Dare Concrete - Outer Banks, North Carolina
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Concrete Homes

Homes Built With ICF's

Cast-in-Place Walls

After A Hurricane...


2002 spring’s hit movie "Panic Room" centers around a supposedly indestructible, impenetrable room where actress Jodie Foster and her daughter expect to be protected from outside dangers. We call it safe rooms. The safe room is a popular option for a sturdy shelter to withstand powerful hurricane winds, and a safe storage for very expensive and irreplaceable items.

Just like the safe rooms, your entire house can be built of cast-in-place concrete walls. Concrete has always been a powerful insulator, and with the absence of joists, poured concrete homes are even more air tight. A 30 percent reduction in energy costs can be expected when comparing a concrete home with conventional housing. This a great benefit for the environment. Now more than ever we should be concerned with electric and water usage. Besides concrete homes produce almost no waist. Concrete walls also do wonders as a sound barrier system.
For all the gains in practicality, the cast-in-place concrete homes don’t give up anything in style. In fact, the process adds to the home’s artistic appeal. The homes have a nine-foot plate height instead of the usual eight-foot. That difference gives the house a larger volume and more open feel. Homes are as different as their owners and feature accents like arch doors, curved walls, large gabled windows are just a few examples. Inlaid patterns are often used to break up the concrete, like brick veneer, stone walls, etc.

The monolithic pouring process is ideal for the quick construction of entire neighborhoods or apartment complexes. The building process can be completed in five to seven days, because fewer inspections are needed and contractors can continue working in weather conditions that would thwart many other types of construction. A house can usually be poured in one day.


To help potential homebuilders make the choice, there are a number of sites on the Internet, starting with PCA’s (Portland Cement Association) www.concretehomes.com. There are also sites for firms that specialize in selling house plans and plan books and magazines sites that feature cast-in-place concrete homes.

Converting plans from wood frame to concrete walls does not represent a problem, and it is fairly easy to do. Plumbing placement can be done by installing a conduit, usually, a hollow plastic pipe in the form, that you leave in the wall cavity for through wall penetration. It is bigger than the pipe plumbers are going to put through it. For electrical, there is nothing in using concrete that would limit or indicate where you have to put your outlets, which is not the case with wood frame house.

One of the advantages of converting to concrete is the flexibility to do some interesting things with design. Its strength is as much as 400 percent stronger than wood in some applications. The building can carry more span, allowing for bigger windows, for example. Curved walls are easier to do out of concrete than wood, because concrete is fluid when it’s wet and the wall form is made to be easily cut and adjusted to a certain radiance. Arches in concrete are done pretty much the same way as in wood. One thing that is definitely different in building with concrete systems is making changes while the house is being built. Retro-fitting is prohibitively expensive. So plans need to be final before the pour.

There is no question for the homeowner about the safety and the durability factor of a concrete home versus wood. It seems like all other industries are constantly improving, but the building industry isn’t, "we are still building houses like we did 100 years ago". Dare Concrete offers construction and installation of concrete home building systems and a network of qualified architects and builders. We build the future with quality concrete.

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