Basement Material

glamppaJune 29, 2013

New home construction is starting in a few weeks. Looking for opinions on going with a block or icf 9' foundation. It's a 2 story home in Northern, MN. I've been researching it a lot and still have trouble making a decision.

Thanks for any feedback.

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If you can't reach the same R Value with block plus insulation as you can with ICF, but for thousands of dollars less, I'd be amazed. Poured walls, it is often pointed out, have more lateral strength than unit masonry walls. But so what, as long as proper backfilling practices are followed?

I've built with block and poured and prefer poured because of the speed of construction and the paucity of skilled blocklayers.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 10:58AM
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Thanks for the info. You are correct because the block quotes have been a couple of thousand less in each case.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 11:45AM
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How does this look? What would you choose with these options?



We propose the following labor and material to:
1. Form, pour and finish 12â X 24â continuous footing with 2 #5 (5/8âÂÂ) rebar .#4 (1/2âÂÂ)vertical rebar 24â on center for wall to footing tie-ins. Vertical bar to be 30â in length with 6â tails.
2. Form / Erect 10â lite form foundation (r-28) with 8â and 9â ceiling heights respectively. Walls to have #4 (1/2âÂÂ) rebar 24â on center each way.
3. The garage walls to be 6âÂÂ- 8â (5âÂÂ-8âÂÂâÂÂburied and 12â exposed. The garage walls to be 8â thick lite form.
4. Pour and finish 1257 square ft. x 4â basement floor with hydronic (hot water) heat piping.
5. Pour and finish 506 square ft. x 5â garage floor with hydronic heating and #4 (1/2âÂÂ) rebar 24â on center each way.
6. The front and rear porches to be supported by 5 ��" 12â x 8â (7â buried) 16â x 16â concrete columns. Columns to have 4 #5 (5/8âÂÂ) vertical rebar with #3 (3/8âÂÂ) stirrups 12â on center.

Please keep in mind your mortgage will be fixed. The only variables are energy costs. The lite form foundation will keep heating and cooling costs down. This system will save an incredible amount over time. If you move forward you can take your r-factors of a block basement versus the lite form foundation and find the savings. It will truly amaze you the difference not to mention the comfort over the years.
Estimated Costs on 8âÂÂlite form foundation - $40,000.00
Estimated costs on 9â lite form foundation - $42,000.00
Masonry 12â (12â block) core filled 24â on center x 8â - $36,000.00
8â Walk-out $40,000.00
Masonry 9â high basement- $37,000.00
9â Walk-out $41,000.00

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 10:08PM
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Costs are extremely local. So I can only say that in my area, the Toronto GTA, such a small difference between block and ICF would be highly unusual. I would instantly suspect that the block price was exaggerated in order to push me towards the ICF. If the difference were so slight here, ICF would not be so unusual. Also, I don't see why you are quoted on 12" blocks. I have used 10" block on even ten foot walls; it all depends on how much is abovegrade and what reinforcement is specified.

The International Energy Conservation Code 2012 calls for a minimum R19 or R15 continuous in basement walls in your climate.

If you're using hydronic heating, specify foam board under the concrete, otherwise you might end up with next to useless bubble insulation. A Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation study showed foil-faced bubble pack achieving .40 RSI, similar to no insulation and well below Canadian Code minimums.

This post was edited by worthy on Tue, Jul 2, 13 at 8:48

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 6:34AM
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I appreciate your feedback. Thanks!!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 10:08AM
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