Simple food. When things are bad --it's good. When things are good --it's still good. Simple. That's the
philosophy that we at Mikey Block embrace. Plan your work and work your plan. Unfortunately, simple doesn't always work that
Two recent examples: Two architectural firms, each designed homes using Mikey Block.
Customer #1 consulted with us and told the designer the methods we recommended. The architect drew it her way
--then passed the buck to a structural engineer. Finally resolved through customer insistence. Right or wrong, "they" got paid.
Customer #2's designers and engineers did not consult us. Had they done so, lots of time and money would have been saved.
Why would "professionals" seek advice from "blue collar" types that are dirty by 9AM each day? Just one detail of #2's house: 30' of very high
patio wall. Their way required 8.5 yards of concrete in the footing, plus 1850 pounds of reinforcing steel. Our way needed 2.3 yards of concrete
and 320 pounds of steel. Sad. Cost #2 a bunch and "they" got paid.
Sample test: Who should you ask about purchasing a dependable and affordable toilet?
- Someone at Home Depot
- An architect
- An engineer
- A plumber
Remember - beans and rice, and that we at Mikey Block know a lot about our product.
We invented it.
We've updated the home page of MikeyBlock.com to present news and information as
it becomes available. After several years of trying to look professional we've figured
out that just isn't who we are, so we've decided to go back to just being ourselves.
What a relief for us. Just use the menubar above to access everything you never
wanted to know about Mikey Block and on this page we'll provide content from real
humans that we hope you'll find useful. Thanks for visiting!
We just received the following testemonial from another satisfied Mikey Block homeowner,
Bryce Reichardt. In fact, Bryce was also the home builder and he conveys some words
of wisdom about building a comfortable, quiet and energy efficient home:
This came in from Dave awhile ago. It's really kind of charming the way he writes,
so we left it as is, but added notations you can mouse over for translation or clarification.
After living in an adobe home for 20 years, I knew I didn’t want another high-thermal-mass
house. I investigated ICF’s and found Mikey Block. It was the best choice because
of a higher foam/lower concrete content, which meant better insulating value and
lower cost. And it was the only ICF product that one individual could build by himself
—no special bracing or tools required and the blocks were a lightweight, manageable
size. So I built my house with Mikey Block and designed it with just a few key features
to make it energy efficient:
- Mikey Block for the exterior walls
- A Mikey Block stem wall, which gives me an insulated slab. My concrete floor never
gets cold in the winter, and heat doesn’t escape through the sides of the slab.
- Quality tight fitting windows and doors.
- An unvented attic, which is the most energy efficient method in our southwest climate.
The insulation is sprayed foam on the underside of the roof deck, rather than fiberglass
sitting on top of the ceiling. This makes the attic semi-conditioned space, which
keeps ductwork and plumbing from temperature extremes.
My house is always comfortable: no hot or cold rooms, no walls that you have to
stay away from because they’re too hot or too cold. We live south of Tucson at 5100’
elevation. Temperatures here have ranged from 4 degrees to 98 degrees. Our heat
pump almost never runs during the day in winter. Our heating and cooling costs are
so low that we were at first shocked. In our last house, in a warmer climate, the
furnace came on and off, on and off, on and off. In this house it’s off from around
9am and doesn’t come back on until maybe 9pm on a typical winter day.
During the winter of 2012-2013 we had at least 12 snow storms of 1-4". During the
month of November, our electric bill was $68. In December it was $122, followed
by $93 in January and $90 in February. The house is 2800 sq. ft, with 11' ceilings,
so there's lots of space to heat. We do use our wood stove when we have the time,
but the majority of the heating is from a heat pump. This is an all electric home
that includes a well. The 3.5 hp pump must pump the water from a 360' depth to the
surface, then another 500' to the house with 75' of elevation lift.
Add to this a house that is very quiet and very solid, and Mikey Block was the obvious
choice for me.
Comfort revolves around heating and cooling degree days. Safe
to assume, Phoenix is dramatically different than Duluth. Phx. June, July, Aug avg.
temp = 92 d fdegrees Farenheit.
Duluth Dec, Jan, Feb avg temp = 22 d f. Comfort zone, anywhere, is between 65 d
to 75 d. We'll use 70 d.
Phx is hotter than comfort for 3 months by 22 d. Duluth is colder than comfort by
48 d for 3 months. @ 92 d, with water and shade, you can survive. @ 22 d, without
appropriate clothing, you are history. My point? Thermal mass is significant. 90
days of extremes, and that magic thermal mass the rep from
brand x any flat panel ICF brand tried to
explain, goes the way of break dancingsomething
they did in the '80s.. Brand x flat panel wears for external armor
a 2.5 in x 1.5 d eps jacket1.5 pounds/cubic
foot density encapsulated polystyrene (EPS) @ 2.5" thickness.
R value of 2.5 x 4.1 = 10.25 2.5in. x
4.1 R-value/in. for 1.5 pounds/cubic foot EPS +- Sooner or later,
that concrete interior will be affected by the outside avg. temp. Now, the next
barrier is the int interior
panel of the same. Total collective R = 10.25 x 2 = 20.5 Rsum of the R-value for the exterior and interior 2.5" panels.
Never forget the high dollar ice chest your family takes to
the lakereference to the fact that after several day all the ice
will melt, no matter how expensive the ice chest. Mikey Block
has a static R value of 28not a simple
R/in x thickness because of the complex shape. In some
areas, same as brand xhollow portions of the block,
in others, 10.5 in x 4.1 = R43portions
of the block that are 10.5" eps. Perhaps 27%
28 is 27% more than 20.5 better. In
cold climates, 30% R-value is inversely
proportional to temperature? better. My next e mail will involve
value, vs a vs vis-a-vis
cost in place and cost per R value.
