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CFA Members Working On Concrete Homes Progress

For more than 30 years, CFA members have been making it their priority to construct durable, superior basements, but recently many of these individuals have begun taking concrete construction to the next level— concrete homes.

Sharing a mutual love and respect for concrete, CFA members want to stay on the cutting edge of their industry and of concrete technology by diversifying their business with concrete home construction. Here’s some of the progress they’ve made to date this year.

One individual who has perfected the art of concrete home building is John Childs. The former president of Secure Structures in Raytown, Mo., Childs is now serving as the training coordinator for Wall-Ties & Forms, Inc. in Kansas City, Mo. Having worked with Wall-Ties on nearly 20 homes to date, Childs knows what is takes to pour one and two-story concrete structures.

His most recent build was a 6,200 square foot home in Kansas City, Mo., for his father-in-law, Ross Worley, CEO of Wall-Ties and CFA member since 1978. On this project, Childs also used concrete to produce a rounded breakfast room, swimming pool, hot tub, staircase, retaining wall and arched windows. The five bedroom, five-bathroom house also boasts a second-story safe room combination theater room. Worley opted to add two solid steel doors to his window-free theater room, achieving maximum tornado protection.

Childs and Worley plan to continue producing concrete homes. Their next project will be to design and build a 3,000 square foot, one-and-a-half-story home with a daylight basement for Childs’ sister-in-law in Raytown, Mo. They plan to break ground this fall.

A CFA member since 1991, Mark Markovich of Dependant Foundations, Inc. in Brighton, Mich., has also recently begun experimenting in concrete home construction. Markovich’s longtime friend, Matt Eckman, asked him to build him a traditional ranch home, made entirely of concrete. The Heartland, Mich., home will have a total of 6,068 square feet divided between the basement and main floor.

When finished, Eckman’s house will have three bedrooms and three bathrooms. In the basement there will be a room that is 30’8″ x 24’8″ with a 26’ concrete beam. Eckman opted for the extra-long beam to eliminate the need for poles throughout the basement and to achieve a more open space. This is just one of the details Eckman researched before construction began; he understands how important preparation is to get the ideal end result using concrete.

“You need to have all of your mechanicals well thought out ahead of time, as it is difficult and messy to cut concrete after the fact,” Eckman says. “Your plans will need to be more detailed than what you might use in a traditional stick-built home. It’s not easy to move a heating register, outlet or doorway after the pour.”

This project has been educational for both men and Markovich admits that the learning curve was much more difficult for his first concrete build than he expected. Being that it is also the first concrete home the majority of the crew has ever worked on, the basement level took a little longer than expected to form, but once they found their groove, the second story was poured in no time. Markovich plans to continue concrete home construction in the future.

Rich Kubica, owner of K-Wall Poured Walls, Inc. in Traverse City, Mich., has been a CFA member since 2001 and has recently completed his fourth concrete building project. The latest of these is a 2,400 square foot home in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom house was built into rock on the top part of a hill and was poured in one monolithic pour. It was a very challenging work environment, but according to Kubica, the benefits of concrete homes are ideal for the environment.

“People building on St. John choose concrete because they want their homes to be still standing after hurricane season and also because termites are a large problem in the area,” Kubica says. “The weather in St. John is beautiful year-round, making working conditions pleasant even in the winter season. Building on an island is also like living on one—there are risks, but so many gains. We gained the knowledge and pride of delivering our customer a beautiful, safe and secure concrete home.”

Kubica’s other projects include a 6,500 square foot, five-bedroom, four-bathroom home in Traverse City, Mich., that includes a concrete basement and first floor, along with a wood-frame second story. He also built himself a 2,400 square foot office and a 5,500 square foot shop with 18-foot walls. All of his projects were built using the E-MAXX Thermal Wall System that he and his wife, Patty, designed and patented.

With four concrete projects currently under his belt, Kubica plans to push forward in concrete home building by teaming up with open minded and quality conscious builders.

Dave Pfanmiller, partner of Security Building Group in Sneads Ferry, N.C., and CFA member since 2002, continues his progress in North Carolina with the completion of two million dollar custom homes—one in Surf City, N.C., and another 4,083 square foot, four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath home in North Topsail Island, N.C. His next project includes a town house project in Topsail Island, N.C.

Now that your fellow CFA members are taking concrete construction to new heights, when are you planning to build yours?

by Rachel Zwerneman, Op5 Creative, Inc.
Rachel Zwerneman is a project coordinator for Op5 Creative, Inc. in Atlanta, Ga. She is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in magazine journalism.

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us