Installing Insulated Concrete Forms Step-By-Step

What You'll Need
Insulated concrete form panels
Ties, rebar, lumber (for bracing material)
Concrete mixer
Plasticizer additive
Chalk powder
Excavation tools (for trenches)

Working with insulated concrete forms has many advantages. The construction process is faster than working with traditional stick construction. It makes for much stronger structures, and insulates better than other materials. Insulated concrete forms also give you a much longer life even in the harshest of weather conditions.

Insulated concrete forms are available in many shapes and sizes. You can find them anywhere from long rectangles to broader squares. The shapes and sizes will vary depending on the manufacturer. You will need to know which shape and size works best for your project before you buy them.

Using insulated concrete forms is not easy. It takes professional knowledge to build with this material. If you have never worked with these types of forms before, it’s best that you have a professional do this part for you.

If you still decide to attempt this on your own, here is how you can place your own insulated concrete forms.



Step 1- Layout Plans

You will need to start by transferring the building plan and placement of the walls in to the ground where you are building. Make sure the layout on the ground is to full scale. You can mark this out using your chalk powder.

Once you’ve gotten everything marked, you will need to dig trenches for the foundation footings. Again, this needs to be according to scale. The trenches should accommodate the insulated concrete forms securely without a lot of room on either side.

Step 2- Place the Forms

With the trenches dug you can place the insulated concrete forms in the trenches. The forms can be secured to one another with interlocking edges. The bracing material you’ve purchased should also be used to create pressure to stabilize the forms. This needs to be done on each side so the insulated concrete forms will stay level and flush.

Step 3- Add Plasticizer

You will want to mix the concrete with a liquid plasticizer. This will increase the ease of flow as the concrete fills the forms, it also prevents voids from forming as the concrete cures.

Step 4- Cure Time

In most cases the forms will need to cure for 28 days. Some manufacturers suggest different times for the curing process though. Be sure to check with their specifications to determine how long the forms should be allowed to cure.

Step 5- Finish It Up

After the proper curing time has passed, you can remove the bracing materials you’ve used. Your forms are now ready for the rest of the construction process, such as wiring.