Latest Discussions : Miscellaneous

Ron375

10:54AM | 08/05/02
Member Since: 08/04/02
2 lifetime posts
My wife & I just built a new modular home last october. The problem we are having is with the basement. The basement walls are Superior Walls. The basement floor has over 25 cracks in it and the superior walls have 18 cracks as of now. My builder claims this is all normal but I disagree and other contractors and cement experts disagree also. I found out the floor was poured on #1 limestone gravel, wasn't compressed and has no vapor barrier under it. I am starting to get black mold on my stairs leading to upstairs and on my floor joists. The builder will not admit to any wrong doing. The subcontractor that pour the floor is a friend of mine and told me about the shortcuts that were taken with the basements. We have an appointment next week with an attorney to see what needs to be done. I do have someone coming tomorrow to look at the problems and give me an estimate of what needs to be done. I would also like to hear from anyone else that may have some comments on this issue. I am located in Pennsylvania.

GlennG

01:33PM | 08/05/02
The proper procedure to pour a basement floor is this:

1. A base of 4” of #57 or #67 washed stone should be placed over a compacted sub-grade.
2. A 6-mil polyethylene vapor barrier should be placed over the stone and all holes and seams should be taped or sealed.
3. Welded wire fabric (reinforcement wire) should be placed with a 6” minimum overlap at all seams.
4. The concrete should be 4” thick and poured at a 4” maximum slump, pulling the reinforcement wire up into the concrete as it is placed.
5. After the concrete is finished it should be protected with a moisture retaining cover, or chemical curing compound to maintain as much moisture as possible for a minimum of 14 days.

Not following the procedure above will result in excessive cracking. The superior walls should not have a cracking problem either. I would also suggest you contact Superior Walls and tell them about your problem. If the builder did not follow all the manufacturers recommended procedures during the installation he should be liable for these repairs. If he did follow all the proper procedures Superior Walls should make the repairs under their warrantee.

Glenn

Ron375

02:12AM | 08/06/02
Member Since: 08/04/02
2 lifetime posts
Thanks for the reply Glenn. After the basement was dug out. they dumped #1 limestone in and when superior walls got there, they packed down the gravel where the walls sit. The rest of the gravel was not packed at all. There was no vapor barrier or wire mesh laid down. The cement was poured on top of the loose gravel. The cement subcontractor did say the floor is 6" thick. There was no cover or chemical curing compound put on either. I did have the rep from Superior Walls come down and he claims the cracks are all normal. Too many shortcuts were taken on this basement. I have someone coming today to look at the problem and give me full details of what to do to fix it and how much it will cost. Then I have an appointment with my attorney. I have been told by others that this floor will need to come out and re-poured.

GlennG

01:36PM | 08/06/02
The thickness of the concrete is of no help at all if there is no reinforcement wire or steel in the concrete. The only substitute for steel reinforcement is to have fibers added to the concrete at the plant. You are correct, the only way at this point to repair it is to replace it.

Glenn

MarvinT

07:21AM | 06/27/04
Member Since: 06/26/04
2 lifetime posts
I have a new home with Superior Walls. I am curious as the outcome of your complaints.

realjewel

11:29AM | 08/10/04
Member Since: 08/09/04
1 lifetime posts
We are getting ready to contract for Superior Walls with a company in Ephrata PA.

I am very interested in knowing who installed your precast walls. Were the problems resolved to your satisfaction?

Carol

wstagner

06:16AM | 02/25/05
Member Since: 02/24/05
2 lifetime posts
Hi Carol....it's probably too late for you but before you use Superior Walls, as the local franchisee WHO the 15 year warranty is with. We made the mistake of using Superior Walls on a 2800 sq ft ranch house in Jan of 2004 and so far we regret it. No one can figure out how the water is getting into segments of the foundation. The Local Franchisee here in Yorkville IL area has since gone out of business leaving us and our builder "holding the bag."

There's no mention of warranty details on http://www.superiorwalls.com.

We called the main office in PA and we were informed they have NO responsibility for the warranty....is up to the franchisee. After initial contact a Mr. Hawthorne was unresponsive to several phone calls.

I've also contacted Bob Villa via this web site and got no reply. I'd like to think that if Bob were aware of the warranty details, he might not be so embracing of the Superior Walls foundation.

