Did you know that very few homes in Winnipeg built by mass home builders are built with ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) or Superior Wall (precast walls built in controlled factory)? It’s surprising to me that this is the case because in comparison to formed and poured concrete walls, these two products provide a tremendous value – so much so that many of the owners and executives of mass home building companies build their own homes with these products.
Why would builders use inferior technology when it comes to something as imperative as a home’s foundation?
Simple. When a family tours a show home, they don’t salivate over the foundation. Granite countertops sell, foundation walls don’t. Most home builders consider foundation upgrades to be a direct hit to their profit – “if they can’t see it, they don’t want to pay for it.”
Granite countertops are luxurious and tasteful but did you know that you can get fake granite that will fool your friends for thousands less? Did you know that those couple thousand dollars of savings could get you into a foundation wall system that could save you many thousands of dollars in costly foundation repairs?
Did you know that a CIP (cast in place) concrete pile is engineered based on a soil assumption? That’s right… they make an educated guess as to the competency of the soil under your home. During the process of boring holes and filling them with concrete and rebar, the soil is not tested to ensure that the soil capacity assumption made is in fact met or exceeded.
You know what they say about when you assume? It makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. Perhaps you know someone or some people with foundation issues in newer homes built on concrete piles? We’ve met quite a few over the years and many over the course of 2017 being a dry year with periods of heavy rain.
Helical screw piles in contrast to concrete piles are professionally installed using an engineered process for verifying soil capacities. By monitoring the torque during installation, a professional screw pile installer can ensure that design criteria is satisfied – guaranteed.
Winnipeg soils are often unpredictable, loose soils are common and competent soil stratas are sometimes 50 or more feet deep, therefore a screw pile foundation won’t always be as cheap at the onset as a poured in place concrete pile. The key is that the investment is only more expensive at the onset. Note, sometimes they are cheaper at the onset as well; typical in areas of Winnipeg with shallow hard pan or in some suburbs.
You’ll never be able to tour your friends under your basement to show off your hot-dip galvanized engineered Postech Screw Piles or peel back the drywall to show off your Superior Walls or ICF basement. However, if you tour a savvy engineer, contractor or architect through your home, they’ll appreciate the buried treasures working hard to keep your investment solid.
Learn more about helical screw piles by visiting www.screwpiling.ca or contact Dale Plett at 204.793.0653.