An Energy-Smart Foundation in Two Days
A compacted gravel footing is the only prep work required, and you don't have to wait for the weather.
Synopsis: Saving time on a building project often means saving money, too. North Carolina builder Tim Robinson saves both when he can by starting a project with insulated, precast concrete foundation walls. The panelized system Robinson uses is insulated with R-12.5 foam and has steel studs with holes punched for wiring and plumbing. Once a gravel footing has been compacted and leveled, the foundation walls can be dropped in place. This type of foundation system often can be set up in only two days: one day for prep work and one day for setting the walls.
Magazine Extra: Associate editor Daniel S. Morrison explains how to level compacted gravel footings for precast foundation walls.
We all know that time is money. That’s why waiting for the footings and foundation to go in can be one of the most frustrating aspects of any home-building project. Trying to get a house out of the ground in the winter is even more challenging.
One time-saving solution I’ve come to like involves the installation of insulated, precast concrete panels to construct a building’s foundation. I use a system from Superior Walls (www.superiorwalls.com), but the same benefits are available from other companies in different parts of the country. In most cases, after a site is excavated, I can install the whole system in two days: one day for prep and one day to set walls. Because these panels sit on a compacted gravel footing, my crew can do the prep work.
Not only are the panels quick to install, but they’re also insulated with 2½ in. of foam (R-12.5). The foam is visible on the inside surface of each panel; so are steel studs punched with holes for wiring and plumbing, making this type of foundation easy to finish inside.…