Kit FAQ

Everything you ever wanted to know about am-cor Kits!


Are roofs included in my Kit?

Yes, the roof struc­ture is in­cluded in pan­el­ized form, just like walls, floors, par­ti­tions, etc.

Roof­ing, such as shingles, EP­DM rub­ber­oid sheet­ing, stand­ing seam enamel met­al, or Ferrocement, is not in­cluded un­less you spe­cify.

What's included in an am-cor Kit?

Your am-cor Kit in­cludes everything needed to as­semble your build­ing's struc­tur­al shell. You only need to add sand, ce­ment (in dry, usu­ally bag form; not con­crete), and labor.

We stream­line con­struc­tion of your build­ing, by provid­ing the fol­low­ing with your Kit:

  • pan­el­ized steel frame design in co­ordin­a­tion with pro­ject ar­chi­tect and/or en­gin­eer
  • sealed steel frame struc­tur­al draw­ings for build­ing per­mit sub­mis­sion
  • co­ordin­a­tion with code au­thor­ity to ex­ped­ite ap­prov­al
  • il­lus­trated am-cor Field Manu­al de­tail­ing shell as­sembly: dia­grams keyed to pan­el marks, how to mix and ap­ply am­cor­ite fer­ro­cement coat
  • veri­fied bill of lad­ing
  • com­plete pre­fab build­ing shell: pre­fab­ric­ated pan­els and com­pon­ents for: walls, roofs, floors, in­teri­or par­ti­tions, rails, stairs, dormers, beams & columns
  • amcorite Ferrocement ad­dit­ive in­creases work­ab­il­ity, strength and flex­ib­il­ity of stand­ard Port­land ce­ment
  • struc­tur­al fasten­ers

For more in­form­a­tion see Kit Contents, and check out our Standard Kits.

Are interior walls included in my Kit?

Yes! Pre­fab­ric­ated (pan­el­ized) in­teri­or par­ti­tions are in­cluded with every am-cor Kit, in­clud­ing:

  • bear­ing par­ti­tions
  • fire par­ti­tions
  • sound at­ten­u­at­ing par­ti­tions
  • stand­ard walls
  • knee walls
  • sol­id rails

What if I want to change/modify your standard Kits?

Not a prob­lem! Check out the Designs sec­tion for info on cus­tom­iz­ing our stand­ard floor­plans.

How do I pay for my Kit?

You can pay with:
  • Check
  • Bank wire trans­fer
  • Ma­jor cred­it cards (Visa, Mas­ter­card, Dis­cov­er, AMEX)
  • Payp­al
Need an­oth­er op­tion? Contact us.

What if I just have a really, really small change to your Kit design?

We can ac­com­mod­ate even the smal­lest change.  The am-cor Sys­tem is en­tirely flex­ible. See our Designs page for more.

Are services (HVAC, plumbing, electrical) included?

No.
Elec­tric­al & plumb­ing need to be in­stalled by a qual­i­fied pro­fes­sion­al. In most jur­is­dic­tions, you will be re­quired to show proof of li­censed in­stall­a­tion in or­der to get your CO (Cer­ti­fic­ate of Oc­cu­pancy), and be al­lowed to hook up to your loc­al power grid or sew­er. The am-cor Kit does make things easi­er in this re­gard, as your walls & par­ti­tions are pre­punched for ser­vices; this means that the time spent by elec­tri­cians & plumb­ers will be less, as these trades will not need to drill or chip at the walls to run their pipes, wires, etc.

I read your Kits provide the building shell. What is a shell?

A build­ing shell is the ba­sic struc­tur­al en­clos­ure of your build­ing.
Your am-cor Kit provides the Ferrocement fram­ing & sheath­ing for the struc­tur­al shell of your house, in­clud­ing walls, par­ti­tion frames, floors, roofs, trusses, bal­conies, and stairs, etc.

After as­sem­bling your Kit on site, you can fin­ish it out to your spe­cific­a­tions. We provide the flex­ib­il­ity for our cli­ents to in­stall whatever they want, from in­teri­or & ex­ter­i­or fin­ishes, to dif­fer­ent types of in­su­la­tion and en­ergy sys­tems. DIY cus­tom­ers ap­pre­ci­ate this flex­ib­il­ity, be­cause you can build for much cheap­er than with stand­ard con­struc­tion, with your cus­tom­ized choice of fin­ishes.

