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$28,000 for foundation?


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By Whitney in Saint Augustine, FL on 8/12/2007


We have received several bids for the foundation and garage and were surprised at the cost.  On average, we are looking at $28,000.  Plus, the walls and column bids were also high.  $18,000 for first-floor block, and $12,000 second floor for a total of $58,000.  We are continuing our search for additional bids, since none are willing to negotiate at this time.  My home is a two story 2,600 sf square.  The slab is 1,300 sf.  Nothing too fancy in my opinion.  I may have to adjust the budget in other areas, because we really need to go with block due to our proximity to the ocean.


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By Joe in Ruskin, FL on 8/13/2007


I am not sure why you say you need to go with block due to your proximity to the ocean.  I am building in a V-Zone on Tampa Bay and am using SIP panels.  The structure, when complete should be rated for winds between 150 and 160 mph.  I had to have 23 pilings that averaged 37 feet into the ground before starting the concrete foundation work.  That cost was $13,200 and is for a two-story home that is on columns/lintels which has a footprint about the same size as yours.  My concrete bids for grade beams, pile caps, columns, lintels and slab ranged from a little over $40K to a little over $60K.

If I had it to do over, after the grade beam and pile caps, I would have tied in with red iron and steel box beams.

We have interior framing finished (steel as opposed to wood) and are starting the a/c, plumbing and electrical.

Whoever you select for your concrete work and other jobs, make sure they can not sub any of the work out without your written approval of the sub.  That was a trap we fell into which cost us considerable time, energy, and heartache not to mention financial difficulties.

I would also ask the contractor what would be a reasonable time frame for completion then ask if he would be willing to put a penalty clause in the contract if it extends more that a couple of weeks beyond that.

Joe H


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By Randy in PB, FL on 8/16/2007


$28K seems a little high for just a foundation. I assume that includes the slab? Last January my 12x36 foundation(s) cost about $18K which cover roughly 500 sf more than what your describing and included a 4" slab. I think I paid $98/cu yard for concrete. It seems however you make up a little in your block bids. Does that $30K include an intermediate tie beam? I paid $79K for 3 floors of block including 3-8x20 formed and poured tie beams. You can see them on my photo website (go to the Florida-Waterfront-Cottage Journal).  I found minimal swings in my concrete bids. I threw out the low bid. Keep looking
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By Lisa in Groveland, FL on 8/17/2007


Whitney,

That sounds way too high, keep shopping.  We have had a Mono-Slab done in May '07 of 5,292 sq ft and it was $22.5K. The Pre-Cast walls were $22K for the first floor and we framed the bonus room (our only 2nd floor area) out.  If we had done the first floor in block it would have been in the $19-$20K region. 

Pre-Cast walls have been tested for winds up to 296 MPH and have an R-value of R-7. We have double furred and added Fi-Foil to the exterior walls (Cost approx $600 for Fi-Foil and installation) thereby upping the R-value to R-12.1. 

I love our wall system, but would not recommend our supplier.  However, the suppliers who took Quick Walls to court and won over the patent are in Alachua and have a great system, apparently.  No idea how far they service out though, but may be worth a call.

Best of Luck,

Lisa.


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By P in North, FL on 8/19/2007


Hello Lisa,

What is the name of the supplier in Alachua?


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By Whitney in Saint Augustine, FL on 8/20/2007


Thank you! I told my husband I was going to find out who your suppliers were, because many of our bids seem higher than the average. We have three more pending bids for masonry. I could be wrong, but I feel being on the beach SCREAMS money. Well that is just not our position. We are really having to make wise decisions to make this dream happen, so we are traveling outside of the "city" to seek bids. We thought we were being cheap, and changed other areas of our budget to reflect what could be a painful concrete bill. We will press on until it seems reasonable. We appreciate any suppliers you could recommend. 
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By Whitney in Saint Augustine, FL on 8/20/2007


Thanks, Joe.  We are definitely continuing to shop.  I am hoping this is isolated!
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By John in Lake City, FL on 8/21/2007


Lisa,

This is John, formerly from Groveland.  I would be interested in getting some information on the person in Alachua also.  We are just waiting for the prices to settle in Lake City area.  They have come down, but not enough. 

