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Jim & Jodenia's Forum Posts: 7

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By Jim & Jodenia in Blacksburg, SC on 3/6/2001


We are trying to decide which route to take for our walkout basement. We have priced the poured wall (which we really prefer) and the 12" block w/poured cells. We have also researched the system using Quad-Lock blocks. Guess my question is this: Has anyone used this last type and what is your opinion? We are in the process of having plans drawn and will need to have decisions made about this when we go for our financing. HELP!!!!! Please PM me if you have any suggestions. If you would, please put 'basement' in the subject line. Thank you!!! P.S. Any other OB's in the northern part of SC? Would love to network with you and bounce ideas off each other.
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Alana's Forum Posts: 22

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By Alana in Manassas, VA on 3/8/2001


We are planning on poured walls because the ISP's are more expensive. It was one of the compromises we had to choose. We are building in Northern Virginia. Do you feel that you really need the extra insulation in SC?
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By Latha & Lynn in Lawrenceville, GA on 2/23/2002


We are planing to OB a house on Lake Keowee, which is northwestern SC. Which route did you take? Poured or block?
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By Tim in Philomont, VA on 3/3/2002


Hi. Where in northern Virginia are you located? We're O-B'ing a house in Loudoun County, still in the later planning stage. What stage are you at? Thanks!

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By Jim & Jodenia in Blacksburg, SC on 3/3/2002


Just a note to let you know which route we went with. We chose a poured-wall basement with 3 poured walls and walkout wall framed. I have the name and phone number of the company we used. I would HIGHLY recommend them to anyone.
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By Shaun in Sturgeon Bay, WI on 9/15/2002


I have been doing some research on basement options and will be soliciting bids from 2-3 ICF vendors, conventional poured concrete, and lately I have been looking at superiorwalls.com. I was wondering if any posters to this website have had any experience with the product. Thank you.
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By Tim in Philomont, VA on 9/15/2002


Shaun, I have looked at all the options you're considering, and they all have their advantages. All are reliable, and you can't go wrong with any one of them. For speed and convenience, you can't beat the Superior Walls foundation. Their walls are installed on 6-8" of fine stone gravel which provides all the support and drainage you need, and thus there is no need to provide a footer. Also, you'll have the walls up in about 4 hours for an average sized home (mine is 180 linear feet of foundation wall). All the window openings, brick ledges, etc. that you'll need will be built in at the factory. They send their own crew to install the walls on site after making sure you've done the prep work (excavation, staking out the corners, and laying the stone). You'll also get an insulated, dry basement off the bat, and you'll have walls that are trade-ready (plumbing, electrical) and also have the furring strips up for installing drywall. It's a great way to go. The only drawback is the price - it is more expensive than your conventional poured wall or ICF basement walls.

As for conventional poured wall foundations, find a good sub in your area that will do everything from the excavation of the hole including doing an accurate grading of the depth of the basement, set and pour the footers, pour the walls, slabs, waterproofing the walls below grade, and backfilling. A good sub will come highly referred by the local concrete companies, and their name will surface often in your conversations with other subs in the trade. If you go ICF, you'll get your best insulation values of these three, and a dry basement. I think the Superior Walls are an R-4 or R-5, the conventional poured wall has no R-value, and the ICF wall is about an R-40 (technically about an R-20 from the EPS foam, but taking in the concrete mass in between the foam you get at least R-40). Some subs will say they don't like the fact that with your ICFs you can't tell if you have a solid pour, that there may be "honeycombs" or voids in the wall which obviously hamper the wall's strength and waterproofing capabilities. However, a good ICF contractor will agitate the concrete during the pour sufficiently to prevent this.

Another ICF option is to go with the "single faced ICF" which is exactly that- an ICF with the foam only on the inside. This obviously give the contractor full view of the concrete to patch any holes that may have come up. ICF has been for me competitive with the poured wall foundation and cheaper than Superior Walls. It takes the longest to have completed of the three options, but offers the most benefits, I think. Hope this helps! If you need some names of good ICF brands that I have found to be the best value, PM me. If you're in the northern Virginia area, I can give you names of subs for all three methods.

