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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #1
First - This is not my house, rather one being built for a neighbor. Scout and I are more or less a pair of wanderers in the woods, and nearby properties around our home.
Just before Christmas I heard some heavy equipment moving about, so Scout and I went to investigate and found that the long (more than 35 years) vacant 3+ acre lot at the end of the road I live on is finally going to get a house built on it. Scout and I strolled over and talked to the general building contractor who told us it would be a large home, but go up pretty quickly as he was using modules from Excel Homes. We looked over the staked site plan and some of the equipment.



The builder was anxious to get moving before the winter weather hits, and had scheduled to have a monster Oak from the middle of the lot removed the next day. He wasn't kidding, by the time Scout and I got there, the tree was down, the trunk and main limbs bucked, and all the branches chipped. Scout feels a need to jump up on any log to take it's measure:



That was a pretty good jump. I stood next to the bottom slice and it measured about 5' diameter (not DBH where it was closer to 4'):



Then Weather got wet so they didn't get back to start the excavation till the New Year, and of course Scout and I were there to inspect/watch a while:



For the last 35 years (that's how long I've been in the area) a perfectly good access point has served no-one but an occassional lawn mowing crew. But, the Township required them to move the entrance around the corner and a couple hundred feet from the intersection. No problem for the excavators. They finished digging the basement foot print, had the stone delivered, brought in mini skid steer and walk behind steer to spread the basement floor and tamp it:



Next day they brought in a crane and the first load of pre-cast Superior basement wall panels. These panels are manufactured locally and are essentially a sandwich panel of insulation and cement with metal reinforcement studs:



A little crane swing action just because I took the video for no other reason than to share:


They got about half finished yesterday, came back this morning with the remnants of an overnight sleet and freezing rain event and got finished setting the basement walls, got the trucks off site, stowed the crane and rolled it back to whatever rental point. Onsite just two days, maybe could have done it in one long midsummer 14 hours of daylight day but not this time of year:



As the local "Watch Committee" Scout and I will continue to track progress and post pictures here. Hope someone is interested.
 

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Looks like those guys knew what they were doing. If the contractors are just a sharp you will have a new neighbor in no time. What is that smoking on the left in the video?
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #3
Looks like those guys knew what they were doing. If the contractors are just a sharp you will have a new neighbor in no time. What is that smoking on the left in the video?
Probably should have mentioned that, as it is an obvious question. That is our nearest Nuclear Power Plant cooling tower (s). So, not smoke, rather steam.
 

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not quins. but sextuplets
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that's a huge tree.. I also do not like the walls they put up.. steel 2 x 6's (or what ever they r) r not so strong & using them on outer walls.. I prefer block basements or poured concrete ones.. I just wonder what keeps the dirt from getting in..
 

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Thanks for the pics and story Jere. I never realized they could do foundations like that. Around here I have only seen poured walls.
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #9
The Superior Wall system was developed here in New Holland and is used through out the mid-Atlantic. The steel studs are not the significant weight bearing members, rather they stabilize the styrofoam insulation and carry the interior drywall or other wall cover. Rather, the exterior layer of High-strength concrete is reinforced with steel rebar and polypropylene fibers provides the weight bearing. I do not know what the weight of one of the panels is, though it was a serious enough crane to carry very heavy panels. And, I think in the last picture you can see the corners and inter-panel joints are caulked. Each panel also has an interlocking vapor barrier kind of center wall. For what it's worth, they are marketed as stronger and less susceptible to shifting earth, settlement, or root intrusion than block wall, and even poured concrete. Sorry if I sound like an marketing hack, I'm not. My friend had a house in the mountains built and a whole house woodburner installed in the basement. He had his basement built with Superior Walls and is happy with the extra insulation.

But, if you are more interested, here is their website with some specs, testimonies, and a video on the manufacture and delivery:

https://weaverprecast.com/superior-wall-products/
 

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blinged out
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did they put the walls right on the stone with no footing under them. that certainly wouldn't be allowed here!
 

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Jere,

Thanks for the pic's, I like seeing them also.

This is not directed towards you nor is in any way am I trying to start a debate, just my opinion.

I have poured many foundations using Symons forms. Built quite a few houses, additions, garages, etc.

My question is, any time you put steel in a damp location, it is going to rust, galvanized will last longer but will fail in time. I understand they are keeping water penetration out from the exterior, but what if the basement floods from inside, once wet the onset of deterioration is on. And just about anyone that has a basement has had it flood at one point, due to sewer backup, plumbing failure, etc.

