FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY DO I NEED MY ICF PLANS REVIEWED?
Architects, Designers & Drafting Services are usually very good at what they do. However, sometimes they don’t fully understand the intricate details of the products they specify. With over 30 ICF brands available in the U.S. - each one is unique in size, shape or characteristics. They are not a "One Size Fits All".
After designing or consulting on nearly 400 ICF structures, we have the experience and understand the characteristics of each system. We will review your plans and provide insight for you or your design professional to make your design better, more efficient and less waste. The majority of our reviews save our clients substantially more than our fees.
MY PLANS WERE PREPARED BY A PROFESSIONAL, THEY SHOULD BE FINE?
It has been our experience that even though your plans were prepared by an architect or designer, they often lack important information as it relates to ICF construction. They may show substantial detail in some areas, but the design doesn’t account for the unique aspects of the ICF system specified. We regularly see plans over designed and over engineered - this could create thousands of dollars of unnecessary expenses for you during construction.
HOW WILL I SAVE MONEY BY UTILIZING ICF PLAN REVIEW?
We follow a proven 50-point checklist to review for "Best Practices". We look for proper design elements such as height and thickness of ICF walls. Correct placement and use of the ICF system. We also look at how the openings are handled, such as Door and Window assemblies. The contractor just follows the plans & If these systems are not designed correctly, it will cost you money during construction.
Recently we reviewed a set of ICF plans for a home prepared by a licensed architect and professional engineer. The ICF size & reinforcing specifications on the plans were nearly twice what was needed. That one change to the design saved our client nearly $20,000. We found several other areas of concern. We provided all of our notes to the client and we estimate that our comments would equate to a savings of about $35,000 in construction costs. The overall design of the home didn’t change - just HOW it was designed.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
Our goal is to get your plans back to you with mark-ups and comments within 5 business days. However, it could take slightly longer due to complexity, current workload and municipality coordination (if required).
WHAT KIND OF DRAWINGS CAN YOU REVIEW?
We have reviewed all sizes and types of drawings. PDF files are the easiest, but we could also accept CAD (.dwg) files if available. Most any format is acceptable – if there is a question, please call or email us to make sure.
YOU ARE NOT NEAR ME - HOW COULD YOU KNOW OUR CODES?
Several years ago, most of the municipalities across the United States adopted the International Building Codes. Several states and communities made their own versions - but the base code is still the same (California & Florida for example).
Since 2005, we have designed or consulted on ICF homes in 23 states & 13 countries. The president of ICF Plan Review was also a member of the development committee for the PCA-100 Above Ground Concrete Wall Code. This is the base ICF code that all the other codes follow.
If we still run into a road-block, we have additional resources that can assist - at no additional cost to you. If needed, we will contact the municipality directly to get a definitive answer or direction.
DO YOU REVIEW FOR STRUCTURAL DESIGN & ENGINEERING?
We can offer a review of your plans by a Structural Engineer that is very familiar with ICF design. This review will be an additional fee. Please contact us prior to ordering.
WHAT WILL I RECEIVE BACK AFTER YOUR REVIEW?
We will provide either a PDF or Zip file with your drawings included. The drawings will typically have red notes and information throughought the set. We will also provide a copy of our checklist with any additional notes attached.
WHAT ABOUT COMMERCIAL PROJECTS?
Our primary experience has been for residential and small commercial ICF projects. While we have consulted on large ICF projects in the past, it is not something we regularly do. There are other, more qualified professionals that we could recommend to assist with your large commercial ICF projects.
WILL YOU ANSWER QUESTIONS AND HELP US AFTER THE REVIEW?
YES! We are there to assist as you need. As noted in the "ICF Plan Review Service Agreement", that you will approve when you place your order, we will provide a certain amount of time or calls after we complete our review. In addition, we offer a subscription service if you need regular assistance during the build.
AFTER YOUR REVIEW, OUR ARCHITECT MAKES THEN CHANGES - WHAT IF WE NEED YOU TO REVIEW OUR PLANS AGAIN?
This is not a problem. We will provide up to 1 subsequent reviews of your plans (total of 2 reviews) for the initial payment. After that, reviews will be charged at $250/review.