of their home, compared with just 22% of frame home owners.*


Greater Comfort
The high thermal mass and minimal air infiltration of insulating concrete form walls create a more uniform and stable temperature throughout your home. You’ll have no more hot spots or cold drafts.


Healthier Air
ICF walls reduce air infiltration by 75%: The effects of hay fever, asthma, and other airborne allergies can be greatly alleviated as a direct result of the reduced leakage of outside air, which brings dust, pollen, and other pollutants. Indoor air pollution is a great health concern today. ICF walls are non-toxic. The measurement of air contents of actual ICF houses shows an almost complete absence of any emissions.


Insulating concrete form homes provide unparalleled peace and quiet and true protection from outside noise. In sound transmission tests, ICF walls allow less than one-third as much sound to pass through than regular frame walls.


Energy Efficient
Energy efficiency is the core feature of insulating concrete form construction because so many owner/occupant benefits stem from it. Actual studies show that homes built with ICF exterior walls require an estimated 44% less energy to heat and 32% less energy to cool than comparable wood frame houses.


However, homes and structures built with the proper complement of windows, doors, HVAC systems, and methods, generally accomplish at least a 50% savings in heating and cooling. And in some cases, depending on the area and climate, homeowners experience as much as an 80% decrease in energy use and costs.


At a time when energy costs are soaring, many building owners are deciding it makes more sense to spend money on a safer, longer lasting, and more energy efficient structure than to spend that same money on utility bills.

In 2006 before we did anything to really lower energy use in our prvious “supposedly energy efficient” home used the equivalent of 14491 kilowatt hours for the 2 of us and no plug in hybrid or electric vehicle. The old house was 2,957 sq ft of conditioned space. Over the last 4 years in our ICF Home built by Custom Homes LTD we’ve averaged 11730 kilowatt hours, and this home is 3,367 sq ft. That works out to 4.9 kwhr/sq/ft/yr for stick built and 3.48 kwhr/sq/ft/yr for ICF about 30% less per sq ft. It seems to me this house is delivering what Steve Sierleja promised us it would on my number 1 objective of energy conversation.”

Custom Homes Helping Hands Program

Steve Sierleja, while living environmentally conscious himself, advocates a mantra in all of his company practices for Custom Homes LTD and BuildBlock of South Central Texas… “Green Building practices need to be the norm not the exception. We need to be good Stewards of this Earth for future generations. We have the capabilities presently to improve this world for all.”

Member - National Association of Home BuildersMember - Hill Country Home Builders AssociationEqual Housing - HUDEnergy StarSmart Energy BuilderICF - Insulating Concrete Forms - BuildBlock