I'm not looking to sue anyone, I just want a dry basement and thus far this is not the case. I will update this thread if anything changes.

Kymberly

05:17AM | 03/08/05
Member Since: 03/07/05
2 lifetime posts
my husband and I moved into our modular house with superior walls 2 weeks ago. we have several horizontal cracks 2 feet below grade that are leaking and 30+ vertical cracks. we also have black mold growing on most of the 2x4 studs. they are in the process of ripping off all of the insulation, testing the mold and the concrete.

wstagner

06:11AM | 03/08/05
Member Since: 02/24/05
2 lifetime posts
Please keep us posted on your progress. Are you getting cooperation from the company? We and our builder is left "holding the bag" since the local franchisee went out of business.

I think Bob Villa should get involved and stop recommending this product by virtue of their advertising.

Our basement floor has numerous fissure cracks that are widening.


Kymberly

04:54AM | 03/10/05
Member Since: 03/07/05
2 lifetime posts
We are waiting for engineers from Superior Wall of America and Superior Wall of Hudson County (who made the walls)to give their report. The franchisee has been very helpful so far in trying to coorindate everyting. I will update on the result.

EagleRock198

08:51AM | 09/03/05
Member Since: 09/02/05
1 lifetime posts
Hi! We're thinking of using Superior Wall for my basement's foundation. Does anyone have any success or nightmare stories on this product. I am wondering if the manufacturer corrected the cracking problem that some people reported.

Thanks,

Mike.

truewbil

08:59AM | 04/10/06
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
I dont know about Superior walls corporate...I have had to deal with the PA and outher NJ dealer...whew...

I will let you know how well they respond to problems because their dealer is a typical contrator type. The first time we dealt with him, he kept saying "(expletives deleted)sue me, sue me, I'm not fixing anything (that was for incorrect wall heights at the stair entrance)". Now the walls under 4 of the basement windows bulge in 1.5 inches between the concrete studs... We'll see if they do anything about it. I think we will be getting an attorney soon

Bill- New Jersey

truewbil

04:51PM | 05/20/06
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
At our Home (2500Sq ft 2 story, we put in superior walls in Southern NJ. The walls bulge in 1.5 inches between the verticale studs below each basement window. Some other wall sections bulge in as well. I am sure a 1 1/2 inch bulge over 24 inches is bad with concrete but it doesnt leak yet. Superior walls wont come out to look at the problems. They are terrible to deal with

truewbil

04:54PM | 05/20/06
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
The first 5-6 calls, they denied responsibility for our bulging superior walls. Now they just dont answer the phone. We called another Superior walls supplier and they raved about warranty but when I asked what to do if there is a problem and you need to go over the local suppliers head, they hung up...

newmidwest

10:00AM | 08/26/06
Member Since: 08/25/06
1 lifetime posts
I would like to know if anyone has found out what causes the slight bulging in some sections of Superior Walls and whether it is merely cosmetic or if it represents a structural flaw/problem. If it is a structural flaw that can lead to problems, what is the fix/resolution?

home02

06:04PM | 08/31/06
Member Since: 08/26/05
8 lifetime posts
Our present is two (2) years old. We used the Superior Wall foundation system and have experiance no problems with it. No Buldges or Cracks.

I think some of the reason's we have experaince no problems are due to 1) Backfilling of the foundation was started and completed once the basement floor and first floor deck were installed. 2) The exterior walls were waterproofed with the Tuff-n-Dry System(System we used has the one (1) insulation/drainboard installed) 3) The footer tiles are wrapped in filter fabric to prevent soil infiltation as well as one foot of 3/4 inch aggregate placed on top of the footer tiles and against the drain, then cover with a filter fabric material to promote postive drainage and reduce hydrostatic pressure against the walls.4) Finally the entire superior walls system rests on top of 12 to 14 inches of compacted No. 3/8 inch and 3/4 inch washed aggregate for postive drainage and reduced hydrostatic pressure under the basement floor and at the base of the foundation walls. The extra expense of waterproofing the walls, wrapping the footer tiles in the filter material and additional compacted aggregate for the footer system has been well worth it.

