January through April is when we plant our seeds for the year by displaying our product for the market in trade shows. I’ve participated in these trade shows for 17 years now in the ICF industry and it has always been the same old thing, but this year was notably different. Coast to coast we witnessed an interesting shift. Each show we were in, we listened to the contractors to understand what they needed. These same contractors have all used multiple brands of ICF’s and settled on the one they felt was the best. It is very evident that the three brands most commonly named are considered the best in the industry. Not surprising is the fact that all of these were 4’ long and had ties at 8” on center, which has become the industry standard.
This team I have joined has been in the industry long enough (add us up and we have over 200 years experience!) that a lot of the contractors know us. Out of courtesy, these contractors have been stopping at our booths to say hi and end up asking why we think we are better. We would just smile and without really comparing, just list the facts: all of our corners have two ties on the short end to eliminate rotation during concrete placement, our blocks are reversible which allows for one corner does all, our ties are a full 1 ½” wide, same as wood or metal studs (industry standard), and they touch each other vertically allowing attachment at any point in the wall, etc.
In other words we just plain had fun as the contractors would finish our sentences and then call other contractors into our booth to explain the benefits. I have never had a year as fun as I’m having right now and to be honest we are just getting going. It is exciting for a company that listens to the contractor again. Our R & D list is getting as long as it was in the old Blue Maxx era and I can’t wait to share what’s on it. I have also been on many installs this year and have seen the maturity in this growing ICF industry.
The top three ICF’s have created a strong industry that has withstood several recessions and yet continues to grow. Whatever brand of ICF you are using; believe in it, install it with excellence and the jobs will continue to come to you.