Gen­er­ally, if you are look­ing for someone to buy all the ma­ter­i­als for your build­ing & man­age the sub­con­tract­ors, you want to hire a builder or contractor.
We also work well with build­ers; if you put us in touch with yours, we'll be happy to an­swer any ques­tions they have.

See Kit Contents and Getting Started for more.

How can I visualize the Kit assembly / construction sequence?

Check out the Construction Sequence to get a feel for how simple it is to as­semble an am-cor Kit.

Can I hang pictures in an am-cor house?

Yes.  You will use self-tap­ping screws rather than nails, be­cause you have non-com­bust­ible studs and rafters in your am-cor house.
These screws are in­cluded with your am-cor Kit.

What exactly is in the Field Manual?

The am-cor Field Manu­al in­cludes il­lus­trated data on:
  • Pro­ject Plan­ning
  • Pro­ject Budget
  • Build­ing Per­mit Ap­plic­a­tion Pro­ced­ure
  • Site Is­sues, in­clud­ing Sol­ar Ori­ent­a­tion etc.
  • Your Kit Pan­el Place­ment Dia­grams for each floor
  • Con­struc­tion Se­quence
  • Kit As­sembly In­struc­tions
  • am­cor­ite Ap­plic­a­tion In­struc­tions
  • Ser­vice In­stall­a­tion Pro­ced­ure
  • In­su­la­tion In­form­a­tion
  • Fin­ish­ing: trim, cab­in­etry, ac­cessor­ies, fin­ishes
  • Com­ple­tion
  • …and more!

Why are Moden Kits less expensive than Solar Kits?

Series - 860 and Series - 861 are the most ef­fi­cient, and so least cost, of the stand­ard struc­tures offered by am-cor inc.  The high­er prices of Series - 862 are due to code, sol­ar design, and struc­tur­al re­quire­ments; for ex­ample, Kit - 863 must be struc­tured for sup­port­ing earth on all sides, the roof, if earth-sheltered, and the clerestory & ar­cade in front. In com­par­is­on, the Mod­en and Flex plans are much sim­pler, with lower ceil­ing heights, low slope roofs, and sim­pler struc­tures, and are there­fore less ex­pens­ive.

Will your Kits meet the building code in my region/country?

Yes!
am-cor Kits are pre-en­gin­eered and pre­fab­ric­ated to meet international building codes and material standards, spe­cific­ally:
  • IBC (In­ter­na­tion­al Build­ing Code)
  • IRC (In­ter­na­tion­al Res­id­en­tial Code)
am-cor Kits have been ap­proved for con­struc­tion by the U.S. Army Corps of En­gin­eers, and in every jur­is­dic­tion they've been as­sembled. We like a chal­lenge, and we're sure we'll be ac­cep­ted in your re­gion. Contact us.

Is it cost prohibitive to ship my Kit a great distance?

Cus­tom­ers have had am‑cor Kits shipped to South Amer­ica and the Carib­bean.  The am‑cor System saves so much time and money dur­ing con­struc­tion, that des­pite ship­ping that dis­tance, it is still faster and less ex­pens­ive to build with am‑cor than with stand­ard con­struc­tion in these re­gions.

Ship­ping in USA and Canada is usu­ally not more than 1-5% of Kit cost. Ship­ping rates vary with fuel cost; we can put your or­der out to bid, to get the best rate for your Kit ship­ment.

In oth­er words, if you're on the West Coast of the USA, it's still cheap­er to have an am‑cor Kit shipped to you than to build with stand­ard con­struc­tion!

What does Estimated Construction Price Range for standard Kits mean?

The Es­tim­ated Con­struc­tion Price Range value, dis­played for each Standard Kit, is an es­tim­ated TCHC for that stand­ard am‑cor Kit: ba­sic­ally, an es­tim­ate of the hard costs to build that Kit, from the low end to the high end.

