Precast concrete foundation walls - which company?

palmcityflMarch 23, 2010

I'm building a house in western NC with Deltec homes which builds a round house using panelized construction. Deltec recomended using a precast foundation which matches their construction method of building wall panels in a factory. Superior Walls was recommended by Deltec. I've since found another company, Ideal Foundations. Both erect insulated concrete panels over a crushed stone foundation. Another company, International Precast of Siler City, NC, offers insulated concrete panels that are secured to concrete footings. My mountain lot is moderately sloped. Anyone have experience with precast foundations from these companies?

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bus_driver

Don't know about any except Superior Walls. I have Superior Walls. Great product. Would definitely use again. Some of the business practices of Superior Walls are not to my liking, but they do not affect the quality of the product. Every contractor on site MUST follow the book for the foundation system. YOU, home owner, get the builder booklet for the system and YOU make sure everyone follows it exactly. Most of the subs will never read the book or will cut corners. YOU will live with the results.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 9:23PM
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palmcityfl

Estimate from Superior Walls for 160 LF foundation walls at 10' height is $17,000. That's about $10 per square foot. International Precast estimate is $14,400, about $9 per square foot. All are installed prices. What should I expect to pay for ICF foundation walls?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 9:33AM
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bio-modified

Wow, I have heard horror stories of these leaking. Maybe the systems have improved but I would not consider anything except poured concrete myself. Anywhere where you have seams, lay a possibility of leaks.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 11:17PM
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palmcityfl

I've spoke with several contractors since I placed this post - all highly recommend Superior Walls. Deltec Homes also recommends Superior Walls for their circular houses. I'll post again with my impressions after I meet with their sales rep and grading contractor.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 12:47PM
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manhattan42

Superior Walls foundations are 3rd party certified by independent testing labs.

Many other pre-cast foundation systems are not.

It can be a problem getting other than Superior Walls foundation systems approved by your local building authority these days, because building codes now require only listed, certified foundations systems for use in construction.

It costs a lot of money (sometimes millions) to get testing labs to test and certified engineered products, one reason why some foundation companies simply don't get them tested.

Before you decide, you may want to check with your local building code office to see if they will approve other than Superior Walls.

In my region, there are several competitors to Superior Walls, none of which are 3rd party listed and as of January 1, 2010 can no longer be installed in new homes until they are 3rd party certified.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 5:47AM
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jollyrd

we have Superior Walls full size basement, 2000 sq ft, installed summer 2007. Zero leak. Great product, all walls are insulated, studs are ready for finishing - you have whole in each stud - top and bottom - for utility lines. We started to finish it and love it every day.
The problems were minor at the design stage, make sure to triple check the dimensions of upper part of the house, make sure you tell them where you want the door and window openings. We have a walk out basement.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 12:18PM
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anthony_rod02_gmail_com

i have superior walls and they leak i would not recommend them. i have water in my basement after every heavy rain. i was told the french tiles were not install correctly. again this is coming from superior walls. if i had to do over i would used poured concrete.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 2:01PM
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DRKRUNK

@Anthony.Rod I GUARANTEE that you either don't have Superior walls, or they were installed or backfilled improperly. Superior Wall is warranted not to leak - I've done dozens of projects with them and zero water problems. If they are set and backfilled with clean granular material the way they're supposed to be, and if you have positive drainage - there is simply no way they can leak.

That said - if you have water standing around ANY foundation type you're going to have water problems inside the structure. A foundation is NOT a fish tank. If they told you the french drain is incorrectly installed -believe it and fix it because that in fact IS your problem. But stop posting that the wall system is to blame - I assure you it is NOT.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:58AM
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DRKRUNK

@Bio-Modified
Untrue. Poured walls will also leak. If there is water next to the foundation - you're going to have a wet basement, period. The difference is the Superior Wall system controls all the joints...A poured wall just cracks randomly and therefore has to be separately waterproofed. You can also use any exterior waterproofing system you'd use on a poured wall on Superior Walls if you want a belt and suspenders protection - but because the panels are 5000psi concrete they are impervious to moisture and that is normally unnecessary. The joints are double-sealed with a very high grade urethane sealant. The only "horror stories" I've ever seen or heard re: any of the pre-cast systems is when they are improperly backfilled and/or do not have drainage installed correctly. As long as the space around the foundation can freely drain- the basement WILL be dry.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 1:18AM
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bus_driver

I have Superior Walls. Mine are 10 feet high. Now about 9 years old. No water intrusion at all. I do have great drainage around the walls. I did not use any supplemental water proofing but probably would if it was to do over again. I do have to run dehumidifiers to keep the relative humidity at about 50%. They collect about two gallons per day. If the water proofing had been done, I suspect that the humidity levels would be easier to control due to slower moisture transfer through the concrete. But I am quite pleased as it is.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 6:25PM
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