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liptonjl

What comes after the basement walls?

liptonjl
15 years ago

Our basement walls were poured, forms removed, etc. This was all done as of last Wednesday. Then they put a waterproofing seal on the walls on Friday. What should I expect next? Plumbing? Something else?

Also, does anyone have a dated timeline of what happened with their build so far? FOr instance: footers 10/16/07, basement walls 10/18/07... Trying to see what I should expect in general

Comments (19)

  • worthy
    15 years ago

    Depends on the builder! At this point, I would be shooting the gravel into the basement. It's not a must. But it is a lot easier than doing it after the first floor is on. If I were backfilling right away, I'd have the walls braced to prevent collapse.

    Then comes the steel, if any, then the first floor deck. Once the deck is on, you're ready to safely backfill without bracing.

    Depending on scheduling and availability, you might be getting in sewer and water lines under the footings and into the basement.

    If it's the winter, I get in the straw and blankets. (Ugh!)

    Anytime after it's backfilled, I have the surveyor check how close we were to perfect. :-)

    Instead of speculating about future steps, why not ask your builder?

  • sniffdog
    15 years ago

    Next comes stess, frustration, and then more stress.

    Have they poured the basement floor yet? In our build - it took 1 month from the day they started pouring the walls to the point where some of the steel supports in the basement started to go in. It was 45 days after wall pouring when the framing for the first floor went on. My builder wanted the concrete to cure enough before he put a heavy load on it.

    Ask you builder for the project schedule - then double it.

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  • jessica07
    15 years ago

    Well, you're at the same point we are...except we started a lot later than you did. They took our forms off yesterday and water sealed the same day. The steel beams also arrived yesterday. They are calling the inspector for an inspection today. And they should be backfilling by Friday. We expect framing to start next week some time.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Our house blog

  • worthy
    15 years ago

    It was 45 days after wall pouring when the framing for the first floor went on. My builder wanted the concrete to cure enough before he put a heavy load on it.

    I'll have to remember to use that story if I get swamped with work!

    The basement floor is non-structural and can be poured anytime. On my last project, we didn't put in the steel posts till all the framing was done--used temporary wood posts till then.

  • kats
    15 years ago

    I would suggest you have your GC call you each morning or on his way home every night just to check-in. Of course he'll balk but a quick call can tell you what he expects to accomplish that day and if you have any question you can ask at that time. If he doesn't call you then you should let him know that you'll be calling him. And not returning calls isn't acceptable. Also not knowing what is going on in your build could be a problem down the road.

  • liptonjl
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Our builder has been great so far. I know the "general" order of things - He gave us a list of things we have to pick out/decide on and in what order... But the specifics I'm not so sure. They have been consistently working, so I want to save all my calls to the builder for necessary things, I was just curious as to what order things happened for others!

    AND... I have an answer to my own question :) They put in the steel beams, gravel in the basement, gravel in the porch and garage, and backfilled.

    I THINK the next step is framing but not 100%? DH knows/told me but I'm a terrible listener! Good thing he is well-informed... I'm just worried about picking out doors, tubs, etc :)

    Worthy - are you a custom builder?

  • sniffdog
    15 years ago

    worthy - the builder wanted the walls to cure before he started putting the floor trusses and first floor deck on. The foundation guy told me the same thing - to wait for at least 30 days after the forms come off walls before putting a heavy load on it.

    The basement floor had to go in early because on our house the back wall is not poured concrete - it is framed with 2x6's. I suppose they could have done the concrete floor later - but it was easier to finish the concrete first before proceeding with the framing.

    As far as what came after the foundation pouring - we had some additional run off drain pipes installed around the perimeter of the foundation, the walls sealed, then backfilling. Then the steel and first floor truss package arrived and basement structure and first floor deck started going in. The first big decision we had to make at this time was to finalize on the window and door package. This was also where we had out first overage - the front door. Builder spec'd out an el cheapo special which wasn't going to cut it for us.

    You also should be thinking aboout your plumbing fixtures now because once the framing is done, they will need to order the valve kits for the plumbing rough in. Now is also is a good time to start laying out your electrical plan to include light locations as well as voice/data/audio and TV. After the framing was done and the house was weather tight, the rough in for HVAC and plumbing started and it went very quickly. The electrical & other wiring rough started after plumbing which for us was slow and painfull.

  • jessica07
    15 years ago

    liptonjl - We'll have to compare notes as we go along. We officially started Oct 25th. We're building in eastern PA so we're hoping to be in by April (all pending on the winter, of course). They're backfilling ours on Monday and starting framing later next week, I believe. We've needed 30 truckloads of shale/fill so far. So if it wouldn't take so long to move it, we'd be framing by now! :)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Our house blog

  • liptonjl
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    jessica07 - We are ALSO building in eastern PA (near Pottsville) - I see on your blog you're in Whitehall, so about 45 mins away! What types of things are you working on now? Right now we just got back from the cabinetmaker, picked out the basics.

  • worthy
    15 years ago

    liptonjl

    I have been a custom builder since 1989, licenced, when required, by TARION.

    So the builder didn't want to risk light wood framing, but was quite willing to immediately backfill!

    Unless the walls were braced--at least every ten feet by 2x12s or 2x10s diagonally into the basement floor and secured by solid posts--the walls should not have been backfilled.