For ex­ample, the low end of the Price Range could be achieved by:
  • Con­struct­ing mul­tiple units, thereby amort­iz­ing over­heads & ad­min­is­tra­tion costs
  • Build­ing in a re­gion with low labor & ma­ter­i­al rates (e.g.: a rur­al area)
  • In­clud­ing a very ba­sic spe­cific­a­tion (in­ex­pens­ive in­teri­ors, min­im­al in­su­la­tion, etc.)
The high end of the Price Range could be reached by:
  • Spe­cify­ing lux­ury in­teri­ors (gran­ite coun­ter­tops, ex­pens­ive plumb­ing & light­ing fix­tures, etc.)
  • Su­per­insu­lat­ing and us­ing cut­ting-edge, en­ergy-ef­fi­cient equip­ment & ap­pli­ances
  • Hir­ing a con­tract­or for com­plete, turn-key ser­vice in an ex­pens­ive area
See also:

Can you customize a Kit for my design or plans?

Yes! See the Design sec­tion for more in­form­a­tion on cus­tom am-cor Kits.
We can also modi­fy our Standard Kits to your needs.
See also:

Will you ship to my location?

Most likely, yes. We've shipped to hard to reach sites both do­mest­ic­ally (in the USA) and in­ter­na­tion­ally. Ship­ment meth­od is usu­ally:
  • stand­ard 40' open flat­bed
  • semi (en­closed) van
  • ship­ping con­tain­er (en­closed)
am-cor Kit prices are quoted FOB Culpeper VA: that is, "Freight on Board" (the truck is loaded by our crew). We ar­range ship­ping as a cour­tesy to our cus­tom­ers; we're not re­spons­ible for the ship­ment in trans­it, and heart­ily re­com­mend ship­ping in­sur­ance. When you or­der your Kit, am-cor will bid out ship­ping for you, and in­form you of the best prices.

How do I order a Kit?

Contact us, and check out our Getting Started and Pricing sec­tions.
Call
am-cor inc.: 540 349 5895
e-mail am-cor inc.: info@am-cor.com

Cus­tom Kits

  1. Check out Getting Started page; es­pe­cially the Designs sec­tion.
  2. For­ward plans and el­ev­a­tions of your pro­posed build­ing for an am-cor Kit es­tim­ate.
  3. We'll send you an in­ter­act­ive Budget Es­tim­at­or, to help es­tim­ate your Total Con­struc­tion Hard Cost.
  4. Based on your designs, am-cor inc. will provide a Kit Pro Forma and a Kit Or­der Form.
Stand­ard Kits
  1. Se­lect one of our Standard Kits
  2. Click the Kit's name un­der "Buy Now", on the right
  3. We'll send you an in­ter­act­ive Budget Es­tim­at­or, to help es­tim­ate your Total Con­struc­tion Hard Cost.
  4. Based on your choice of stand­ard Kit, am-cor inc. will provide a Stand­ard Kit Pro Forma and a Stand­ard Kit Or­der Form.
Stand­ard Pay­ment Sched­ule
  • 10%-15% Design De­pos­it: sealed struc­tur­al en­gin­eer­ing draw­ings for per­mit sub­mis­sion, com­plete ar­chi­tec­tur­al set for stand­ard Kits, locked-in raw ma­ter­i­al rates
  • 85%-90% Fab­ric­a­tion De­pos­it: il­lus­trated Field Manu­al, pre­fab am-cor Fer­ro­cement Kit (FOB Culpeper, VA, USA)

What exactly is an am-cor Kit?

An am-cor Kit is your en­tire struc­tur­al build­ing shell, from top of foot­ing to roof, in­clud­ing in­ter­me­di­ate floor struc­ture, walls, par­ti­tions, stairs, and rail­ings. It comes in the form of a pre­fab, pan­el­ized gal­van­ized steel frame sheathed with Car­bon steel re­in­for­cing, in­clud­ing am­cor­ite Fer­ro­cement ad­dit­ive to mix with Port­land ce­ment and sand.  Once ap­plied on site, this "struc­tur­al stucco" cre­ates the unibody Ferrocement shell of your build­ing.

am-cor Kits also in­clude:
  • en­gin­eered struc­tur­al draw­ings
  • de­tailed & il­lus­trated Field Manu­al: how to as­semble, coat, and fin­ish your am-cor Kit
  • steel to steel fasten­ers
  • grom­mets to place in holes when run­ning pipes and wires through walls and ceil­ings
  • on line and tele­phone cus­tom­er con­struc­tion sup­port
  • and more; see Kit Contents for de­tails
Re­lated ques­tions:

Ferrocement is a construction method…


amcorite™ is a proprietary admixture…

How can I budget my project?