I would and have recommonded Superior Walls to anyone building a new home.

truewbil

01:47PM | 09/07/06
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
Our install was very similiar afa waterproofing, foundation, use of agregate, fabric and power compression prior to install of the walls. We put the 10 foot basement walls in before the floor tho.... Superior Walls informed me that bulging walls are very common with Superior Walls and that they don't necessarily mean there is a problem. They also are adament that warranty problems are the responsibility of your local rep or cement maker and if they go out of business or refuse to help, you are screwed... There is NO NATIONWIDE WARRANTY. When our local Superior Walls rep cut the lintel above the windows it caused a series of other troubles. I am so glad someone had a good install. Enjoy it

mlsemi

10:16AM | 11/13/06
Member Since: 11/12/06
5 lifetime posts
calm down and stop looking for problems that aren't there. i have seen bulging from when the form (styrofoam) flexed during production. concrete doesn't stretch. think about it. if you still want to believe you have a major problem, then cut the foam away from the bulge and check for cracks. if there are no cracks, then the bulge is there from production and nothing to worry about.

i am a master builder with no vested interest in superior walls.

mlsemi

10:39AM | 11/13/06
Member Since: 11/12/06
5 lifetime posts
Would Mcdonalds comne out if one restaurant sold you a bad meal?

if your *site conditions* caused your walls to bulge and not break or leak then the superior system must be very good. there are a lot of factors that can act on a foundation. any lateral movement would be due to site conditions beyond what is considerered to act on a foundation unless your builder alerts the foundation company to extenuating circumstances.

superior walls are engineered to resist typical forces that act on a foundation. the engineering shows that the system will withstand the forces actiong on it better thatn a block foundation. if you have problems now, they would be worse if you used block. of course this is valid as long as the system was installed properly and there were no improper alterations made.

many building type companies do not respond to frantic claims that are obviously unfounded because anything you say can be yused against you in a court of law. the unfortuante fact is if y ou get any case into court, some amount will get paid no mattrer what.


LicensedWaterproofer

09:30PM | 11/14/06
Member Since: 03/05/04
301 lifetime posts


MOST likely, the reason(s) a basement wall can crack-leak-bow is from one OR more of following---

1) the SOIL that was used as Backfill against the outside of the wall settled/compacted which causes a spring-like lateral force against the way and caused the wall to crack-leak-begin to bow inward. Most builders use the SAME soil that was excavated to backfill, a few will use a LITTLE gravel-peastone BUT, still backfill w/mostly the same soil which was excavated.

2) the backhoe/equipment operator didn`t know and/or didn`t use any-enough CARE when backfilling heavy/large amounts of same soil against newly built walls. Walls where steel reinforcing rods were NOT used or sometimes, bsmt floor was NOT poured/installed and they still backfilled. Thing about using heavy equipment ALONE is that the WEIGHT of the equipement itself, when operated near/along basement walls can/could cause a wall to crack/bow.

3) the soil that was used for backfill finally got its first few soaking/rain and its always possible that, when clay is used as backfill against bsmt walls it, expands when it gets wet and then, contracts. THIS kind of Lateral-SOIL-PRESSURE OFTEN causes new/old wall(s) to crack,leak,bow inwards.

4) Tree ROOTS, roots can grow along/against outside of basement walls and certainly could cause a crack, leak, help push a wall inward.

5) some cracks/leaks can be caused from underground vibrations, again, from heavy equipment being operated close by, like in the street or even from house being close to a highway, yup.

Don`t believe me, fine...read this...

http://www.bobvila.com/HowTo_Library/Why-Foundations_Fail-Foundation-A2095.html

take time and read it....

for instance, see --Compaction-- 2nd para

"The problem is that the PRESSURE from the compacting process gets transmitted THROUGH the Soil to the WALL. Basement walls have been known to CRACK or fall over while earth is being dumped against them OR,compacted around them; so foundations should ALWAYS be BRACED BEFORE Backfilling.

AFTER compaction, SOIL is under compression like a spring and CONTINUE`s to PUSH Against the foundation as it tried to expand.......in practice sands and gravels densify or compact more readily than silts or clays, creating LESS of this springlike FORCE--one more GOOD reason to use them for backfilling!!!!