    For example, 9.12.3.5 of the Ontario Building Code, says, "Where the height of foundation wall is such that lateral support is required, or where the required concrete strength of the wall has not been reached, the wall shall be braced or laterally supported before backfilling."

    The weight of backfill against the wall, particularly heavy clay soil, generates more stress than framing. Especially when the first floor framing is exactly what provides the lateral strength to make it safe to backfill. This is not all theoretical. I have seen foundation walls caved in in exactly that manner. (BTW, I never backfill with clay.)

    A conventional concrete wall is fully capable of supporting wood framing in as little as four days after pour. Maximum strength continues to grow for years. But 28 day strength is the standard used for testing. Yet you've got a builder who waits 45 days. Was this stickler for quality--who violated a basic rule by immediately backfilling--also diligently moisture curing the wall? Did he use a vibrator when the wall was poured? Did he dampproof the footings before pouring the wall? Did he, at least, apply something more than cutback tar to the outside of the wall?

    The floor can be poured anytime. But if you're putting drainage pipes in the floor, you better be absolutely sure where the drops are going. That's why I always wait till the house is framed and plumbers can tell exactly where they will be.

    If there's been no collapse or cracking, you're probably okay.

    But I do get a laugh out of these guys who will tell you anything that suits them. I sometimes look at my grizzled face and grey hair in the mirror and wonder how some of the subtrades can look at me and tell me nonsense thinking I fell off the turnip truck yesterday. Yet every build I get a few of them.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Wait Before Backfilling

  • sierraeast
    15 years ago

    Many moons ago and my only experience with a basement, i helped my uncle on their home. We framed the house before the lot prep guy backfilled. At his request we also braced off the basement walls from the inside. Probably an overkill effort but better to be safe than sorry.

  • jessica07
    15 years ago

    liptonjl- We're building near Beltzville Lake, so a little further north (currently live in Whitehall). I was just at a wedding in Pottsville a few weeks ago! That's too funny! We went to our cabinet maker a few months ago and picked things out. I'm sure we'll have to go again. We don't really like our cabinet people. They do an excellent, quality job but our sales rep was awful. She wasn't helpful at all. Who's doing your cabinets?

    Worthy - Interesting about bracing the walls. They're backfilling our walls tomorrow and they're not braced. The backfill is shale/rock, not clay...does that make a difference? I'll have to take a look at your link.

  • worthy
    15 years ago

    does that make a difference?

    No. Plus backfilling with native materials, unless they're free-flowing granular, is nowhere near "best practice". Free-flowing materials allow the water to run down to the weepers and away from your home. Ideally, you put a geotextile material over the sand/gravel, followed by a clay cap and then soil to support plant growth.

    On my last project, the native material was mostly shale and rock-like clay. We kept the sandy soil and mixed organic matter. But the rest of the backfill on engineer's advice, was trucked-in sand and recycled material--small stones and sand.

    I already know your builder's comeback: "This is the way we always do it. No problems."

    I can understand the builder wanting to backfill with whatever's there. He's not budgeted for new backfill; in fact, I bet that pushing back whatever he has dug out is the way he always does it. But waiting till at least the first floor is on before backfilling won't cost him a cent.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Best Practices backfilling

  • liptonjl
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Wow Worthy! Thanks for the info. I will have my husband read that because I only understand half of it :) The steel beams ARE in, but that's IT!

    We are supposed to start framing next week.

    Jessica07 - Our cabinet guy is fabulous! I'm sorry to hear you aren't happy with your rep. We are using Morris Kitchens from Plymouth, Pa. About an hour from Pottsville but the guy said he will drive whereever, within reason. For 38 linear feet of cherry cabinets with all wood drawers and granite counters, - $14,300! That includes tax and installation. What type of cabinets are you getting? oak/cherry/maple/something else? How about countertops?

  • jessica07
    15 years ago

    Worthy - Thanks for the info! We're going to question the builder today before they start backfilling. We actually had the shale trucked in (about 30 loads so far). We're building on a hill so we need a ton of fill. There wasn't much dirt dug out at all. We do have drains all around the house though. I'm hoping that helps with water problems. I would think building on a hill would mean water runs down the hill anyhow, right? Regardless, the builder is in for quite a few questions this morning!

    liptonjl - Wow, $14k seems really reasonable. I think we were quoted $10k just for the granite. So we went with laminate. I'm hoping to change to granite in a few years. I really wish the builder would let us switch cabinet people! Our latest adventure is appliance shopping. We have to get everything, unfortunately. But we fell in love with the GE Cafe line. So I think that's what we're going with.

  • lazypup
    15 years ago

    Once the basement walls are up you now have a pit into which you continually throw money until someone finally signs a certificate of occupancy and calls it a house. LOL

  • solarpowered
    15 years ago

    Something I don't understand here... OK, the basement walls perpendicular to the joists are braced by the joists. So far, so good. But... there are no joists bracing the basement walls that are parallel to the joists. Why is it OK to backfill against those walls after the first floor is in?--There's still nothing bracing those walls.

  • worthy
    15 years ago

    The decking atop the joists is attached to the rim all away around and serves to brace the walls.

  • solarpowered
    15 years ago

    Ah! Of course.