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Ooh ooh it’s getting bigger.

Russell griffiths


imageproxy.php?img=&key=cc55a271c50209a8imageproxy.php?img=&key=cc55a271c50209a8So in my last thrilling instalment I was moaning about how I had just spent 6 days putting in the first row of blocks 

well for the next week I kept on to my mate helping me that I hoped that wasn’t how the rest of it was going to go, I mean 6 days for 1 course, how bloody long was it going to take to do 12 courses. 


Well one afternoon we had finished doing a few odd jobs and I thought it was about time to get on with putting up the main walls 

right then god loves a trier 

4 hours later I had this lot up. 


CF7ABBF9-5991-472D-8A18-AED1971D7C67.thumb.jpeg.e43da87377c7397972e261bbac980cc3.jpegBloody hell that was easy

so the next few days we spent knocking all the Lego together, still easy, 

then it started to get a bit more complicated, some idiot has designed this house with far two many openings, small pillars of wall between the openings and SEVEN gables

more advice, build something square with just 4 external corners it will save you hours of agro


So more windows and openings slowed the progress a bit, 

things you sort of forget about is all these windows and doors require some form of support, so you add a bit of timber to hold all the icf in place, then you wake up at 2 in the morning and think, should I add some more bracing, then you watch a YouTube video of an icf concrete pour

so you add a bit more timber, then you talk to a lad down the road who has done half a dozen icf builds

he pops around one afternoon and adds his thoughts into the mix, you guessed it. 

More wood added, it was starting to look more like a timberframe house than icf493C00F5-C9CD-4125-963F-302E98A5861B.thumb.jpeg.c0b01ab70eba68c6dd9b86be67e71834.jpeg92812F6F-A63E-4C8C-9A13-2879A2B02A74.thumb.jpeg.f94380e97b78892d9d156069b6ace4f4.jpeg4C089CED-AB5E-4FCC-B74B-8E3BA24D02E0.thumb.jpeg.0eccc2682d594d1eca9d54928987f0ef.jpeg08EE96C1-B831-4B24-BF9F-471C38CAF459.thumb.jpeg.c1b0342dc604afed35a602ed7f22b146.jpegso we’re up to lintel height

so in icf you don’t actually install a lintel but cast them in situ, lots of reinforcement bar added to the inside of the blocks so when you add the concrete it all makes a monolithic concrete structure. 

Plenty of steel over these openings 

tbh it was a thorough pain in the arse, lots of steel a skinny gap and fingers like sausages does not make an easy job. 2CA5E113-B676-40FC-A982-E8A58033C915.thumb.jpeg.ff828a9bba0a708fd93656273e34788b.jpeg


So reo in,corners braced-its time to install the bracing system that hold the walls all plum before you install the concrete 

now some of you may think you should have put the bracing up a long time ago, and you would be correct

but the way my icf provider hires the bracing out meant I would be paying for it for all the time it was on site, so I decided to not bother having it on site until I actually needed it, with all the bracing it was once again looking more like a civil engineering project than a house. 





7.30 one morning the concrete pump turned up and for the next 12 hours all hell broke loose

i had arranged everything perfectly, extra tea bags plenty of milk it was going to be a breeze 

ol yea bucko don’t get cocky, I had 3 lads coming to help all with a set job. And at 8.30 on a Sunday night I got a text from from 1 of the lads saying he had a poorly tummy, oh boo hoo to###r

so we are now down to 3 of us in total and hence why all hell broke loose, we ran around for12 hours solid I managed a cup of cold tea halfway through the day and 1 slice of toast, we ended up troweling the top of the walls with head torches on and a floodlight. 

Anyway it’s all in first lift done,no major disasters, one tiny bit of wall that has a bulge in it that I can fix with a mornings fettling. 


Things I would recommend if doing icf, add lots of bracing every where, if it looks dodgy add a chunk of timber

the big orange pipe thing is called a MUD SNAKE it fits to the end of the concrete pump hose and allows you to place concrete so much more accurately than with the big rubber hose, it also allows you to squeeze the end and stop the dribbling concrete from running out when you pass over an area that doesn’t need concrete in, hire one it’s the best £30 you will ever spend. 


Dogs, if you have a stupid dog try to prevent him getting his head stuck in an icf off cut. 2661E42C-774D-4917-9F27-7294A7DD7F44.thumb.jpeg.f01385e19387d2c23e49325d00e54dc0.jpeg


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Looks like great progress.  What a shame you didn't put a shout out here for help the night you found you were going to be a man down....i'd happily travel travel to be involved in an icf pour as I suspect would some others here.  If you get stuck again at a critical moment, put it out there.

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By the time you have one person on the pump nozzle, one with a poker, one to mess with extra bracing / deal with bulges / tidy up, direct wagons, it is a lot of work.  You did very well with just 3.  Hopefully the pump operator was helpful.  Learning by doing means the next pour should be easier.


Interesting use of tile batten as the recommended safety guard rail for the scaffold system!

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32 minutes ago, Mr Punter said:

By the time you have one person on the pump nozzle, one with a poker, one to mess with extra bracing / deal with bulges / tidy up, direct wagons, it is a lot of work.  You did very well with just 3.  Hopefully the pump operator was helpful.  Learning by doing means the next pour should be easier.


Interesting use of tile batten as the recommended safety guard rail for the scaffold system!


Thats exactly as I planned it, then one texts in with a bad tummy and it all goes Pete tong, 

i was not impressed, my mate who works with me wants to throttle him

tile batten worked really well tbh, I can’t think of what else you could use without extreme expense as the length is ridiculous once you add it all up. 


The pump guy really new his his stuff and does lots of icf, he said our scaffolding was lovely as we had screwed all the boards together to stop any bouncy bits

he said he regularly gets no handrail at all, and refused to go up on one recently that was only one board wide. 

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Oh Russ


You are soon going to wish that you hadn’t recognised my description of our old home 😂😂.  I can see a couple of fallouts from this amazing discovery


1). Peter will be “dropping by” to check progress at some point I’m sure.  He may, just possibly, have fishing rods in the car!!

2) He will be phoning you before our first ICF pour to make sure he has everything in place. He may, possible, time the first pour to a time you are down here visiting Ringwood 😂😂.  I’m sure you would love to see his new koi pond.  It’s bigger than the last one.


The build is looking good and we are both very jealous of your plot. 

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Looking good and very thoughtful sharing your experiences. We shall be starting our Nudura build in the next couple of months so all the tips are VERY useful. Out of interest are those Tek screws you've used to screw the ply on with? Also what specification poker did you use and was it any good?

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Screws are from nudura, hire the poker from nudura as well as the mud snake @Tosh

was it my recommendation that pointed you towards nudura 

who is your rep

if you haven’t placed your order yet get in touch as I have a lot of ancillary parts left over that I could sell cheap. 

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Hi Russ - Nudura rep is Matt. I think it's you possible he's been referring to as 'local' to me if I ever wanted to arrange a visit. I'm based on the welsh border just north of Hereford, little place called Old Radnor. We should be having our first delivery next week as Matt had an accident over xmas.


We looked at Durisol originally but dismissed it after finding other more appropriate ICF products and IIRC you did mention giving it a look. Our build is slightly different to most as we're converting a steel framed barn but have to retain the steel columns so we wanted something that we could build between the columns. The detailing for the Durisol was getting too awkward, and coupled with our increasing awareness of other systems, decided to pull the plug on it. We enquired with Amvic as well but what swung it for us and Nudura was that the Nudura can come unassembled so we can run it the EPS panels either side of the columns and then drop the plastic web ties in afterwards. Solves all our cold bridging and thermal movements issues in one go.

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