Superior Walls Precase Basement
I’m wondering if any of you have worked directly with superior walls and what your thoughts/concerns/likes of this product are. Also, how much do they cost per lin ft roughly for standard 8′ height? I’m designing a basic L shaped foundation with approximately 150 lin ft. of wall.
Also, I have only seen them set on a crushed rock footing, could they be placed on a concrete footing? Thanks
“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!!!”
You probably should call your local dealer for quotes.
I don't know the costs but I do know they are more expensive. If they were cheaper, every builder in the area would be using them. Pulte tried them (precast basements) for several years and couldn't make them work. If Pulte can't do it cheaper, no one can.
If you do get some hard numbers, please check back and give us the scoop.
One question: if they are engineered to be installed over crushed aggregate, why would you want to deviate?
Bob's next test date: 12/10/07
If Pulte can't do it cheaper, no one can.
Or, Superior told PH to stuff themselves after being asked to sell at 85¢ on the dollar.Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)
Pulte actually was making their own prefab systems. They'd ship the foundation, and the decks and set them with their own cranes. Then they tried to just used the precast walls and let framers build the decks. Finally, they shut down the operation. Bob's next test date: 12/10/07
Finally, they shut down the operation.
Would not surprise me at all. Or that they tried to set up their own precast line without actually getting any input from people with experience with precast as a business model.Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)
"Or that they tried to set up their own precast line without actually getting any input from people with experience with precast as a business model."Where did you come up with that?They dumped the precast because it's a lot cheaper to pour a basement the conventional way. Bob's next test date: 12/10/07
Where did you come up with that?
Previous experience with PH corporate.Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)
About $85 per lineal foot in the Pittsburgh area - 9' high Xi wall, Superior's best.
Is that installed price?
"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!!!"
Yes. I had a price quote about 2 weeks ago for 225 LF of 9' Xi Wall plus about 100 LF of frost wall for a garage. Quote was $23,000 installed as I recall.
There is an extra charge for each corner too - isn't there?
To the OP: what the crushed stone does is spread the load of the 8" wide wall over a larger soil area. They are fairly specific as to what stone to use.
Be sure that your local inspections dept will accept a SW foundation
A few other (unverified) tidbits I was told by a SW salesmen: The concrete is ~5000 PSI so is basically waterproof. I asked about the sealing between panels - he said it is a polyurethane caulk. If I were going to buy one of these basements I'd want more info on the caulk.
Yes - extra charges for corners and openings.
I have had three of them used under houses I built.
I think the world of them and strongly recommend them.
They do cost slightly more - BUT if finished basement walls are part of the job or in the near future, the end costs are less.
The thing that impressed me was the upgrade to 9' tall walls was a bargain compared to the additional cost I incur with poured walls.
I primarily do additions and remodeling, but when I have the opportunity to bid new construction, they get my strongest recommendation.
For the projects that I did, their quoted price was just slightly less then the poured wall quote. BUT - their price did not include the footers. I was responsible to have crushed stone spread to within 1" of level, then their crew did the final leveling. After their installation I had to glue and bolt down a treated 2x10 for a sill. That used up more time then I would have normally figured, but knew better for the next time.
Overall, on the worst of the three jobs, I figured it added about 10% to the foundation costs over a simple poured wall.
If sills are installed on all basements, why does your sill become an additional expense? Bob's next test date: 12/10/07
He might be referring to the fact that Superior's engineering specs require a 2x10 sill. But the fact that the sill sits on a flange with preformed anchor bolt holes, and the sill is drilled in place by coming up right through the hole, makes installation quick and precise.
Just more awkward to install.
The superior walls can't be backfilled till after the deck and basement floor is poured. The wider treated sill boards are a lot heavier. Because they need to be glued down, I am unable to walk the sill board in place so I am placing the sill off step ladders with a second man dealing with the other end. Once the sill board is placed, one man is drilling the bolt hole up from the bottom, then the guy on top drops a galvinized bolt down through then the lower guy starts a nut and washer and runs it home with an impact driver.
It just has so many minutes where one of the two guys running the sills is waiting for the other so that he can do his part.
Still like them, and after using them, I can't see any advanatge to the concrete filled, foam Lego blocks that are all the rage.
I looked briefly at Oasiswall, in Massachusetts I think. Their docs describe a footer of crushed stone going out perhaps a foot on either side. The load is distributed outward at some angle, so the thicker the stone layer the wider the footprint bearing the foundation load.One thing to note is that access to the site is required for a fairly large truck. A crane lifts from the truck onto the stone footer layer. Most sites are accessible, but it's something to check.
