Today is that day we answer the biggest question of building with ARXX ICF blocks.
From the moment we started thinking of building the Momplex with Insulated Concrete Forms, the first question was, what about electrical in the ICF walls?
For those of you new to the Momplex, we are building our mothers DIY style a duplex up here in Alaska. We've been at it for about a year and a half, doing it all ourselves, one step at a time. We choose to build with ARXX ICF blocks because the Momplex is on a windy hill, and the poured in place concrete resist wind and will give us a much greener and more efficient home for our mothers.
ICF construction has been pretty easy so far, kind of like stacking hollow legos up and then pouring the center hollow part with concrete. I love that with ICF construction, most any DIYer can build their own home by simply stacking up foam blocks. And once you have the walls poured, you've got a fully insulated and vapor barrier-ed wall - five steps done in one! That's why we went straight from putting a roof on (and insulating it) to putting heat inside the Momplex!
But the big question has always been the electrical. How do you do it and how easy is it to do? Today, we find out!
Now keep in mind as we go through this step that you run as much of your utilities as possible on the interior walls that make up at least two - if not three - walls of every room. The entire kitchen and bath walls are all interior, so things like plumbing and supply lines, washer and dryer hook-ups, oven/range box etc are all on the interior walls. For the exterior walls, we just need to put electrical outlets and switches in.
We start by tracking out a level pattern of the box on the wall.
This one is a switch at the garage door for controlling outside lights and the garage lights. All boxes in the exterior walls are marked.
We've rented what is called a hot knife and it comes with wire "blades" that are sized the width of the electrical box. The Ram adjusts the depth of the blade so that the boxes will sit out 1/2" to accommodate drywall *eeeek!!!* NEXT WEEK!
Just tighten up the screws ...
And then drills a hole in the bar.
Now let me tell you, we picked up the cheapest possible electric chain saw for this job, and we were shocked at how tough that bar was to drill a hole through!!!! Two drill bits later ....