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Starting the foundation and placing the footings

January 8, 2015

Advantage ICFWritten by: Greg Doren
Follow me on Twitter @GregDoren

In the last blog I spoke about how I promote and sell Advantage ICFs, and help others realize their house building goals. I mentioned that this time around I would be using the Advantage ICF system to build my own dream home.

In this blog, I discuss my experience on the actual process beginning with the foundation, followed by placing the footings.


The building begins

So after 13 months of planning which included design, engineering, estimates and permit applications both municipal and provincial, we have finally started with construction. We finally have broken ground and after dealing with some expected and unexpected weather issues (Alberta weather can give anyone a run for their money) the footings have been placed and the foundation started.

The Mud & the Mayhem

Some unexpected issues we experienced included very heavy wet snow followed by quick thaw that made the site extremely muddy and hard to work in. As a result, we had to remove 5 cubic meters of mud to get to undisturbed soil for the foundation. We then experienced extreme cold (minus 28 C) which required heating and hoarding so the ground would not freeze. I thought about titling this blog “The Mud & the Mayhem”, as really the ICFs were the easiest part of this process.


At this point, we have the ICFs loaded into the hole as you can see by the images. Now we are ready for the next phase!

Check back soon to see our status as we begin building with the ICFs.

For more information about the Advantage ICF system, visit


One Comment leave one →
  1. Frank Baker permalink
    January 8, 2015 3:34 pm

    Hi Greg, Wow that is a nice lot. Quite the view after you get over the challenges. Your weather construction challenges reminded me of a detail we may have spoken of some time ago. That is a gravel footer. They save time, cost and perform better than concrete footers. Gravel footers work great to provide excellent drainage and relieve you of another concrete pour and avoid some of the freezing, thawing issues. My house and most all wood foundations are built on gravel footers. I have always wondered why builders have not switched to this type of construction. Your site may have necessitated concrete due to the hillside slope but the gravel footers sure make life easier on a lot of sites.

    Happy New Year Frank


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