06:22PM | 09/26/06
Member Since: 09/11/06
1 lifetime posts
I have lots of questions.

I would like to build a poured concrete home that is hurricane proof, uses universal design principals and is energy efficient. Where can I get a list of reputable Poured Concrete home builders for Dade County?

How is a concrete home built above flood stage not using piers? My house now has a crawlspace with wood floors. I am one foot above a 100 year flood event.

With universal design principals the floor is suppose to be on the ground without steps but I have to build steps. Do the steps have to be built a certain way? What about the garage steps?

There are lots of things in my old house I would like to use in my new house. I have old brick in various areas of the house – can it be removed and reused or would that be too costly? What about reusing some of the sinks? I don’t want to reuse the oak floors but would like to sell them is that possible or would that be too costly?

Anyone one know about central vacuum cleaners and how well they work? I hope to install one in my new house.

Anyone know about how well some of the brands of impact windows work? I keep reading they are going to leak with the pressure from very bad hurricanes. Will the film between the glass deteriorate and get ugly after many years?

Does the main waste pipe still ran threw the middle of a house where the floor is covered in concrete and has to be dug up if something happens to the pipe like many older homes in my neighborhood had to do?

I am also curious how is the water line for the air conditioner done when there is a concrete floor? With a crawlspace it is run under the house to the outside at a certain angle. Nothing is going into the attic that has to do with air conditioning.

What about the vent for the dryer?

What is the difference with Mercedes formed poured concrete with molds that are removed and Homecrete’s poured into a permanent form? What about the way they do windows?

Also I don’t want baseboards in my new home. There was an article in a magazine a few months ago that explain how to get walls and floor flush but I don’t remember which magazine it was in. The article was about a couple who built a home without having to use baseboards. How can this be done?

Thanks everyone for your help. Curious


05:44AM | 10/19/06
Member Since: 10/17/06
12 lifetime posts
Let's go one at a time.

1)Most home builders are general contractors, meaning they hire subcontractors to perform all the work. They merely manage the trades and make sure everyone is doing their jobs correctly. On any given home you may have 40-50 different contractors. If you want poured walls, ask your builder if he can find one. There are plenty of them around. Make sure you research your builder first. The better your builder, the better the subs, the better the home.


05:49AM | 10/19/06
Member Since: 10/17/06
12 lifetime posts
Piers are used for several different reasons. In the case of your existing home, it appears that piers were used to raise the home above the 100year flood plain. If the grade of your new home is above the flood plain, piers would probably not be needed. Piers are sometimes used to go deeper into the earth to find sufficient bearing soil. All soils are different depending on location. Consult a geotechnical engineer to find out the soil conditions of your new home. As long as you have good soil conditions and are above flood plain, you should be able to just pour footers.


08:07PM | 11/09/06
Member Since: 11/09/06
6 lifetime posts
I am preparing to build my first home with my husband and we are very ecofriendly folk. While looking for a home that can be covered in dirt I found these neat buildings built using steel and shotcrete (?). The site is . I think this might be an option for you. They can be covered in dirt to insulate them, painted, put underground and so many other options. It is a very environmentally friendly way to go not to mention the safety of these buildings will far outdo any traditional building!

824 a cool option


08:19PM | 11/09/06
Member Since: 11/09/06
6 lifetime posts
Check out the FAQ section of the above given link. If you are worried about heating and cooling costs look into earth sheltered homes or bermed homes with passive heat. In most cases I have read you have no need for air conditioners and can use wood heating because the earth sheltered home will maintain an even temp after 5 years!


Additional links


05:12AM | 11/24/06
Member Since: 11/06/02
1280 lifetime posts
I'll give this a try

First, I don't think an eaarth sheltered house would be practical or even be able to get permitted on a beach in a floodplain.

The sheer number of questions you have im[plies that you need a home designer with experience in this type of work.

For universal design, you will have fill material to bring the base up to the proper elevation. Utilities are placed under the foundation slab before it is poured. Cleanouts are located appropriately. A very good plan is need3ed to be sure that these are located in the right place. Later changes are not impossible, but extremely expensive.

Ramping up to the floor level will make the entrance at the same elevation.

Two ways of doing the walls are with ICFs which are like foam lego blocks that are poured full of concrete and then stuccoed on the exterior, or thinshell concrete domes.

The idea of the laminated huirricane windows is to protect people and prop[erty in a hurricane, not to be still in perfect condition after one has passed.

Walls finished with no baseboards are more common in commercial work. Anygood contractor will know how to achieve this. I would recommend against it for a damp flood plain location though. Baseboards serve a very practical purpose and are not merely decorative.

hope some of this helps

Excellence is its own reward!

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