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Old 02-16-11, 06:55 AM   #1
Higgy
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Default New House Questions

Hey guys. My wife and I looked at another new house outside the city. It seemed as though it was better built then my current one but I had some questions. First off, some of the good points I noticed is that it has ICF basement, steel cross beam in the basement, energy efficient heat and AC, R20 in the 2x6 walls and R50 in the ceiling (which isn't the best but better then my current), silent joists construction, joist cavities that have rigid foam and spray foamed around the rigid to hold it in place. It also has a humidifier built in, but that's something I'd probably rarely turn on. We'll have to see. One thing I'd have to add in is an HRV system. I'd also have to landscape the yard and put up a fence as it's a brand new house.

Some things that perplexed me is that it looks as though they screwed in the drywall right to the ICF forms. Is that normal? Also, isn't ICF only rated R12? So wouldn't I want to frame around it and add more? The over hang at the back of the house is also very short and almost nonexistant where part of the house has a jut out, to the point where there's just enough for a eavesdrough. Is that a truly bad thing? The house is pointing west to east so I'm not sure that's a huge deal. Another weird thing is the air intake. As the tube comes into the main branch of the air intake, there's a small 6 inch tube with holes in it. As if it's pulling air from the basement into the air intake. I don't really get it, and the realtor was a bit perplexed. I'm getting him to ask the builders about that. They did, however, tape up all the seams in the duct work. Also, the heat was electrical and not gas. How bad is that?

Let me know what you think about these issues and what may be some negatives about them. Thanks.

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Old 02-16-11, 07:50 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Higgy View Post
I'd also have to landscape the yard and put up a fence as it's a brand new house.
Oh, great excuse to bury a ground source loop for your future heat pump project Also, you could add a ground source heat exchanger for the ventilation system.

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Another weird thing is the air intake. As the tube comes into the main branch of the air intake, there's a small 6 inch tube with holes in it. As if it's pulling air from the basement into the air intake. I don't really get it, and the realtor was a bit perplexed.
Maybe it's about basement ventilation, to make sure nothing starts to grow in the corners?
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Old 02-16-11, 08:46 AM   #3
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Haha...yeah I could try and pull that off. There's not that many lots put up around so it wouldn't be a huge deal to get someone in to dig a hole for me.

I just realized I may not understand air intake. Does house air get recirculated in with fresh air from outside? So the air intake pulls air out of rooms, and recirculates it and also pulls in fresh air from outside and mixes that in?
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Old 02-16-11, 09:13 AM   #4
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ICF's tend to have nailing tabs for dry wall and siding and if you are going to add insulation you should add it to the outside that way the mass of the concrete is better insulated.
If you want to know how bad the electric heat is then get a copy of the utility bill, if the house is old enough to have a history that is, you said it was new... is it brand new or just new to you?
ICF's vary in insulation value, some are better then others, their advantage is that they are monolithic so you have no drafts in your walls, other then around doors and windows.
Even if it's a brand new house, having an energy audit done is a good idea, builders take short cuts whenever possible but problems will not show up right away because not enough time has passed.
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Old 02-16-11, 03:27 PM   #5
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It's a brand new house that's just being finished up this month.

So would it be stupid to put up framing in front of the ICF and then add insulation on the inside? Also, how the heck do they put in the electrical when they're screwing right to the ICF?
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Old 02-16-11, 03:33 PM   #6
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a lot of the forms have channels built into them for the wiring to run through.
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Old 02-17-11, 08:35 AM   #7
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Ah ok. That's cool. So could I still add insulation over top of that ICF from the inside of the house or is that not smart? I just felt like the basement's in the ICF homes were colder then the basments in the regular cement foundation with R24 batt insulated walls.
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Old 02-17-11, 08:59 AM   #8
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Ah ok. That's cool. So could I still add insulation over top of that ICF from the inside of the house or is that not smart? I just felt like the basement's in the ICF homes were colder then the basments in the regular cement foundation with R24 batt insulated walls.
You can still add insulation to the inside, it's just that adding it to the outside gives you a slight benefit, you also don't loose space on the inside, below grade foundation walls are also most likely IFC's that have less foam in them so that they can stand up to the backfilled dirt better.
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Old 02-18-11, 11:50 AM   #9
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In case anyone wants to look at the spec sheet for the home to critique on it for me, here it is.

A question I had...is this right: 8" x 96" ICF basement (20MPA-R26) Is the basement with ICF R26? That must be thick foam forms then correct?