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By Justin on 9/16/2002


Hi,

I have a small heritage weatherboard cottage on 6x150 meter block, underneath is well drained clay. I have tested the self suporting nature of the clay (kept moist) and it works to a level of 13 feet so far.

Owing to little lateral space, I need to maximize the width by using some sort of thin (waterproof) pozzolanic reinforced slab technique, perhaps pouring, allowing to cure on the floor before later jacking upright into position into vertical slots on the outside of cement footings.

The wooden house would sit on vertical steel, bolted into the cement floor, the basement wall will not be virtically load bearing. Once in place it would be waterproofed and a single inner brickwall would line the basement.

Does anybody have any ideas concerning lateral earth pressure and moisture removal along with slab engineering tips? Here in Australia we practically no expertise at the owner builder level.

Thanks in advance,

Justin Walsh


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By Faye in Minooka, IL on 3/4/2003


I am currently taking bids for my home and I am considering a ICF called Keeva which supposedly requires alot less concrete and very little bracing. They also say labor is considerably less. I have done the math and if it checks out it will save me about 55%. I'll update you if I use this system. Faye
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Susan's Forum Posts: 16

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By Susan in Midland, MI on 5/22/2004


We have been reading with great interest the dialogue regarding basements. We are strongly considering a wood basement and would like some opinions! We had a wood basement in North Dakota and it was terrific -- nice and cozy and dry. But, this was an area where there was little moisture -- how about a 10-year drought for the wheat farmers! Now, we're in Michigan and are wondering if wood is the way to go. I dislike the dampness and the smell of a concrete basement. However, with the price of wood these days, we're wondering if a wood basement would be too costly, though some builders are saying the cost is about the same. Your opinions would really be appreciated.

Thank you!

Susan
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Leah's Forum Posts: 5

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By Leah on 7/1/2004


We are building a house right now and are using a permanent wooden foundation. I researched them extensively, and everything I found on them was very good. You can get info on them from the southern pine people. They even will send you a free booklet that contains all of the information to build it yourself.

This weekend my husband and I will be building ours. A poured wall foundation was going to cost $11,000. We are building the wooden foundation for around $2,500. The only thing that we are doing differently than how the spec book says is we are using rubber roofing as the waterproofing instead of 6-mil plastic at the recommendation of several people. I hope that this helps in your decision.


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Susan's Forum Posts: 16

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By Susan in Midland, MI on 7/3/2004


Leah, thanks so much for your reply. We feel so much more confident now about our moving forward with a wood basement. We will not be doing the labor ourselves, so we certainly won't be saving as much as you will; but I'm glad with our decision. Your information about using rubber sheeting instead of 6-mil plastic makes perfect sense and eases my concerns about water (we are about 200 yards from a river!). Thank you again. Good luck with your construction. I hear standing up those walls is a major heavy lifting!
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Leah's Forum Posts: 5

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By Leah on 7/6/2004


We started on the framing yesterday and we got the two long walls done, and lifted into place. There were four of us working together--and yes, it was heavy!! I know most of this site recommends hiring out the work, but there are considerable savings in doing the work yourselves. The costs that we got for having someone else do the work for the PWF was even higher than the poured wall bids! It really is not hard at all to do either.

None of us that did the work yesterday are in any type of construction field and we were able to do it with really no problems. And we are over halfway done with the framing. A friend of ours who is in construction said it took him half a day for his whole house. It's certainly worth thinking about if your budget is as tight as ours is. I'm happy that my post helped you out!
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By Brian in Bellingham, WA on 7/20/2004


Can you give me someplace to start in researching permanent wood foundations? Up to now I have only considered concrete. Any help will be appreciated.

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Mark's Forum Posts: 1

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By Mark on 10/27/2004


Susan,

Was wondering how the wood basement is going if you have started it. I'm looking to build new home and am trying to decide between wood and concrete. My only major concern is that like you I will be close to the river (about 150 yds). I know a few other people that have wood basements and they love them, their just not close to a river and I'm concerned about the water.

Thanks,

Mark


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Leah's Forum Posts: 5

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By Leah on 10/27/2004


Hi! I found some websites about permanent wood foundations for those who have asked. 

One is: woodfoundations.com

What we used to build ours is a free booklet from the Southern Pine council. They gave it to us at Menards. You also can order one free from their website--southernpine.com. Hope that helps!


