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Building A Barden Home

My step by step experience with Barden Homes

New Considerations for Precast Walls versus Poured Concrete

clock June 29, 2009 03:07 by author Donny Kemick

I had originally decided to go with precast foundation walls from Superior Walls, after I had visited their sales office and seen them first hand.  If it wasn’t for our time delay I’d probably be still be using precast walls.  After some thinking and seeing the poured walls, I’m kind of happy I went with them over the precast walls.

Warranty

The precast walls have a 15 year warranty on leaks, etc…  I plan on being in my house much longer than that.  In fact, we’re hoping this is our last house.  If water starts coming in after 15 years, it will be problematic…  Superior Walls recommended no drainage around the inside of the basement.  Based on where my house sits, that’s quite risky. 

The warranty period of 15 years seems just long enough to cover the caulk that goes between the precast panels.  I can’t imagine the costs associated with digging out around the foundation after 15 years to recaulk a potential leak.  That would be terrible, especially if you consider decks, landscaping, and your yard.

Timeframe Isn’t Any Faster

While the setup time is faster than poured walls, precast walls have to be ordered, and for us, would take 4 weeks to make.  Keep in mind that we couldn’t order until we had the money from the bank.  That would have meant that our project would have been held up for another month after closing with the bank. 

Our concrete guy was onsite and getting the footer poured the day after the hole was dug.  There’s no way we could have had the precast walls here by then.

Cost Savings Isn’t Much

When you consider the cost of 2X4s and insulation, the cost difference between precast and poured walls is a wash.  You end up with a bit more piece of mind with poured walls, so to me, that makes the poured walls the winner.  Ask me in another 6 months and I may have changed my mind again, but right now, I’m happy I went poured. :)

 

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A Quick Update on a Short Delay

clock June 26, 2009 06:59 by author Donny Kemick

You may have noticed that I didn’t post the past couple of days.  It’s certainly not because I didn’t want to…  Now that the foundation walls are up, we need to wait to pour the basement floor until the plumber gets in to rough in a basement restroom.  We won’t be finishing/enclosing/fixturing a bathroom down there this year, but we figured we may as well rough one in while the plumber is working.

The plumber, who we had hoped could come today, won’t be here until the 30th now.  After the rough in, the concrete crew will pour the basement floor, and probably the garage floor as well.  Check back on Tuesday for an update.

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The Molds for the Foundation Have Been Removed

clock June 24, 2009 16:25 by author Donny Kemick

I was amazed to find out that the molds for the foundation walls could be removed so soon after pouring them!  In fact, I spoke with one of the concrete guys today and he said they could have taken them off as soon as 5 hours after pouring them.  Today, just one day after pouring, the guys were able to walk on the walls and work with them as pleased. 

DSC00115 DSC00116 DSC00117

Slight Concern

When they removed the molds, my wife and I immediately noticed, what seems to be a mistake in the placement of one of the foundation windows on the back side of the house.  We had them add 4 windows across the back, positioned directly below windows on the 1st floor.  Unfortunately, it looks like the window hole they put in for the window to left of the fireplace chimney is much closer to the chimney than it’s counterpart on the other side of the chimney.

There may be a reason for this placement that wasn’t discussed with us, but from looking at the plans, the window isn’t centered with the window on the 1st floor.  It’s not the end of the world, but I don’t imagine redoing it is an option at this point.  The video shows the chimney area I am referring to.

Yes, More Video

I decided to shoot a short video of the exposed foundation walls, which can be seen here:

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