Stow Concrete Mixer
The normal way to build a house with ICFs (Insulated Concrete Forms) is to put up several
courses of the panels and then bring in a concrete pumper to push the grout through a heavy
hose into the blocks. It is a very quick and effective way to do it if you can afford to put
everything up at once and brace it well. My wife and I wouldn't be able to do that, since the two
of us would take a lot longer than a normal crew, and we didn't want to invest a lot of time and
money into bracing. Putting up the panels a few at a time meant that we'd either need to bring a
pumper out to the lot several times (big expense), or we'd have to mix our own concrete and pour
it little by little ourselves (lots of heavy work). We voted for the heavy work and bought a
commercial 9 cubic foot concrete mixer. We went with the electric version with a 1.5 hp motor
since we had electricity at the lot already and felt that it would be a lot less hassle than dealing
with gas tanks.
Speaking of hard work ... each mixer load will use almost 100 pounds of portland cement, 250
pounds of sand, 250 pounds of pea gravel, and 60 pounds of water. To fully complete the house,
we will need to mix approximately 1000 loads. I believe we're looking at a few months work
here. Before you write us off as being sadly deranged or merely stupid, keep in mind that we
dug 355 feet of 2ft by 2ft trench in a rocky hillside mostly by hand ...
We bought the mixer over the internet, by the way. Cool, huh? It was delivered to our door in
less than a week.