COMMUNITY FORUM

mlsemi

04:59AM | 02/23/07
Member Since: 11/12/06
5 lifetime posts
Chris

I know that some of the regions are protected territories, if not all. You may not have a choice of which dealer to use. No matter though, because the most reputable people can blunder and you can't afford a blunder ton the part of your home that every other part depends. to make sure that your foundation of any type goes well:

Have the engineering double checked at least for reasonability.

Hire a consultant who can and will objectively monitor the installation to make sure the specification is realized. a very good builder will do this for you as part of the service, but unfortunately most will not unless they are specifically required to. You should be able to hire an expert consultant or project manager for two days (1 day if the foundation is not large) for approx. $1000.00

As for the second part of your question about what to do in your case, I cannot make an intelligent response. Your written explanation is not clear to me and if I thought it was clear, the chances are too great that I could mislead you because of an unknown miscommunication. My recommendation is for you to go with the dealer if you know them to be reputable and buy some insurance with a professional who has allegiance to you. Your mind and body will thank you.

Have a look at the superior walls home that I built.
1369-which_superior_wall

home02

04:51PM | 02/23/07
Member Since: 08/26/05
8 lifetime posts
In my line of work (Public Construction) if the engineer changes the design after the contract is awarded and the orginal shop drawings are approved. Then the owner is held responsible of the cost overrun and or failure of the design. Not the Producer of the product or the contractor.

Secondly the superior wall system is design with Concrete having a Min compressive strength of 5000 PSI. Where as the min.concrete conpressive strength in building code standard for structural concrete in residential home is 3000 PSI.

The design compressive strength of the superior wall system being higher, superior walls system can build the wall thinner wall thickness.

But It also goes back to the builder or owner not informed on the building systems used or checking in the subcontractors.

truewbil

09:58AM | 02/26/07
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
Nothing is concrete.... but I think that when job changes result in an inadequate foundation (even if the homeowner signs off) it is the responsibility of the engineer to pick up on the impact of the changes to protect the customer. And it is the responsibility of the new builder to look at the foundation below any spots where severe load will rest. (Just for rule-of-thumb obvious stuff)

Almost every contractor seems to think he can place a big load anywhere on a Superior wall.

I have found that sill plate installers, modular home installers and construction crews are mostly oblivious to the Superior wall requirements and limitations(example: a garage attached after the co). They see a 8 inch wide concrete top on a "Superior wall" basement wall and assume they can lay anything they want on it because thats how they have been doing it for years.

Either that or they just really do not care...they get their money and run. I think the concept is great and I would personnaly use it because it will save money and I believe they work but I feel especially terrible for many young couples who try to do things themselves to save money and end up with nightmares

Glenn Good

08:08AM | 03/01/07
Member Since: 09/10/03
314 lifetime posts
There is a very huge reason that Superior Walls do not warrantee their product. That reason is they sell a franchise to other companies to sell and install their product. Therefore it becomes almost impossible for them to personally guarantee each and every installation is done properly.

The company you deal with when you purchase your foundation package is responsible for how the installation is done and guaranteeing it is done according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Unfortunately there are many contractors that do not follow all these recommended procedures when installing the product. They cut corners to save money or they just don’t bother following the manufactures recommendations and use the same techniques they have used over the years using various materials (and have always worked) unaware of the differences between the new, “engineered systems” (such as trusses and foundation wall systems like Superior Walls) and the older construction methods and materials. Unfortunately this leads to substandard installations and the inevitable failures you hear about. Superior Walls cannot warrantee their product when they can not control each and every installation.

Many companies are brokers that use sub-contractors to do their installations. This is not generally a problem until they use a sub-contractor they are not familiar with and ends up doing substandard work. This is a problem in the construction industry that is very difficult to control. While this subcontractor may not do many installations before their substandard wok becomes apparent the damage is already done.

