I wanted to share my thoughts on ICF Construction. ICF is an acronym for “Insulated Concrete Forms.” It’s our preferred building system at Darling Enterprise. To understand the value of ICF for residential construction, it’s important to understand what it is that makes a house a home.

When people refer to a house, they’re generally speaking of the actual structure – exterior walls, windows, roof, garage, etc. When people refer to a home, they’re usually referring to not just the structure, but also the human component – the people who live in the house, the families that grow up there, and the human needs that a well-constructed home provides.

Many of these human needs are in line with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Perhaps you remember these needs as displayed in a pyramid. At the base of Maslow’s pyramid is Physiological Needs including shelter. Next is Safety. Moving up the pyramid is Love and Belonging including family. Then Esteem including a feeling of accomplishment. Finally, at the top of the pyramid is Self-Actualization or achieving your full potential.

I’ve often thought that a Darling home fits well into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Beyond the physical characteristics of a house, over the years, I’ve found that a custom-built Darling home delivers certain intangibles that, taken together, make life better and allow for upward movement toward Maslow’s Self-Actualization. I think of these key intangibles in terms of starting a new day.


Rest is something required in order to be prepared for any task that lies ahead. Rest for the soul and rest for the body and mind is needed for the ability to function and start another day. A person recently purchased one of our homes. I was chatting with that new homeowner on his property. While looking at the deck, the homeowner said, “This place is a place of healing and rest.” Having lived in the Colorado Rockies for more than 25 years in a Darling Enterprise home, I fully understood his comment.


Years ago, I was on a fishing trip with my brother and a small group of guys at Christmas Island in the South Pacific about 1,200 miles due south of Honolulu. Yep, that’s the one! We were fishing “catch and release” for bonefish in the clear shallow waters of a large atoll similar to coral reefs. I am told these underwater rain forests are less than 1% of the ocean. However, they are home to nearly 25% of all ocean species. Remember, “Finding Nemo?” Why are the fish in and around that atoll you may ask? Because there’s food on the ocean floor and they have comfort and feel safe from larger fish. Being comfortable and secure in your surroundings is so important.


This is about starting a new day with the excitement and desire to go on a journey, like we did as children. This requires a certain amount of safety in our hearts. Then we could head out and conquer the world. Remember that empowering feeling?


Living in Estes Park, we get to enjoy watching large herds of deer and elk all year long. They have different seasons including the fall “rut,” their mating season. In the spring, the males drop those big antlers and begin to grow new ones. Also, in the spring, the females give birth to offspring and then in the fall, it starts all over again. When the calves are born, they stay very close to their mothers. But as the days go by, the young calves gain confidence and start moving away from their mothers.The home that you call home can instill confidence … maybe to work from home in a well-designed office. Or, maybe to venture out to explore a new challenge in Estes Park such as volunteering in Rocky Mountain National Park or joining one of Estes Park’s many service organizations.


Those of us that have made several journeys around the sun know that with passing time, it’s important to have something to look forward to tomorrow. It’s important to have friends, family, meaningful work, and faith. Hope is something that gives purpose and meaning. Hope is a very important ingredient for living a happy and fulfilling life. It’s hope that helps us rise in the morning and start another day.

So, Rest, Comfort, Safety, Confidence, and Hope are value-added by-products of your custom-built ICF home. Specifically, ICF Construction gives your new home extra-strong walls, sound blocking characteristics, resistance to air infiltration and strong mountain winds, and energy efficiency. You can read more about ICF Construction and see examples of ICF homes on our website.

I believe ICF Construction contributes to your house becoming a home. People are made with the ability to feel rested, to feel comfortable and safe with confidence and live with hope for tomorrow. And having a well-built custom home is important for these feelings. I’ve seen this time and time again. If a person is fortunate to be in a place where they can own a home, great. But if a person is blessed to be able to design a custom space and have a home built where family and friends gather to enjoy the Colorado Rockies, then that person is manifesting the Self-Actualization (achieving full potential) that Maslow speaks of.

Darling Enterprise would be proud to build your custom-built ICF home in the Colorado Rockies. I’d be happy to answer your questions about ICF Construction and talk about the strengths that set Darling Enterprise apart as a general contractor. You can call me through our main office: 970-586-1047.