Products - FAQ's

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The following are some questions others have had about Perma Form Vertical.  If you have a question that has not been answered please contact us.

General Information

Q: Does it cost more to build a Perma Form Vertical structure?
A: A home built with an ICF will usually cost slightly more but also brings more benefits than structures that don’t use ICFs. With Perma Form Vertical being a vertical ICF system and manufactured to your blueprints, you'll save significant costs over other ICF systems. There will also be additional savings from lower energy bills, downsizing of heating and cooling systems and possible insurance savings. Compare the cost of Perma Form Vertical to conventional walls here.

Q: Does it take the same amount of labor to set a Perma Form Vertical foundation as a block ICF?
A: No. Perma Form Vertical is an ICF that is built to your blueprint so when it arrives at your job site panels are ready to set. This combination will result in a labor savings of 50-70% compared to a block system. As a vertical system, a standard 8’ high wall can be set from the ground, requiring no ladder or scaffolding to connect the panels together.

Q: How big is a Perma Form Vertical panel?
A: A standard panel is 4’ x 8’ which will form 32 square feet of wall at a time. Panels also come as small as 4’ x 1’, as tall as 4' x 11' and increase in 4” increments.  Insulation is available in 1-3/8” or 2” with concrete core thicknesses of 6”, 8”, 10” and 12”.  Filler panels are available to achieve the length of wall you need.

Q: What type of insulation is used?
A: Perma Form Vertical is manufactured with a high-density expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation. The EPS is manufactured to our specifications and contains no recycled material to insure a uniform and high-quality product. Any scrap is recycled and returned to the EPS plant and used in other products.

Q: What is the thickness of your insulation?
A: Perma Form Vertical is available with 1 3/8” or 2” insulation. Code in your area may dictate which product you will need.

Q: Can the insulation on the forms be removed?
A: It is possible but very difficult to remove the insulation from the concrete wall.  The insulation actually bonds to the concrete, which makes for a very tight and solid wall by design.  The insulation may be removed by taking off the wires on the outside of the panels and peeling the insulation from the concrete.

Q: Is it a problem when the wires rust?
A: Not in most applications. The only time rust may be an issue is when stucco is applied incorrectly. If the stucco material is applied inadequately and there is not enough material to embed the wires properly, then some rust bleeding could occur.  Making sure the wires are coated properly helps to eliminate this problem. The forms can also be purchased with galvanized wire.

Q: Are the forms available with galvanized wire?
A: Yes, you can purchase Perma Form Vertical assembled with galvanized wire.  It is a special order product. 

Q: Where can I find installation instructions for Perma Form?
A:  Perma Form Vertical Installation Instructions are available to be viewed and printed. 

Setting The Forms & Forming The Structure

Q: How much rebar is required?
A: The amount of rebar needed for your project will be determined by local building codes, engineer requirements or by generally accepted construction practices for the structure being built. Our internal wire structure will be sufficient to satisfy the horizontal requirements so the only rebar that may need to be installed would be vertically. Our recommendation is vertical rebar, at a minimum, every 4’.

Q: How are the forms braced?
A: Perma Form Vertical has its own bracing system designed to attach to our wire structure. It consists of a 4 piece bracket set used with 2x4s to brace the walls during assembly and pouring.

Q: How are window and door openings installed in Perma Form Vertical?
A: Openings are cut in after the walls have been assembled before the concrete is poured. On an 8” wall, you would frame the openings with 2x12s and secure them to the forms with provided tie wire.  We are currently working on a new door and window buck system exclusively designed to use with our forms.

Q: How do I run the electrical wires?

A: We sell a PVC electrical box that can be attached to a piece of conduit. The box and conduit should be installed into the form prior to pouring the concrete. The conduit should be tall enough to stick out the top of the wall.  After the wall is poured, the electrician will then be able to slide the wire down the conduit into the electric box.  Find out more information about it under our accessories information. 

Pouring Concrete

Q: How high of a lift can the concrete be poured?
A: Concrete can be placed in 8-10’ lifts. A typical 8-9’ basement with an 8” core can be poured starting near a corner and fill the form to the top. We recommend a slump of 6.5” for the pour.

Q: Do the forms float when concrete is poured?
A: No. The form does not require any anchoring to the footing. The bracing system will hold the forms in place.

Q: Do I need to use a concrete pump?
A: If you are pouring a 4’ frost footing, then pouring directly from a truck is ok. Any foundations or walls higher than this we would recommend using a pump.  We have seen instances when pouring walls where concrete poured from the truck can cause excessive side pressure on one side of the form and cause deflection in the wall.

Q: Do I need to use a vibrator to consolidate the concrete?
A: No. As the concrete is being poured, the internal wire structure provides enough vibration to consolidate the concrete. Make sure that the concrete is a 6 ½” slump.

Finishing Information

Q: How do you attach drywall and siding?
A: It is fastened to metal batten strips that are installed on the forms during manufacturing. Fine threaded drywall screws are recommended for attaching drywall. Exterior siding is attached with GRK’s or with exterior hex head screws.

Q: Will the wires on the outside of the Perma Form Vertical panel hold the drywall away from the insulation?
A: Yes, but the air space is actually a good thing. In a damp basement, if the drywall is tight against the insulation, mold may be able to grow.  With Perma Form Vertical’s air space, the insulation and drywall are able to stay dry and mold free.

Q: How do I install baseboard to Perma Form Vertical walls?
A: Baseboard can be installed with a finish nailer by shooting nails into the steel batten strips at a 10-15 degree angle so they cross each other. Other options include attaching the baseboard with construction adhesives.

Q: What products do you recommend above grade on the exterior of a Perma Form Vertical wall?
A: Any conventional siding product may be used. We have a stucco product available that is mixed with sand and has proven to be very reliable.  Find out more information about it under our accessories information. 

Q: Can I attach stone to Perma Form Vertical?
A: Yes. Our metal lath forms, which are patented (#8,752,349 B2), are available as a special order item.

Q: Do I need to waterproof the exterior of a basement?
A: A waterproofing product is recommended for all below grade installations. We sell a recycled rubber product that can be rolled or sprayed to provide a waterproof barrier.  Find out more information about it on our accessories page.  Another option is Platon Foundation Wrap by Armtec.  We do not recommend the self adhesive membranes as many of them contain asphalt or are petroleum based and they may attack the insulation over time.

Q: What if I need to install an electric box after the wall has been poured?

A: Use a hot knife or saw to cut a groove into the insulation to run the electric wire in.  This needs to be done to ensure the wires are not pinched.  A shallow box can then be attached with Tapcons into the concrete.