--Careful On Construction Site--

"When there`s a heavy load on the ground next to a foundation, some of the PRESSURE is transferred to the WALL.During construction, bulldozers and trucks that come near a basement wall can add enough surcharge Pressure to damage the wall. A NEW building being built next to an existing basement can also INCREASE the Underground PRESSURE and DAMAGE the EXISTING foundation..."

Got milk?


LicensedWaterproofer

09:36PM | 11/14/06
Member Since: 03/05/04
301 lifetime posts


http://www.bobvila.com/HowTo_Library/Why_Foundations_Fail-Foundation-A2095.html

ceksnoopy

06:35PM | 02/17/07
Member Since: 02/16/07
2 lifetime posts
We are building a home on the lake in south carolina. We have to build up 4.5 to 5 ft to be above the flood zone. So we decide to build up 10 feet so that we could use that space under the house garge and shop etc. I almost decided to use superior walls however after reading some of these post has me thinking other wise. What kind of basement would you use knowing all the pros and cons of each system. And for fyi purposes how much experience do you have years and if any with superior walls.

thanks Chris

truewbil

03:27AM | 02/19/07
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
1. Superior walls DOES NOT WARRANTY their product. The Cement Company is responsible for the product.

2. It took over 1 year for Superior Walls to acknowledge this.

3. Superior Walls says that the Bulging is USUALLY caused by the lack of support beams used when the concrete is poured. They are support the wall from below but (especially at windows) they often dont support the wall. They claim it is normal and that your walls are actually thicker in those spots...they also claim that concrete DOES flex.

4. The installer who did our house cut the lentils above the basement windows to prevent the windows from cracking. Thats OK with poured foundations but it is apparently a significant problem with superior walls because they have little "fudge factor" (I think of it as a truss vs stick built kind of thing).

5. Superior Walls STILL has not sent anyone out to look at the basement after 1 1/2 years and there are SUPERIOR WALLS foundations sitting bare without houses ever placed that have problems in South-Central NJ due to INSTALLER/CONCRETE issues.

6. SUPERIOR WALLS Sells a concept. They do not control or provide warranty. You need to have faith in locals for warranty and they can go in and out of business overnight---so much for a warranty

truewbil

03:30AM | 02/19/07
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
Would McDonalds come out to investigate if a franchise was serving defective hamburgers. YOU BETTER BELEIVE IT!

truewbil

03:39AM | 02/19/07
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
It may be that placing a concrete patio along the house caused weight that led to the basement walls flexing inward according to SUPERIOR WALLS.

With SUPERIOR WALLS, you have to block a minimum of a 4 foot by 4 foot section in each corner of the home and the placement of sill plate seams is crucial or the walls can fail. Also, the taller the basement, the more likely a SUPERIOR wall will fail.

home02

05:31PM | 02/19/07
Member Since: 08/26/05
8 lifetime posts
As I posted before We have experiance no problems with our Superior Wall Basement.

The Local Franchise we dealt with Was Superior Walls of Ohio. They have been great,The Local Sale Rep. even made a follow-up Call a year later to see if we were still pleased with the product.

I can say our builder had plenty of experiance with the superior wall product and Installed the proper blocking, foundation drainage system and backfilling as per Superior Walls of Ohio specifications.

I question I have to ask is: Was the basement floor concrete placed after the first floor decking installed and before backfilling? Otherwise that could cause problems later as per Superior Walls of Ohio Specifications.

One last point I would use a precast basement wall system over a cast in place basement wall system because the consistency of concrete mix remains the same throught the pour and the concrete forms remain in place until the concrete has cured out enought to remove the forms without any damage to the concrete mix. Which does not always happen with a field constructed and placed concrete basement wall system.

truewbil

03:31AM | 02/20/07
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
We placed a modular home onto the superior walls. As far as poured vs superior walls, I think the concept is good but the SUPERIOR WALLS people have NO control over the concrete company or the Wall installer. In our case, the problem was with the installer. To prevent law suits, HE CLOSED HIS BUSINESS SO WE HAVE NO WARRANTY!!! (incidentally, within 2 months he installed superior walls in the home across the street under a different company name...a true insult to us...)

truewbil

03:35AM | 02/20/07
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
SUPERIOR WALLS claims it is due to sagging of the insulation foam during pouring of the concrete. They are poured on "layed down" over the foam. It makes some sense. REM: SUPERIOR WALLS takes no responsibility for the quality of concrete used or for the installer. They do not warranty their products!

truewbil

03:39AM | 02/20/07
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
Consider this...(no matter what caused the problem....)