Let us know some in­form­a­tion on your pro­ject, and we'll send you an in­ter­act­ive Budget Sheet, which you can use to plug in num­bers and get a ball­park fig­ure for your pro­ject's costs.

See the Pricing and the Getting Started sec­tions for more in­form­a­tion.

Can my Kit be an addition to an existing structure?

Yes.  You can:
  • Add an ad­di­tion to your ex­it­ing home, us­ing a customized am-cor Kit.
  • Ret­ro­fit, re­hab­il­it­ate, and even su­per-in­su­late an ex­ist­ing build­ing with am-cor ExoStructures, to add space, strengthen, and in­crease en­ergy ef­fi­ciency of ex­ist­ing build­ings of all types.

How easy is it to add onto a completed Kit?

Very easy! Be­cause the am-cor Sys­tem is so strong and dur­able, ad­di­tions can be made to any side, or even on top of ex­ist­ing am-cor build­ings, seam­lessly at­tach­ing the old Fer­ro­cement struc­ture to the new.

I want a healthy, low VOC am-cor Kit. Is this possible?

Yes. In fact, all am-cor ma­ter­i­als are total free of VOC's (Volat­ile Or­gan­ic Com­pounds). Our Kits do not out­gas at any time, even un­der ex­treme heat; they are non-com­bust­ible, non tox­ic, and res­ist­ant to mold, mil­dew, fungus, ver­min, ants and ter­mites.  So not only will the struc­ture of your home be VOC free, but you will not have to pois­on the ground around your house to re­pel ter­mites and car­penter ants.

Be sure to se­lect equally low VOC, hu­man and pet friendly in­su­la­tions & in­teri­or fin­ishes for your home.

How much will it cost to build a Kit?

Short answer: It de­pends. See our Pricing sec­tion.

Long answer: Es­tim­at­ing con­struc­tion costs is an art. Costs for fin­ish­ing a build­ing can vary widely, de­pend­ing on your re­gion, loc­al labor & ma­ter­i­al rates, the size and num­ber of units, etc. Also, your choice of con­tract­or/sub­con­tract­or, in­su­la­tion, in­teri­ors, etc. can all af­fect con­struc­tion costs.  For ex­ample, a high-tech su­per­insu­la­tion pro­gram, or lux­uri­ous gran­ite kit­chen coun­ter­tops, can bump a house out of the "af­ford­able" price range.

For this reas­on, we prefer to talk about the term TCC (Total Con­struc­tion Cost) when asked "How much will I pay total for my house, of­fice, etc.?"

To see how much your am-cor Kit will cost, and for an ex­plan­a­tion of TCHC, check out our Pricing sec­tion.

What does Total Construction Hard Cost mean?

Total Con­struc­tion Hard Cost (TCHC): Hard cost of con­struct­ing a fin­ished build­ing.  In­cludes ma­ter­i­al & labor for con­struc­tion and en­clos­ure of the build­ing shell: found­a­tions, struc­ture, fin­ishes, ser­vices, in­su­la­tion, ba­sic trim, fix­tures and cab­in­etry. Does not in­clude costs in­dir­ectly as­so­ci­ated with con­struc­tion of the build­ing, such as: site­works, con­tract­or over­heads, util­ity hook­ups, taxes, per­mits, fees, etc.

See our Pricing page for a de­tailed dis­cus­sion of TCHC, why we use it, and how it relates to pri­cing your am-cor build­ing.

Do I need training or construction experience to assemble an am-cor Kit?

No. Once you read the Field Manu­al in­cluded with each am-cor Kit, you'll real­ize how easy it is to as­semble a Kit. As long as you're able-bod­ied, can read, fol­low dir­ec­tions, and do ba­sic arith­met­ic, you can put to­geth­er an am-cor Kit your­self. Con­struc­tion am­a­teurs have suc­cess­fully built their own am-cor homes, eas­ily, quickly, and in­ex­pens­ively with the help of sev­er­al sub­con­tract­ors, such as:
  • ex­cav­at­or
  • con­crete fin­ish­er
  • plumb­er
  • elec­tri­cian
  • mech­an­ic­al
But if you are con­vers­ant in con­struc­tion tech­niques, you may not even need these help­ers, ex­cept for steps which by law re­quire a li­censed pro­fes­sion­al.

