Compared to traditional building systems, ICF walls come with more benefits. Not only do they guarantee extreme energy efficiency, but ICF blocks are also easier to install and more resilient to the elements.
If you have made up your mind that you want to build your home using an insulated concrete form, some of the two common brands you may run into are Nudura and Fox Blocks.
When you compare these two ICF products, it can be difficult to settle for one because they share plenty of characteristics.
If you are struggling to choose between Nudura and Fox Blocks ICFs, here is an in-depth comparison of both products. By the end of this article, you should be able to make an informed choice.
What is Nudura?
Nudura-insulated concrete forms are manufactured using innovative technology. This is one of their main selling points. Some of the technology you can expect from their ICFs include;
• DURAMAX Technology – This translates into quicker installation and better utilization of the product. Unlike other ICFs, Nudura’s DURAMAX technology significantly minimizes waste because they have the biggest blocks in the market.
• DURAFOLD Technology – If you look at a Nudura block, you will notice a hinged web that allows you to fold and unfold the product. When unfolded, these blocks use up minimal space and make transportation or shipping more efficient.
The Durafold technology comes in very handy because this product is made in Canada. Therefore, being able to save on shipping space will lower transportation costs.
• DURALOK Technology – At the bottom of a Nudura block, there are fastening strips that allow two blocks to lock into one another.
This minimizes the number of seams and it also speeds up installation. Because Nudura doesn’t need clipping, it’s quite easy to work with.
Apart from the advanced tech, Nudura blocks are much bigger both horizontally and vertically. Therefore, as you stack them up, you will be able to finish your walls quickly.
These ICFs also offer unrivaled thermal performance. Thanks to its high R-values, Nudura promotes indoor comfort by regulating the amount of heat that’s lost to the environment.
Nudura also has lots of positive reviews online. Many people who have used it which includes homeowners and contractors have praised Nudura’s strength and durability.
According to the manufacturer, Nudura ICFs can resist exposure to severe climates. They also insulate sound which leads to quieter interiors.
Other than ICFs, at Nudura, you can get a wide range of products designed to enhance the performance of your ICF system.
Examples include window bucking systems, waterproofing membranes, and even additional fastening strips. The latter is quite useful if you want stronger joints.
There is no doubt that Nudura is a reputable manufacturer and seller of ICF systems. Their blocks are easy to install, strong, energy-efficient, and can be used on a wide range of applications.
What is Fox Blocks?
Fox Blocks has been selling ICFs since 2005. In the insulated concrete form market, Fox Blocks is an industry leader. That’s why their products are a top choice for many people.
Their concrete forms are manufactured with extreme precision. To ensure the energy efficiency ratings are higher, Fox Blocks are double insulated.
What I love about Fox Blocks is that, besides making high-performance ICF systems, they also offer additional support and training. This is an area Nudura doesn’t do so well in.
The guys at Fox Blocks can offer you training or even visit your site to offer assistance. This encourages DIY enthusiasts to build their own ICF systems.
As expected, Fox Blocks ICFs are designed to withstand all seasons, including extreme weather. You also don’t have to worry about local regulations because Fox Blocks are designed to meet all building codes.
You will also enjoy peace of mind knowing that your walls are steel-reinforced and exceptionally durable. These walls feature a continuous natural vapor barrier.
This minimizes the amount of moisture that seeps through. These blocks come with embedded fastening strips which guarantee a secure lock.
Considering the high-performance systems sold by Fox Blocks and the number of years they have been in operation, this company has built a positive reputation amongst builders and engineers.
Therefore, if you ask your contractor what’s the best ICFs, they will probably point toward Fox Blocks.
How Are They Different?
I know most of you were eagerly waiting for this part. Here are some of the key differences between Nudura and Fox Blocks;
• The Blocks Have Varying Heights and Lengths
If you look at a Nudura block, it’s taller and longer. Therefore, you will be able to install it much faster because you won’t need to fit many pieces as compared to Fox Blocks. Therefore, if you are interested in quicker installation times, go for Nudura ICFs.
However, the corners of Nudura are smaller than those of Fox Blocks. This can become problematic when you are pouring because small corners are more likely to blow out. You need to be extremely careful when pouring into Nudura’s smaller corners.
• Different Fastening Technology
Nudura, thanks to the Duralok technology, its blocks automatically fasten to one another. All you have to do is align the teeth between blocks and secure them. You will hear a snap when that happens.
On the other hand, Fox Blocks come with fastening clips made out of steel. This may seem like a drawback but it’s quite practical.
As you pour concrete, fastening clips will remain securely locked. The same can’t be said for the fastening technology used by Nudura.
• The Cost
People talk a great deal about how price shouldn’t be a determining factor when buying building products. But let’s be realistic.
Construction jobs are expensive and if you can find a way to cut down costs, you shouldn’t overlook such an opportunity.
Nudura costs around 30% to 40% more than Fox Blocks. This depends on your location. And this is one of the main reasons people consider Fox Blocks over Nudura.
The high cost of Nudura probably has to do with the fact that it’s mainly made in Canada. Therefore, the transportation costs to the US increase the price tag of this product.
How Are They Similar?
• They Both Offer a Wide Range of ICF Products
Whether you settle for Nudura or Fox Blocks, you will get quality ICF products. Their product catalogs are the same.
• Both Nudura and Fox Blocks Guarantee Energy Efficiency
These two companies prioritize energy efficiency. That’s why their panels of insulating foam are designed to minimize cooling and heating costs.
• Both ICFs are Durable
The engineering behind both Fox Blocks and Nudura is quite impressive. Their structures are strong and can withstand harsh weather.
Pros of Nudura
• Easy and cheap to transport because of the foldable design
• You don’t need clips during installation
• The panels are bigger and quicker to install
• These boards integrate lots of unique technology
Cons of Nudura
• They are super expensive
• The corners are weak and vulnerable to blowouts
Pros of Fox Blocks
• Their ICFs offer unrivaled insulation and comfort
• Can withstand harsh elements
• The fastening clips guarantee stronger joints
Cons of Fox Blocks
• Bulky and not easy to transport
• Difficult to remodel after installation
Nudura vs Fox Blocks: Which is Better?
Even though Nudura and Fox Blocks are both designed to enhance the energy efficiency of residential and commercial properties, they all have their selling points.
Nudura is equipped with lots of impressive technology, whereas Fox Blocks is a high-quality ICF that goes for an affordable price.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of ICF walls and you are on a budget, I would highly recommend Fox Blocks. However, if you need an ICF that’s easy to install and has lots of impressive features, Nudura should be your top pick.