 

Thanks, 

John


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By Lisa in Groveland, FL on 8/27/2007


Dear John & Phil,

I have sent an email to the sub who was telling me about the Alachua company and the background.  They have not got back to me yet (which although they do good work, this is not unusual), I think they were being a little cagey with names, as they want to join forces for a package deal.  Plus they are not trying to get my business now!!  On tracking down other poured wall companies I spoke with PCW "Poured Concrete Walls" who were extremely helpful, particularly as we were out of their area.  They maybe worth a call.  I would do some research for you, but am absolutely slammed presently, I hope you understand.

If I don't hear back from my sub by the end of the week I will try calling them.  Apologies for being so vague.

Regards,

Lisa.


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By georg in gainesville, FL on 9/16/2007


Hello Lisa, John, Phil, et. al.,

I talked to a rep, Tom Atkins, for Superior Walls at the  North Central Florida's Home Show  (March 2007), and he gave me some good info about the Epic precast tilt-wall system.  He said the cost was about 10% more than CMU (which matches Lisa's figures) and less than ICF.  He also claimed an R-value of 15.2.

Lisa, is that the supplier you used?  Also, I too am very interested in any info you have availeable about the precast wall supplier in Alachua.

-georg

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By Lisa in Groveland, FL on 9/16/2007


Dear Georg,

Not heard back but I need to call them this week and will ask again.  I looked into Weaver/Superior/Epic Pre-cast Walls too, and the bid was > $40K compared with my $20K, quite a savings.  The walls we used are 5" walls (4" and 6" available) which are only R-7, (Block is R-4). That said, it only cost me $600 to add Fi-foil over the Double furring strips, (cheaper on socket and switch boxes using the normal sized ones as opposed to the slim ones). This gives a greater air pocket which ups the insulation value of the Fi-Foil from R-4.1 to R-5.1 and therefore gives our walls an R-12.1.

Our designer used ICF as did our A/C guy who in particular is very impressed with our system and he works with ICF all the time. For starters, our walls are straight and true.  A friend of ours used Weaver and was not pleased, I believe they quoted him and then the supply in Florida closed or something and they were brought in from out of state and he got charged an extra $5,000 for the privilege!!!  Not a happy customer.  Although I love our walls I cannot recommend Quick Walls by Manning Building Supply purely because they were very rude; we we hit a snag, and they would not even ring my framers back which was damn well unprofessional in the trade.

Luckily my other subs got together and made the situation work.  All the subs at this stage were from fairly big companies and Quick Walls actions have not gone un-noted by them. Plus they wanted to put 2x4 on the walls for the hurricane straps which is purely easier for them and is the weak link strength-wise in the walls.  The details actually show sinking the straps as an alternate way, but can be awkward getting them all right.  So my framers offered to oversee it to get it right and at the last min. after this was all arranged the Quick Walls guy took offense that we thought (after they'd warned us) they may misplace some.  Sure enough they got 40+ out and would not even help with advice and were just rude.  When they truly did not need to be.  Plus be warned the boss at Lakeland is prejudice against O-B's as trouble, and he has thought that way before I came along. Obviously they can still afford to turn trade away, they blame it on nonpayment, which I find hard to believe when you look at the statistics and we pay faster than GC's.  The crazy thing is all the way through the process they kept saying I was so much easier to deal with than GC's as I actually rung them back and if anything needed doing was all over it like a rash.

But keep your eyes open for new companies. They are springing up all over the place and I will blog if I can get a name out of my foundation subs.  I was having a hard time after not going with SWS but it all worked out in the end.  I have not had time to look but Quick Walls were in a lawsuit with another compnay who owned the patent and the other company won and Quick Walls had to change their product slightly, that lawsuit might be worth investigating to come back with a name.

Most of this O-B'ing is about research. That said, I barely have time to order my door hardware so pre-build is definitely the time for research.

Good Luck, Lisa.  (Full saga on Little Lake Corner!!!)


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By Whitney in Saint Augustine, FL on 9/17/2007


eBay, eBay, eBay on those hardware items. Depending on what your preference is, that is. I just purchased all of my door hardware (hinges, knobs, deadbolts) for a fraction of the cost. Super quality, and they are oil-rubbed bronze. I paid almost no shipping or tax due to being out of state. 

I also got my cabinet hardware for my custom cabinets as well. Super quality bronze and satin nickel cup pulls for $1.09/piece. Same handles were between $7-$13 at cabinet shop. Home Depot sold the same Baldwin Deadbolt for $80, and I got it for $24. Again, no tax.

This isn't for everyone, but then again, most O-B's I know don't mind the extra work to save some cash!

Interior doorknob link is: myworld.ebay.com/josephdsmithjr

Good luck!

Whitney


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