Assumptions. Re bar
structural steel, aka rebar same for both. Grout @
$135.00/yd3$135 per cubic yard. Wall is
100 ft x 10 ft = 1,000 sq ft. All fobfree
on board, meaning not including shipping costs.
6 in 6" = thickness of concrete between
the eps panels brand x panel @ $3.30/ft2 1,000 x 3.30 = $3,300.00
grout = 1,000/ 55 each square foot requires
.5 cubic feet of grout. 27 cu ft/cu yard divided by .5 = 55 =
18.5 yd3 x $135.00 = $2,500.00
MB panels Mikey Blocks (it's 17 d f below
zero and he's spending too much time panelizing Mikey Block).
@ $3.75/sq ft = $3,750.00
grout = 1,000/ 91 one cubic yard of grout
will fill 91 suare feet of Mikey Block = 11 yd3 x $135.00 = $1,500.00
Cost per R value/ in place
Brand x 1 R = 27.6 cents$5250/1000/20.5
MB x 1 R = 18.75 cents$3750/1000/28
Pretend 7th grade was good.Because you
Dave Morse is an excellent builder who is highly respected by those that know his
work. He's also a Mikey Block proponent and has been for many years. We just got
this testemonial from him:
To: Mr. Dave Taggett
Very rare --we thought we'd share. This is from Rosecrants Construction in Tennesee.
I am sending you this note regarding your product. I have built 3 large custom homes
in the past using your product. Not only is it an easy method of construction, its
thermal qualities are incredible. I built my own 4100+ sq. ft. home, with an additional
1000 sq. ft. wood shop. I am all electric. My last year's electric bills averaged
out to $276 per month. I used to own a 2000 sq. ft. house built of masonry. The
power bills were about the same as my 4100 sq. ft. Mikey Block house. I will always
recommend your product to my clients. If I ever sell my home, I will build another
Mikey Block house.
Dear Mikey Block, We had to write you a letter after we had our first complaint
about your product. Yes, that's right we actually have a huge complaint! Our house
was too warm for our guests this Christmas Holiday! When it was below 27°F outside,
inside was a balmy 80°F with the heat off, we had a few friends over for our annual
holiday celebration and we actually had to open some windows and the sliding glass
door because your product is fantastic! Now how about that for a complaint? We are
over the top impressed with Mikey Block and couldn't recommend a better product.
We also happen to be custom home builders in Tennessee and have some pretty picky
clients. Our customers are extremely pleased with Mikey Block and how energy efficient
it is, keeping them warm and saving them money. Not only is your product great,
your staff is friendly, helpful and always available if you have a question. Thank
you again for giving us something to complain about, being too warm in our Mikey
Block house this Winter!
Here are links to two very informative articles that may surprise you. The first
takes you to a study conducted by the ICFA that measured the point of failure by
several different methods of walls constructed of each of the three types of ICFs
as well as one constructed of wood frame. As expected, all of the ICFs blow away
the frame construction. What we really found satisfying is the similairity in performance
between the screen grid (Mikey Block) and the solid panel ICFs.
Tom and Kristin Rosecrants
Owners of Rosecrants Construction
ICFA Strength & Durability Study
The second link takes you to a study conducted to compare the moisture absorbtion
of EPS and XPS foam. It is commonly thought that the more expenisive XPS has superior
insulating properties to EPS. Quoted R-Values for one pound density foam are typically
3.6 for EPS and 5.0 for XPS, giving it an apparent 39% advantage. This study, however,
measured a 15-year real world side-by-side application of the two. What the researchers
found was for long term exposure, XPS is prone to much higher moisture absorbtion
rates. Moisture absorbtion is the kiss of death for insulation and the study found
that after 15 years in the ground, the XPS had lost 48% of its R-value (2.6), while
the EPS lost just 6% (3.3). Thus, when used below grade or other environments exposed
to moisture, it looks like good old EPS is the better choice. And an even better
choice is Mikey Block, which is made from 1.5 pound density foam, having an R-value
of 4.1 per inch.
"We recently finished our Mikey Block house and we LOVE it."
When it comes to choosing an ICF, you have dozens to select from. How do you know
if you are making the right choice? There are a number of factors you'll want to
--Matt Docis, Owner
--Architect, Richard Jost
1. Insulating Value: If your ICF home doesn't insulate
the way you had hoped, you'll be disappointed in the whole process. Remember, R-value
is achieved through the use of EPS Foam. Concrete adds thermal mass and has an effect
on R-value, but excess concrete can actually make your home perform less well. More
foam means more insulation and Mikey Block has more foam than any other ICF
2. Labor Cost:Most ICF systems require specialized equipment, trained
crews, and extensive bracing equipment. Not so with Mikey Block. We've had customers
install all of their Mikey Block walls themselves, with help only at grouting time!
3.Being Really Green: If you want to have as little effect on the
environment as possible, choose an ICF that uses less concrete. The manufacture
of portland cement and the production of concrete are extremely energy-intensive
processes. Mikey Block uses half the concrete of most flat panel systems.
4. Factory Support: When you call us with a question, you'll talk
to Mikey Block people---the ones who've designed the system and have built with
it. We know the product and have the answers. We're available 5 days a week, and
you can even email us on weekends. Questions don't go unanswered at Mikey Block.