If your basement walls develope cracks and begin to break, would you rather have a "superior" cement wall 1.5 inchs thick resting on gravel; or a 6 inch thick poured cement wall that actually sits on a footing?

home02

02:49PM | 02/20/07
Member Since: 08/26/05
8 lifetime posts
I all I can Say I'm Sorry to hear Your experiances with Superior Walls is horrible!!

In the Toledo, Ohio area which we reside, Superior Walls of Ohio manufactured the basement walls and also set the walls in Place.

One last thing in the 29 plus years of Highway construction and Engineering I Have Yet to see a POURED CEMENT WALL.

truewbil

03:17AM | 02/21/07
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
I should has elusidated... 1.5 inch versus 6 to 8 inches. I would rather have 8 inches.

I bet you will find that Superior Walls of Toledo isnt really SUPERIOR WALLS CORP. There is a BIG difference

mlsemi

02:17PM | 02/22/07
Member Since: 11/12/06
5 lifetime posts
Truewbil, as you well know the integrity of the superior wall system is based on the 1.75" skin AND the studs that are 5" thick - together AND the steel reinforcing. The walls and andy concrete can flex but do NOT stretch (to the point that your claims could be true). The bowing that you have been whining about exceeds the properties of concrete. You have been crying and spewing hatred for months about something that has absolutely no effect (negative or positive) on your home. What qualifications do you have to support your assumed expertise; your statements show that you do not understand the concept of the system which the science of engineering continues to validate. To get some understanding, answer this question: what does the poured wall footing sit on? The answer may wake you up. You sound like a bitter old woman who has buyers remorse. Have some intellectual honesty and find something productive to do.

mlsemi

03:30PM | 02/22/07
Member Since: 11/12/06
5 lifetime posts
Chris

Any building project cannot be better than the people that produce it, no matter what the system used is. All the common systems (block with reinforcing, poured, superior, general precast)will work well in your case if the proper measures are taken to account for the out of the ordinary forces that may be present in YOUR scenario. Garage door width openings require reinforced headers, fluid ground or high wind load areas require lateral resistence when most foundations only consider compressive resistence (vertical), etc.

The superior walls system is a clever feat of engineering - it needs to be produced by competent and conscientious people; and the installation has to be by the book.

In your case, since you want to rise up ten feet off the ground, and subject to horizontal wind load and accidental collision, you should have the any system engineered for your specific application (500.00 - 1000.00 dollars). Then you must make sure you get good people to follow the engineer's spec. Keep in mind that the taller a wall gets, the less inherent stability it will have.

If it was my property, I would look to use a 10' superior wall bolted to a 4' superior wall burried underneath it. A good superior wall dealer can do the engineering for your specific needs.

I hold a professional degree in architecture, have been building for 22 years, I have used the superior wall system in two large homes - 10' tall on slopes, and one standard 8' tall. There are no problems with any. I evaluated all factors before building. For example, both homes that are on slopes are over 100' wide and I placed the 4 foot wall under the 10 foot wall in the back to anchor it and to frost protect it. All my systems have the bulges in places (it is not a problem). Look at the bulged sections before the back fill and you will see that the skin side is not bulged.

I hope this helps

ceksnoopy

04:19PM | 02/22/07
Member Since: 02/16/07
2 lifetime posts
I have asked many people about superior walls in my area and all say it is a great product. My next question does it matter who i get superior in nc or sc. is there a difference between plant that make the superior walls or should I get the best product for any one plant. We are thinking about going down 3 or 4 feet down and the front side to the river will be down 3 to 4 feet but the side to the drive way will be full 10 feet exposed but the 3 sides will be under. What would you suggest in this case. Thanks Chris

truewbil

03:27AM | 02/23/07
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
EXCELLENT POST!

I have 2 engineering Degrees myself. Regis College of Denver and From Trenton State. The problems I have seen are absolutely install and concrete company related. The "System" is great in theory

I believe a bad installer of a block wall can still mak wall that wont collapse but a bad installer of a superior wall can cause much more serious damage.