The am-cor Field Manu­al comes cus­tom­ized for your Kit, and con­tains de­tailed step by step as­sembly in­struc­tions and dia­grams, along with in­form­a­tion about the gen­er­al con­struc­tion and pro­ject plan­ning pro­cess.  Own­er-build­ers who need ad­di­tion­al help can call our cus­tom­er ser­vice for real time, up to date Kit as­sembly and con­struc­tion ad­vice.

am-cor Kits stream­line the build­ing pro­cess, elim­in­at­ing the com­plic­a­tion and con­fu­sion in­her­ent in stand­ard meth­ods, re­pla­cing it with pro­grammed con­struc­tion and unibody build­ing design. You get:
  • simple de­tails
  • com­pre­hens­ive in­struc­tions
  • light weight pan­els for all build­ing ele­ments
  • simple con­nec­tions
  • easy ser­vice in­stall­a­tion
  • and fast fin­ish­ing.

My builder/construction friend says the am-cor System is more expensive. Is this true?

In gen­er­al, the am-cor Sys­tem is less ex­pens­ive than most oth­er con­struc­tion sys­tems on today's mar­ket. It's pos­sible your build­er/con­struc­tion friend does not fully un­der­stand the am-cor Sys­tem. This is un­der­stand­able, as apples to apples pri­cing can be dif­fi­cult in the con­struc­tion in­dustry!

When talk­ing about the cost of us­ing the am-cor Sys­tem, we refer to the Total Con­struc­tion Hard Cost (TCHC): Hard cost of con­struct­ing a fin­ished build­ing. In­cludes ma­ter­i­al & labor for con­struc­tion and en­clos­ure of the build­ing shell: found­a­tions, struc­ture, fin­ishes, ser­vices, in­su­la­tion, ba­sic trim, fix­tures and cab­in­etry. Does not in­clude costs in­dir­ectly as­so­ci­ated with con­struc­tion of the build­ing, such as: site­works, con­tract­or over­heads, util­ity hook­ups, taxes, per­mits, fees, etc. 

A quick TCHC com­par­is­on of the am-cor Sys­tem vs. :
  • Stick built wood con­struc­tion: avg. 5-15% sav­ings
  • SIPS (Struc­tur­ally In­su­lated Pan­els): avg. 5-15% sav­ings
  • ICF (In­su­lated Con­crete Forms): avg. 10-25% sav­ings
  • Re­in­forced con­crete block/poured con­crete: avg. 10-25% sav­ings
  • Met­al build­ing kits: avg. 0%-10% sav­ings
Please note the above per­cent­ages are es­tim­ates, not bind­ing as to a spe­cif­ic pro­ject or time­frame, and can vary (es­pe­cially with pro­ject loc­a­tion, design, and loc­al rates).

See also:

Do I need to hire a stucco professional for the structural Ferrocement coat?

If you are DIYing your pro­ject, the an­swer is most likely No.
After pla­cing and se­cur­ing your am-cor wall pan­els, your next step is to ap­ply a thin lay­er of am­cor­ite Ferrocement. This rough coat of stucco is a struc­tur­al coat:
  • It cre­ates the unibody Fer­ro­cement stress skin shell, provid­ing dis­aster-res­ist­ance.
  • It doesn't have to look smooth, as a fin­ish lay­er is usu­ally ap­plied (stucco, sid­ing, pan­els, etc.)
  • In fact, it's bet­ter if the base coat is a bit rough, as that provides "tooth" for the fin­ish stucco coat.
  • Any­body can do it! You'll get used to trow­el­ing it on in about an hour. All it takes is a little el­bow grease!
See also

Can I get a Kit for my garage/barn/shed/etc.?

Yes!

Based on what you want, we'll get back to you with an am-cor Kit Es­tim­ate and an in­ter­act­ive Budget Sheet.

Have a question that's not answered in the FAQ? Let us know! You can also search this site for your question.