It doesn't even need actual water infiltration, condensation will provide enough moisture.

I do see advantages in preventing mold growth but once you drywall it, panel it, etc. you are feeding mold growth if it gets damp.

I now oversee the carpenters at the local university, one of our dorms has metal studs, plywood, drywall and ceramic tile covering the walls of the pipe chase dividing the restrooms on the men's and women's sides. Over time, leaks have caused the metal studs have rusted, the plywood has rotted, drywall crumbled causing the tiles to come loose. This is a nineteen story dorm and yes, it is on the list to have the restrooms remodeled. This dorm underwent a 27 million renovation five years ago, new curtain walls, I got to see quite a bit of crane work there also.

Funny thing is, I watched them build the crane, lift panel after panel, tear the crane down but I never saw the crane operator ascend or descend into the cab. I did take some pictures of the window washers on the eighteenth floor. I'll have to look them up.

Keep the pictures coming Jere, I do like them.

CCMoe
 

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I'll never get to 10,000
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Looks like those guys knew what they were doing. If the contractors are just a sharp you will have a new neighbor in no time. What is that smoking on the left in the video?
Probably should have mentioned that, as it is an obvious question. That is our nearest Nuclear Power Plant cooling tower (s). So, not smoke, rather steam.
That's not the Susquehanna plant is it? I think that is too far north of you to be it.
 

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not quins. but sextuplets
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Yeah, do you know if they are going to pour a concrete floor, or just build up on top of the crushed rock?
the walls will let water get under them thro the crushed rock.. crushed rock will not b a good floor in a living space..
 

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Newer construction techniques than the old fashioned concrete forms or blocks with all their problems. SIP panels are fully formed and tied together to form a structural whole. That is on the perimeter. Later the concrete floor will poured over the crushed & tamped gravel, one can see the forms for the support columns. Most likely the next truck will be a concrete pumper. Would be nice if they continue on with ICF.
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
That's not the Susquehanna plant is it? I think that is too far north of you to be it.
This plant is Limerick Station on the Schuylkill River in western Montgomery County. Not the Susquehanna. At this point we are East of the Susquehanna, slightly north of TMI, and Peach Bottom, and well South of Berwick.
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #17
And no worries to anyone with questions. In spite of my regular review of progress, and pumping hands with the workers, they don't really care, nor ask, nor involve me in any of the design, plans, or process.

The walls are set directly on the compressed stone. I am certain they will pour a concrete floor soon, depending on weather/temperatures. I do not know if the floor will float up to the walls, or if they will drill re-bar and insert vapor barrier into slots in the walls to integrate the floor concrete with the walls. But! I will find out, and share with you folks.
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #18
Sunny morning and the general contractor was on site preparing for the floor pour tomorrow. He has a pumper coming in tomorrow. You can see in this picture a couple things.
  1. The Wall joints are sealed with an epoxy (I called it a caulk yesterday)
  2. The floor is now covered in black plastic vapor barrier for the pour tomorrow (black will also retain some heat from the sun today and overnight)
  3. The walls were laser shot and an expansion strip has been applied for the pour to go against and level to. There will be no steel or vapor connection



 

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Premium Member
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Jere,

How thick are the walls, looks like about eight inches.

Amazing that they can do that without footers.

What type of soil do you have there?

I'm about forty miles east of the Mississippi River, black dirt and clay here.

Looks like it's going to be a fairly large home, how many square feet?

CCMoe
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #20
Jere,

How thick are the walls, looks like about eight inches.
Looked like about 8" to me too, could be even more. Guess I could reach over and measure, or wait till I see what they use for plate.

Amazing that they can do that without footers.
I agree, though, from a different perspective, the footers for a regular layed or poured wall sit on crushed stone too.

What type of soil do you have there?
This is near the top of a hill that must have been scraped of all topsoil by glaciers. This, like my soil on the top of the hill is mostly shale. Very stable, tough to garden, even tough to make a nice lawn.

I'm about forty miles east of the Mississippi River, black dirt and clay here. I grew up on a farm in the Susquehanna valley about 40 miles west of here, and the valley was awesome dark soil. Great for farming, most of the farms then were vegetable, primarily tomatoes.

Looks like it's going to be a fairly large home, how many square feet?
There is another foot print for a garage, not dug out for a basement, so this will be a large house. I'll count the studs and make an estimate on the various room sizes.

CCMoe
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