When the superior wall installer made the garage wall system, he had no extra reinforcement between garage door bays. The garage door headers send all their weight down between the doors. The entire weight of the building sat on a sill plate and 1.5 inch of concrete wall. I had to dig it out, scratch out the foam and fill the area with concrete or risk a collapse. I was not involved until a fews weeks after the walls were installed so I never saw the plans...

truewbil

03:36AM | 02/23/07
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
I heartily recommend you have an engineer carefully look over the plans and wall design unless you have experience with building stress. Garage door openings, corners, basement openings, window lentils and seams are all potentially dangerous areas in a structure because of the down and sideways loads. The installer often has no idea what home or building is going to sit on their basement walls so the engineer has to follow the building pressure points down through the basement walls to the earth to make sure everything is safe for the homeowner.

truewbil

04:00AM | 02/23/07
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
I did not ever buy or have a superior wall personally. I know of them because of problems individuals encountered and then asked me to investigate. The things I have seen led me to believe that in numerous cases (especially southern NJ)there is a disconnect between superior wall producer, wall installer, home contractor and archetect. And the homeowners have no idea that "Superior Walls" does not warranty the product. EXAMPLE I have seen: The homeowner and Archetect change a section of their home from a truss to stick built roof AFTER the original plans went to the superior walls fabricator. The archetect changes the forces but he/she does not realise the superior wall may now collapse. ...and the installer/fabricator responsible simply closes his business and reopens another name leaving a homeowner stuck with no recourse. I hope it never happens to you.

Please behave professionally going forward.

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.

swncinstaller

04:35AM | 01/29/09
Member Since: 01/28/09
1 lifetime posts
Superior walls is like anything else if you dont install it properly and follow Superior Walls guidlines you are going to have problems. I would suggest not only making sure your installation of the walls is done correctly but also make sure your builder is able to understand and adhere to the superior walls guidlines .I have but a certified installer for over ten years and done poured inplace before that and superior walls is far more superior to poured walls if done properly .The guidlines are published for a reason and if they are ignored then you are just asking for problems .The franchise i work for install foundations every day and have been doing business for 12 years .We stand behind our product and have a well trained staff. to see pics of some of my install visit this link http://www.myspace.com/superiorwalls. My crew prides there selves in proper installation and it shows in our work

"Build Your Dreams on us!!"

truewbil

07:34AM | 01/29/09
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
I believe Superior walls should stamp/mold some of the critical install points onto their product. Once its installed, years go by and other projects get attached (and from the outside, the installer has no idea that the load may place the wall in jeopardy)... To him, he's just putting a load onto a sill plate... He didnt bid-or-plan to do foundation redesign work...

expinstaller

09:28AM | 06/13/09
Member Since: 06/12/09
1 lifetime posts
not having all the info you need is the problem .i think if you are going to use superior walls or any type of concrete foundation you need to have a person that is not affiliated with the company doing the install to ensure it is done properly .the most common problems with Superior walls is a improper install or not following proper guidlines.this usuallt falls to the contractor but if he dont know then how will he know it wrong. lot of peeps dont like the sealing process but if done properly it is fail safe .companys trying to save money might scimp on proper applying procedures wich allow leaks .HIRE SOMEONE WHO KNOWS DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY BY NOT KNOWING!!!!

SWAFOR20

05:04AM | 06/16/09
Member Since: 06/15/09
1 lifetime posts
As an employee of a Superior Wall manufacturer I know just how important it is that the manufacturers instructions are followed. Our company gives the instructions to the builder and requires a signature that they received the instructions and are going to read them. It is also in the contract that they will follow the Builders Procedure Book. This Book of instuctions is given to the contractor at time of order and also put onsite by the installation crew with a sticker placed on the wall above where it is placed stating "STOP read instructions below". Our franchise is willing to be at the site during the installtion of the floor system and inspect the foundation prior to backfill for a first/second time user or until the builder is comfortable with the procedure. Unfortunately we as a producer/installer also have to depend on the builder for the type and how the walls are backfilled, how the floor system is conected, and the stability of the soil that the construction is built on. Superior Wall is no different from anything else you buy. If you don't follow the instructions during assembly they will not perform as well as they should.

a229180b

05:06AM | 12/04/09
Member Since: 12/03/09
1 lifetime posts
Hi,

We have a big oak tree close to the

house and a bowing-in cinder

block wall in the basement with a

long 1/4"-wide horizontal crack in it.

