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or Building a New House – Your credit scores
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Building Your New Home
Intimidated by the idea of being your own builder? You’re not alone.
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Home Source has over 15,300
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Owner Builder Financing and Construction Support
Are you considering being an owner-builder, but are intimidated by the challenge
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Poured versus cement block versus pre-cast walls
In areas of the country that have basements, poured concrete
walls appear to be the most popular choice for many builders.
There are advantages and disadvantages for having a poured
concrete wall vs. a cement block wall vs. a pre-cast wall
that is poured off site and delivered on a flat bed truck.
We will review these advantages and disadvantages briefly
in this short article. Cracks in any of the basement walls
allows water and gases to leak in causing any number of
unhealthy problems. The stronger and better built basement
walls will protect your family from these two problems.
main advantage of Cement Block Walls is that the basement
walls will be plumb and they will also be square
making later construction of the home easier as well
as finishing the basement with drywall an easier task.
Block walls are held in place with mortar that is typically
mixed on the site, as it is needed. The mortar plays
a critical part in the strength of the wall. Too much
water in the mortar can weaken the wall. Cement block
walls are weaker than traditional poured walls since
the blocks are hollow. This may not be an issue for many
homes, unless there will be excessive weight from a larger
home. You should discuss your cement block wall with
your builder. Placing re-enforcing bars in the hollow
portions and pouring cement into the hollows can also
strengthen these walls. If you intend to finish the basement
you will have to add an interior wood frame, insulation
and moisture barrier and drywall.
Poured Concrete Walls
are the traditional means of construction concrete walls.
Poured concrete walls are usually poured
to a strength rating of 3500 PSI, are poured on a footer
and do not have re-enforcing bars. Poured concrete walls
may not always be plumb and the top may not be level
if the forms are not adequately supported during the
pouring of the concrete. If there are delays in the pouring,
cold seams can develop which can also cause cracks later
on. Weather such as heavy rain or extreme cold and extreme
heat can delay pouring of the concrete and even weaken
the walls if the walls are not allowed to cure properly.
From beginning to end of the pouring, a poured concrete
wall will require up to a week to complete by the time
you pour the footings, let them set, install the forms
in place, pour the concrete and allow it to set properly.
Finished basements require vapour barriers, studded walls,
insulation and drywall to be added later.
Walls are becoming popular and have a number of advantages
that are attracting many builders
and homeowners. The walls come with a footer that is
precast and the walls are set on a base of crushed stone,
which can be adjusted in depth based on the strength
of the surrounding soil. The walls are poured in controlled
factory conditions to maintain pouring standards at 5000
PSI strength ratings with re-enforcing bars in the concrete.
The precast walls come with insulation and lumber nailers
already in place so that you can nail the drywall to
the wall without adding a lumber stud wall to hold the
drywall. The best part is that the basement wall can
be erected in one day, bolted together and the joints
sealed to avoid any water leakage.
Precast walls have
another advantages in cold winter climates. Since they
are poured in a climate controlled
factory, basements can be installed during the winter,
even in the coldest part of the year, without worrying
about the appropriate curing of the concrete.
If you feel
that strength of the load bearing concrete wall be important
in your home due to excessive weight
you can consider re-enforcing both the cement block wall
or the poured concrete wall to increase the vertical
and lateral strength. Your builder will be the best person
to discuss this with.
As we mentioned at the beginning,
this is a brief summary of the various types of concrete
walls that can be sued
in home construction. The web sites we list below can
provide you with additional information
Some useful links to check out
Poured Wall Basements
Precast Concrete Foundation Walls
Concrete vs. Concrete Block Walls
3. Asphalt or Fibreglass
This month’s article on asphalt or fibreglass shingles
will review a few of the reasons why you may want to consider
asphalt only shingles vs. fibreglass shingles for your
new home. We will also cover some of the signs that your
existing shingles have deteriorated and have reached the
stage were they need to be replaced if you are purchasing
a rebuilt home. We will also briefly review some of the
alternatives to shingles such as metal and slate coverings.
shingles and fibreglass shingles can be purchased to last
from 15 to 30 years, however a variety of external
factors will affect the actual life of the shingles.
The following are some of the environmental issues that
can affect their life:
Debris on the roof such as leaves
that builds up causing rotting
Excessive heat in the summer
Baking from the attic if the attic is poorly ventilated
Excessive traffic on the roof
High winds; and,
Installation in cold temperatures
Signs of severe wear on
your shingles include: cracking of the shingles, holes
were the nails are, missing shingles,
surface granules worn off, and curling at the ends indicates
excessive heat. High wind can damage or blow away shingles
and objects such as branches from nearby trees can damage
the roof. Snow and ice build-up in the winter can cause
damage and also ice dams leading to water leakage inside
the building. If you see any of these items on your new
roof, quick action can prevent long term damage.
you purchase your new home, the builder will usually
include the minimum quality shingle on your home unless
otherwise directed by you. Fifteen year shingles are
possible and some builders will use them. Consumers should
consider 20 or 25-year shingles to maximize the protection
on their roof and avoid near term roof problems.
shingles consist of a felt base, coated with asphalt
and covered with a thick layer of ceramic granules
to protect the shingle from the elements. Fibreglass
shingles have a fibreglass matt coated with asphalt to
provide strength and support to the shingle in addition
to the ceramic granules.
The advantages of a fibreglass
shingle over a pure asphalt shingle include increased
resistance to rotting from
over damp conditions, warping and curling from excessive
heat and an increased resistance to fire. A major disadvantage
to fibreglass shingles is that they have a tendency to
crack in cold temperatures when they are not handled
properly. The spring and the fall are the best times
to apply fibreglass shingles. The advantage of fibreglass
shingles when they are applied properly to your roof
is that they provide long lasting protection to your
roof from the superior strength they receive from the
Metal roofs can be installed although
the drawbacks may be a serious concern to many customers.
typically more expensive and has a number of safety and
operation issues. A Metal roof is heavier than asphalt;
the roof is more difficult to work on due to slipperiness
especially when it is wet, denting from walking on it
or debris being blown against it as well. In addition
some fire marshals will not allow their men to be on
a metal roof during a fire due to safety issues. Asphalt
shingles are much quieter during a heavy rain than a
We have briefly covered some of the issues
associated with asphalt shingles, fibreglass shingles
roofs. As usual there are also several links that you
can refer to find additional information.
Useful Web Links
Asphalt Fibreglass Roofing Shingles
4. Thought For The Day
Integrity is accepting responsibility
when you have made a mistake.
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