The best way to insure you get a good job is by purchasing from a company that does all their work “in house” (using their own people), has a good and proven track record you can check on, has been in business for a reasonably long time, and provides you with an iron clad guarantee that meets your expectations. The research is up to you (the customer), and if you do not do the research on the company you are purchasing from, the end result will ultimately rest on your shoulders with no one else to blame.

I have been in construction for over 35 years and am now a certified, licensed home inspector with no ties to Superior Walls. I do not believe Superior Walls deserves a bad rap caused primarily by other individuals or companies that are improperly installing their product. I have seen both good and bad results from Superior Wall foundations. Almost every bad result I have seen was due to not following the proper procedures when installing the system, waterproofing, or backfilling against the walls. Cutting corners to save money is the real culprit. But that is no different that what can be said for most all other materials and systems I have seen and/or used over the years.

Glenn

Moderator: Construction Systems, Foundations, and Masonry & Stone

For more information about me, my qualifications, and/or home inspections please visit my website at:

www.consultationdirect.com

mmcintyre

02:27PM | 03/07/07
Member Since: 03/06/07
2 lifetime posts
I am preparing to build in South Jersey and have just started researching superior walls vs. poured. I have seen mention of issues with the different franchises, is there a way to investigate a specific franchise's past without contacting a franchise directly; the reason...I don't want them sending me to only their satisfied clients. My current plan is to utilize the franchise out of Vineland.

Wezzee

01:37PM | 11/26/07
Member Since: 11/25/07
1 lifetime posts
Just to give you a piece of mind about the bulging between the studs on the superior walls precast foundation, it is common on the superior walls system and causes no problems structurally... The Dow styrofoam is used or acts as a part of the form to keep the concrete from breaking through and falling on to the floor during the pouring of the concrete. In some cases, the concrete weight will sag the styrofoam between the concrete studs. Once the concrete cures, the Superior Walls will hold the form of a bulg. If any thing be happy, cause there is more concrete in those areas. Again, often times we think of the world as a perfect place, and nothing in this world is perfect. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions about the bulging...

mmcintyre

02:00PM | 11/26/07
Member Since: 03/06/07
2 lifetime posts
We have already begun construction and have gone with the superior walls product. I went with the 10'ft walls to facilitate a full floor basement. We did have some minor issues during the construction (mission footer for lolly column and a misplaced garage door ht) but overall are very happy with the end result. The walls a very smooth which is a benefit since we have a walkout basement and will be stuccoing the exterior. So far, we would recommend this product to other builders.

D4Engineering

11:17AM | 04/23/08
Member Since: 04/22/08
1 lifetime posts
I am building a 5000 sq ft house using superior walls. There are numerous houses in my neighborhood that used superior walls(some of them well over $1 million) and most of the builders like them. You cant make a superior wall foundation like you would a regular foundation. I am an engineer, as well as my brother and father and I can tell you, concrete does not bow. It breaks. If you see concrete that is not flat, it was poured that way or it is cracked and the rebar is holding it together. If this was the case, you would have more than a leak in your basement, you would have a small stream. I am a little skeptical but in theory, it is a great system. After all, what do train tracks use for their foundation. Gravel. I am noticing that all these posts are from northeast. I am in the Raleigh, NC area. Sounds like there are some shady contractors up there. I have put alot of thought into the topic and the selling factor is, better R-value, 5000 psi concrete(impenetrable by water unless there is a crack), and cheaper than a poured wall. I am using reinforced block for my garage b/c of amount of fill needed.

molder101

11:16AM | 06/19/08
Member Since: 06/17/08
5 lifetime posts
That's my cousin that owns the Millville plant. I appreciate all the comments and the fact is nothing is going to work 100%, 100% of the time. As with anything there is the potential for problems. Everyone has made good comments. It's important that you have someone that knows what they are doing each step of the way. If the basement was not dug right you could have trouble. If the stone was not compacted you could have a problem. You want to make sure that you dot your I's and cross your T's. Afterall it's much easier to fix something before it's finished than after. Superior is good stuff but it's not always for everyone. Make sure you look into all your options before making a final decision. BTW, another great product is Logix ICF which is essentially formed poured concrete.
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