Outside, next to the cinder

block wall, there is a concrete wall

supporting the bricks. The tree is 3 feet away from the corner of the house.

The house stands on top of the hill, the foundation wall is about 9' tall,

so the foundation itself is deep

under the ground level at this side

of the house. There are no cracks in the bricks at all. The house is 40

years old. We had no water leaks

and the basement is dry.

Could you explain in what way do the

roots contribute to the problem?

Can they put enough pressure from the outside to make the foundation wall bow in? Doesn't the concrete outside

wall protect the foundation cinder block wall from that?

We may need to cut the tree down, but

it is likely to cost us a lot, so

I would like to understand more before

I make a decision about the tree.

What ways of solving the crack

problem would you recommend?

Thanks a lot, your help is greatly

appreciated!

Sincerely,

Alex

truewbil

05:39AM | 12/07/09
Member Since: 04/09/06
17 lifetime posts
I know that many manufacturers & franchise companies insist that their vendors follow guidelines. Superior walls may well get a sign off. The difference is that McDonalds will take "real action" to stop a bad franchise. I have never seen an instance when Superior walls took steps against a bad supplier. They should try to protect the end user by refusing to work with with suppliers who provide inferior workmanship. I believe it would be in their best interest in the long run. There are foundations without homes on them in south Jersey...

jeremypogue

06:44AM | 05/13/10
Member Since: 05/12/10
4 lifetime posts
Our problem with superior walls is the local franchise that is partnered with superior walls didn't install our walls properly. We had to completely stop the build and have been fighting with them and their insurance company now for almost 8 months. Still nothing is resolved as of today. I have a lot of pictures and more info on the build website. http://www.projectpogue.com At this point we can't even put a $$ figure on what this has cost us.
1560 our superior walls i

glendamae1

02:06PM | 06/21/10
Member Since: 06/20/10
2 lifetime posts
our house is 5 years old and the basement wall and garage floor that connects with the wall are both cracking and bowing. How can this be?

it wasn't cracked until this year.

bluewatervoyage

10:30PM | 05/09/12
Member Since: 05/09/12
1 lifetime posts
D4Engineering - can you tell us how the installation went and if you are happy with the product? I'm about to buy a home in Raleigh with these walls and have been told they can't be treated for termites - additionally I'm concerned about the possibility 20 years down the road of problems.

BV004821

02:35PM | 06/28/14
Wehave a superior wall foundation. I overbuilt the house.my walls sit on 12inches of crushed rock (compacted)mesh in the concrete and 6 inch thick floor. I have no problems in 9 years.

BV008035

10:08AM | 06/09/15
if you are in the western pa area. you may check out other precast wall companies .such as specialty precast co. much stronger and heavily built.most important they are owner operated, small company that builds and install own walls.

BV012410

11:52AM | 08/01/16
Superior Walls is absolutely the worst company for standing behind their product. Wouldn't spend the $$ ....trust me.....it's not worth it! Guarantee? Ha! They blame all the problems on everyone else. Mold? Moisture?? Not their fault. Any suggestions??
Img 20160801 243404902

BV014689

12:51PM | 09/13/17
I have a log home built in 2006-eleven years ago.Superior walls were used for a walkout basement.
They were installed over a porous gravel like substance, a covered pipe was installed around the outside to insure drainage.I have had zero problems-dry,straight,no water intrusion at all.I suspect
the drain was not used and water has been allowed to build around the outside at the base.The hydraulic pressure is going to cause failure.How do builders expect good results when they don't follow installation instructions?The homeowner is left with an expensive repair.
I am seeking direction on how to install a window above ground in my superior wall.
Thanks,Joe

Franciscowt

01:37AM | 09/21/17
Member Since: 07/05/17
2 lifetime posts
Hi Guys,

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Actually, I also build a new house in USA, Woodstock and in summers sunlight is the big issue over there.I tried many things to get rid of it but I didn't find any solution for it. After that, my best friend told me about the home window tinting services offered by tint guy and I checked their websitehttp://www.thetintguy.com/residential-window-tinting/ for more details, I called them and after their work, I am fully satisfied with their work.You can also try their services.




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