The access issue has come up with them, although it hasn’t been insurmountable.<!----><!----><!---->
A leveled off pad, somewhat central for the crane was the most important.<!----><!---->
A staging area for the flatbeds of precast walls actually gave me the most pause on one job. Most of the lot was wooded or inaccessible to trucks. I made arrangement to have the trailers placed on a neighbor’s property and they were brought in as needed.<!----><!---->
The excavator I use slightly deepens the dig under the footing areas, and then puts the crushed stone over the entire floor and footing area. Thus my drainage stone for the basement floor is taken care of - just add a vapor barrier and pour the floor.<!----><!---->
Do you have their engineering data? You might want to study it, and I believe it is downloadable.
The product is designed for bearing on a bed of crushed compacted gravel. Your soil type will determine the thickness of the bed, with less capable soils requiring more bed thickness.
Engineering-wise, for what residential structures create as bearing loads, the only reason for a spread footing under a formed-and-poured foundation wall is to provide an easier means for building the wall formwork. Most soils could handle an 8" wall sitting right there without any footing at all underneath.
I have built with a Superior Walls foundation and would build that way again.
I am an engineer, but I am not your engineer, so take what I say, digest it a little, and talk to your own guy. Unless you are your own guy.
Have you looked at ICF's ? You might be able to put them up even in below freezing weather They are insulted and will retain the heat of curing if blankets are placed across the top.
(I assume the reason for your looking at precast walls at all)
"Have you looked at ICF's ? ..... They are insulted..."Was it something you said about them?
OK insulated, not insulted. So much for spell check :-(
as a framer i look at the superior walls as somewhat a pain. you don't backfill until deck and basement floor poured. in the mean time you have to deal with no backfill. now after saying that, i think the sydtem is great. the foundation is square. this means less time trying to square up the walls. around here, upstate ny, it is harder and harder to get a decent foundation. unless the person does commercial work, we find poured walls the absolute worst.
Best practice is to not backfill a poured foundation until the floor is framed either.
I do some architecting for some small commercial work and my structural engineer and contractor gets in fights all the time because the engineer says no backfilling until the floor structure is complete. It's part of the system.
The contractor says to hell with it because it screws up his process. Of course its easier to frame up the floors if the foundation is backfilled.
Yeah, it's one of those "best practices" that's not often followed. If the contractors could wait 28 days it wouldn't be an issue. The problem is that they want to pull forms and backfill within a few days of the pour, when it's still very weak.
It works because the walls get back braced. Best practices is a great term but it's really a misnomer. Wouldn't five feet thick concrete walls be stronger than a wimpy 10" wall? Builders strike the balance between "gittin er done" and overengineering and overbuilding everything. Bob's next test date: 12/10/07
Around here it's usually an 8" wall and, yes, 5' would be even better practice but not financially intelligent.
In MI, they use 10" walls. Perhaps they build them thicker to withstand the backfill that they know is coming in two or three days. It's a balancing act between overbuilding, underbuilding and getting it "just right". I have seen basement walls fail but now understand that they were just too long. In later years, I'd see the same length walls built with pilaster built in. Designs go a long way toward insuring that the walls won't cave in. I always preferred to back brace basments with lots of offsets and lots of short runs. Bob's next test date: 12/10/07
Yeah, I've designed in pilasters if the run is over 30' or so.
Most of the time builders don't want to deal with the extra corners...guess this is one place they make sense....
10" walls make sense. Is rebar standard too? What's the placement? How about footings?
The footings are typically 10" X 20" with a couple rod in them. I don't remember if they are rodding the walls but they probably are at some interval. Not too much though. I don't have any MI plans around anymore or I'd check. Almost every wall comes with a 4" brickledge. I was surprised to see the foundations sticking out of the ground here in TX with the brick starting sometime 1' or more above grade. I guess brick ledges are too complex here. Bob's next test date: 12/10/07
Ahh, that explains the 10" wall, the brickledge. We've done 12" walls with 6" ledges for stone.
1' above grade for the brick to start...that's some fine design....
I'll post pictures. It's the dumbest thing: million dollar houses with a couple feet (sometimes 8') of exposed stem walls. Bob's next test date: 12/10/07
Used Superior on basement in 1995 Oakland MD. 21550. 10' panels. 200 lineal ft. Went well the project and would use them again. No leaks, set on crushed stone base as they spec, Make sure you put a thermal break at base of panels b4 you pour your floor. We put in radient heat in slab. No concrete block smell and walls were easy to do finished basement. Working on design for another place and plan to use them again. Make sure site access is reviewed for delivery of pamels and crane is on site.