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Building A Barden Home

My step by step experience with Barden Homes

First Floor Deck Delivered and Started

clock July 8, 2009 18:47 by author Donny Kemick

1st floor deck delivery.If you follow me on Twitter or Zannel you no doubt saw that the deck load was delivered today!  My GC’s framing crew got right to work getting the main beam almost entirely in place, and some of the floor joists up.  They ran into a bit of a snag in that the cutout in the top of the foundation wall that holds the main beam across the floor deck was not in the correct position, so they will have to cut into the concrete to correct that. 

The original plan was to have the 1st major house delivery come in 2 days (Friday), but it doesn’t look like that will happen.  My GC thinks the concrete guys can pour the basement and garage floors on Monday, and we could see the 1st house delivery on Monday or Tuesday.  That will be very exciting!

I did shoot some brief video today of the delivery and the amount of work they completed.  You can see that below:

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Superior Walls Update – I was Contacted by Superior Walls Corporate

clock July 8, 2009 08:47 by author Donny Kemick

I received an email this morning from a gentleman that works for Superior Walls Corporate, concerning some of my opinions and information I’ve shared so far in our decision making processes.  I was very appreciative of the contact, and happy to see that Superior Walls is monitoring the web for competition and complaints.  While I’ve had no complaints, (and will not, as unfortunately, time wouldn’t allow us to use the product), I have expressed opinions.  Right or wrong, they are my opinion.  So, I gave the gentleman a call and talked through some of his concerns.

Throughout the posts I’ve made no claim of being a contractor.  In fact, I’m very happy we have an experienced, personable contractor.  Without him, I can guarantee we would be spending much more for various services than we should be, as well as going about some of the process the wrong way.  With this point in mind, my opinions come from a non-contractor perspective.  Luckily I am able to ask contractors what their opinions are as well, to help finalize my own.  Bottom line, this site holds MY opinions and no one else’s.

Focus – Back to My Phone Call

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the discussion, though I do know that I had praised their product quite extensively in previous posts.  In fact, if it wasn’t for the 4 week manufacturing process, we would be using them.  I think it’s important to note that the gentleman I spoke with was very cordial and represented his company very well (Superior Walls decision makers, give him a raise, he adds a lot of value and was very good to speak with).  It was clear how passionate about the product he was, and how important it was that I share accurate information.  I agree 100%.  I have a business of my own and certainly wouldn’t want someone sharing false information about us online.

Some of the His Concerns

1. The Warranty

I was incorrect in this post when I said the warranty is 10 years (note, I’ve now corrected this).  It is actually 15.  That is Superior Walls’ minimum warranty period that they will allow licensed dealers to offer.  You may find a dealer that gives a longer warranty, but by the nature of warranties, I doubt it.  My apologies for stating that the warranty was 10 years.  Again, it is 15. 

The opinions I expressed still hold true for ME, in that I am personally have a concern about what happens after 15 years if there is a leak. 

2. The Longevity of the Caulk Used

In the same post that I provided above, I mentioned my concern for the longevity of the caulk used between the panels.  After all, that seems to be what holds them together (aside from a bolt at the top).  In our discussion, he gave some details about the caulk such as:

  • It was engineered specifically for this system/process
  • It does not degrade in effectiveness with exposure to soil and moisture
  • It is supposed to last the life of the home

I can appreciate all of those statements.  I did ask if I could have the list of asterisks  provided by the caulk manufacturer on when the caulk wouldn’t do as they say, but he didn’t have them off hand, which I could understand.  Some of the asterisks I could envision (PURE SPECULATION) would be:

  • If the walls do not shift at all
  • In average moisture environments
  • With certain back filling

And these were items I mentioned in our discussion.  He did say that the caulk is meant to flex with the wall.  This to me came across as an admission that you should expect the wall to move.  Not sure, but that’s how I took it. 

3. Walls Falling In

I mentioned in my post about my visit to Superior Walls that the salesperson clearly stated that the wall sections have fallen in on the basement floor before.  The gentleman I spoke to debated the point, stating that the walls typically only shift in or out a bit, IF any issues occur at all. 

I told him that a licensed dealer specifically told me that he’d seen around 30 incidents of the wall falling in on the basement floor in his 11 years with Superior Walls. 

His biggest concern was how catastrophic it sounds to read that wall sections can fall in on the basement.  I agree that it does sound catastrophic.  That’s because it would be!

Imagine that you have just completed finishing your basement.  You went with Superior Walls to avoid having to stud and insulate the walls.  Your last coat of paint is done, your furniture is moved in, and your watching a movie with your kids, when all of the sudden a foundation wall falls in and crushes you.  Sounds catastrophic to me… You?

While this may be a rarity, walls HAVE indeed fallen in.  I would be irresponsible to not take that into consideration.

Bottom Line

I appreciated the contact and conversation.  He was doing his due diligence and I was explaining my non-contractor opinion.  The bottom line is, Superior Walls has to be able to sell their product to not only contractors, but the homeowner.  With the web as powerful as it is.  I think it would benefit Superior Walls to be a little more proactive online in ranking better for terms like “precast wall falling in”, or “precast wall leaks”.  Then, they would be the 1st search result and have the opportunity to address the concerns before informational blogs like this.

As I stated in my post about “New Considerations for Precast Walls versus Poured Concrete”, I still think precast walls are a very cool product, and if you ask me in 6 months, my preference may swing back to precast walls.  In fact, the 1st floor deck load would probably be getting installed 0n precast walls if the manufacturing time wasn’t 4 weeks. 

I’d love to hear your opinions or experiences to help validate or alleviate my concerns.  Leave a comment with your thoughts.

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Excited for Our 1st Delivery from Barden Homes

clock July 7, 2009 20:05 by author Donny Kemick

It may seem foolish, but I’m like a child on Christmas Eve tonight!  Tomorrow, we will receive our first shipment from Barden Homes, the decking load.  It will be so nice to see some actual wood going up!  I’ve been staring at concrete walls for a couple weeks now.

While the basement and garage floors have not been poured yet, the deck load is still coming and the concrete guys will have to work around this.  From what I’ve been told and read online, once the floor deck system is in place, the walls can be constructed pretty quickly. 

I will be sure to post video of the guys working on the deck and photos of the progress.  If you are following me on Twitter or Zannel, you’ll see updates throughout the day tomorrow.

Deliveries By Barden Homes

I can’t verify this for sure, but from what I’m reading, Barden’s delivery schedule is as such:

1st Delivery:  Walk out basement walls and 1st floor deck

2nd Delivery:  1st Floor walls and 2nd Floor deck

3rd Delivery:  2nd Floor walls, trusses, sheathing, shingles

It will be interesting to see if this is the case for our home.  I’m assuming there’s a 4th deliver of many of the finishing items, and siding.  Time will tell I guess.

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