Project: 25 Brett Bay

Included in quote
Builders Risk and Liability Insurance
10 year Progresive New Home Warranty

Foundation
Excavation & Backfill
5" Concrete garage floor ( 25MPA )
10 mm rebar 16" O/C BW
All rebar as per code
16" x 16" thickened edge garage floor
Front entry: reinforced concrete steps
30" x 10" concrete footings
8" x 96" ICF basement (20MPA-R26)
Poly vapor barrier under basement floor (radon protected)
4" concrete basement floor c/w 3/4 buckshot gravel
4" drain tile and damp proofing
Sump pit c/w submersible pump
3/4" drain tile stone (foundation perimeter)
Super seal damp proofing

Framing / Floors - as per plan
2 x 10 beams #1&2 KD spruce
Adjustable steel teleposts
Half steel beam
TGI floor joist
3/4" structure wood gold floor sheathing glued and screwed

Exterior and Interior Wall Framing
9' high walls
2 x 6 #1&2 KD spruce @ 16" O/C
2 x 10 #1&2 KD spruce lintels
7/16" OSB wall sheathing
2 x 4 #1&2 KD spruce @ 16" O/C (interior)
2 x 6 #1&2 KD spruce @ 16" O/C (plumbing)
2 x 4 #1&2 KD spruce @ 16" O/C (stairwell)
2 x 4 #1&2 KD spruce @ 16" O/C (garage)

Trusses - Engineer design trusses
24" O/C
8/12 pitch or as per plan
Gable style roof
Cottage style roof
Trayed ceiling in MB & Living area

Roof Materials
7/16" OSB roof sheathing with H clips
25 yr. shingles ColorAntique Wood
all applicable flashings

Windows and Exterior Doors
PVC triple pane Low E windows
Dual low E sliders in basement
Casements
Double garden door
Obscure front entry door c/w grilles
PVC frames and removable screens
Doors - Steel insulated with Metal clad jambs
Garage to house c/w spring loaded hinges
16' x 8' Insulated OH Door R10 c/w opener & 2 remotes
Windows at top of overhead door

Soffit & Fascia
Soffits, fascia & eavesthroughs Color White
Soffits: Pre-finished aluminum
Fascia: Pre-finished aluminum
5" continuous eavestrough & downspouts w/ flip ups Color?

Exterior Finish
Exterior as per prelim
Stone: Black River Stucco: 820-3P Sierra Springs Canex: Khaki
Electrical
2 rough-in for telephone outlets
ground fault plugs in all baths
220V plugs on separate circuits
kitchen plugs on separate circuits
all wiring to be copper
200 amp service
Plug for O.H. garage door opener
Decora plugs and switches
Lights allowance (includes all bulbs, pot trims, light fixtures) $2,400.00
Potlights $100.00 inside x
Potlights $90.00 outside x
Cable outlets in living room & master bedroom
cable run from hydro meter to electrical panel
Electric furnace
Electric fireplace
Wiring for A/C
Hot water tank -60 gallon electric
OTR microwave allowance $400.00
Dishwasher rough-in
Island plug
Jamb switch at pantry door

Insulation/Vapor Barrier
Exterior walls R20
House attic Ins R50
Typar

Basement
Basement: unfinished
ICF drywalled

Painting
Primer - 1 coat
Walls - 1 color Feature wall 1 color Main: P642-2 Feature: P5229-72
Ceilings - 1 color Ceilings/Doors/Trim: Parchment P2603-4
Interior doors & trim - 1 color
Finish - Latex Paint - 2 coats
Extra colors $250.00 per color
Handrail painted
Maple pantry door stained to match cabinets Choc Fondue
Kitchen window casing stained Choc Fondue

Drywall
Square corners
ICF drywalled

Interior Finish - Standard
Passage doors h/c colonist -painted
Swing doors on all closets
Caseing 3 1/4 -painted
Baseboard 4 1/4 - painted
Latches - Standard Wiser (Fairfax) Brushed Chrome (26D)
Hardware - Matching
Mirrors 2" less than vanity tops
Handrail style 3510
Kitchen window casing - 3 1/2" stained
Pantry door - maple c/w glass Stained Choc Fondue
Bathroom accessories
Taymor Columbia (exposed fasteners Penners) in pewter

Shelving - Pre-finished wire
Entry / Bedrooms - 1 wire shelf w/rod
Linen - 4 wire shelves
Pantry - 4 wire shelves

Driveway
Concrete driveway

Sewer & Water
Back up sewer valve
Town sewer and water

Flooring
Hardwood Ginger Beaulieu main area, tile in front entrence, baths
Ent Inlay: Antares Baths: Slate Black Tub: MEBR12
Carpet in bedrooms Lava 109
Flooring on stairs to be carpet

Cabinets
Maple Chocolate Fondue with jamocha granite counters
Handles: P3111 HIckory
Fireplace
33" Electric Fireplace w/ custom mantle & niche

Plumbing / Heating / Cen.Vac
Includes: fresh-air, all ducting, register covers
Basement vents with dampers
Electric furnace
Double bowl stainless steel kitchen sink
Single lever pull out faucet
Kitchen sink DBL SS
Moen 3H SGL/Handle kit Faucet w/spray
White ceramic vanity basin c/w chrome single lever faucet
Olivia china sink white
Moen chrome vanity faucet w/pop up drain
Mechanical pop-up drains
5' corner jacuzzi tub in ensuite
Neo angle shower in ensuite
1pc. Fiat Acrylic white tub x 1
Chrome single lever tub/shower faucets
Total toilet 6L white
Basement - rough-in for 3 pc. bath
Dishwasher rough-in
2 lawn hydrants
A/C
Hot water heater - 60 gal electric
Ducting for OTR microwave to outside - No direct venting
Central vac ROUGH-IN ONLY
Central exhaust
OTR microwave

landscaping
Final lot grading included
Topsoil & Sod not included

Clean-Up
Building site clean-up
Final clean-up prior to possession

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