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Susan's Forum Posts: 16

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By Susan in Midland, MI on 10/27/2004


Hi, Mark -- our wood basement is now complete. The construction of it was an amazing thing to see. People who come by still can't believe it because wood basements are not all that common.

I'm not in a position at this point to tell you if it's great or not, because we're not in the house yet. The roof is just now going on and at the present time, the basement is full of dirt and fall leaves -- and a little bit of rainwater on the floor.

But let me also say that we did a lot of research on wood basements and went into this with confidence. The idea of putting 10" of pea stone under the floor makes so much sense, ESPECIALLY in an area that tends to be more wet. The water simply flows under the house rather than building up against the cement walls causing pressure, cracks and leaking. And, finishing off the basement is so much easier because your wall studs are already there. All you have to do is insulate and put up your drywall. 

Good luck!


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By Betsy in Powhatan, VA on 10/30/2004


We are building a house with a 2,500 sq. ft. basement, and are leaning toward the Superior Walls system. Haven't eliminated the poured in place option though. With Superior Walls, the concrete walls are manufactured in a controlled environment off site, and then delivered and placed on site in one day. The advantages we see are: The concrete has a higher density and doesn't need to be as thick. Weather is not a factor for the construction of the walls. The 'footings' are a floor bed of gravel, and with the drain system divert the water away from the foundation area. The walls come waterproofed and insulated. And the interior walls of the system have 'studs' already built in.

Even though this system is a little more expensive than poured-in-place, and a lot more than block, by the time you add the expense of poured foundation work, waterproofing and framing costs, the expense balances out.

If anyone has done the Superior Walls, I would be interested to know how it worked out.

Betsy


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Marc's Forum Posts: 107
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By Marc in Defuniak Springs, FL on 9/27/2005


My question is for concrete basements and the advantages/disadvantages of a floating slab over monolithic. The first few systems I have looked at have the walls on the edge of a monolithic slab/footing. The one I am looking at now has the walls poured in place and the footings incorporated with the walls, the slab poured floating on another day. I like the idea of having it all together as I have felt the since of making the slab/walls one. The one thing I am concerned about is the lateral pressure from the soil on the basement wall along with the compression of the foam over time. I am aware of the line of thought on water intrusion around the edges of the slab/walls as well. But with a non- threatening water table I believe I would not have to worry about this. (Some thoughts on this too, please)

I have heard of cutting the foam out every two feet or so along the load (soil) wall and using the best of both. Concrete to concrete and foam as a buffer. What do y'all think of this idea?


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By Michael in Martinez, GA on 2/10/2007


I decided to go with a Superior Walls basement instead of a traditional poured wall system. The price I got off the poured wall was $28,000. I got the Superior Walls system for $24,000. I also went ahead and had them do the return walls for the garage so that I would not have to pay a mason to brick it up. Another thing I did was have them install 9-foot walls under my front porch so I could create a safe room; this also was cheaper than hiring a mason to brick the porch.
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By Dan in Leesburg, VA on 2/26/2007


How many linear feet of basement walls?
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By Michael in Martinez, GA on 2/27/2007


331 linear feet. Let me know if you need any more info.
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By Dan in Leesburg, VA on 2/27/2007


Thanks, I'm trying to decide between poured walls and Superior Walls.
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By Michael in Martinez, GA on 3/1/2007


Dan,

I chose Superior Walls because I would not have to frame the basement out nor waterproof the walls. They have been great so far.


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By Terry in Alexandria, VA on 3/7/2007


Michael, I am building a house here in Alexandria, VA and am planning to do what you have done with your safe room using Superior Walls. How did you roof it, and how has it worked out?

Terry

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By Michael in Martinez, GA on 3/9/2007


Terry,

I have not yet put a roof on it because I have just started to backfill. You are not supposed to backfill until you have your floor system in place do to fact you might make the walls shift. I had them put brick ledges on the inside edges so that I can run a few pieces of steel, then drop in a metal pan before I pour. I plan on having a little fall on the concrete so water doesn't sit on the porch. If you want you can PM me for my phone number and I can give you lots of helpful hints. Here are some pics of where I am now with construction.


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