At Greystone Homes’ inception, a primary motivator was a desire to incorporate modern building science along with energy efficiency into our homes. Pre-cast concrete foundation walls were an early discovery and quickly incorporated as a standard for our homes. Modern building science is built right in with higher strength values (5000psi concrete versus 3500psi concrete for site poured walls), hydrophobic water repelling chemicals incorporated into the concrete mix and rigid foam insulation poured into the wall itself. Higher strength is achieved through pouring the concrete in a factory setting under controlled conditions and minimizes basement wall cracks and failures. Water repellant walls means no ugly tar to spray on the outside of the foundation. Dupont® rigid foam incorporated on the inside of the basement wall means a high insulation or “R-value” keeping out the Michigan winter. Is this the place where I warn you that I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to building science and insulating/sealing our homes?

Factory made pre-cast concrete walls help us surpass Energy Star® home performance standards for insulating and sealing our homes. I built my own home over 22 years ago and was very disappointed with the available options to insulate a basement foundation. Older alternative foundations like poured in place concrete walls or block foundations have no insulation value and only very limited options to keep out the cold. Many builders install blue, pink or green rigid extruded foam on the exterior of their foundation after coating the foundation with tar. One is issue is what to do with the foam that remains exposed above the soil line? Another limitation is that insulation does not perform to its potential when it’s wet and it’s a given that that exterior insulation in contact with our Saginaw Valley soils will be wet! Finally, what do you do to cover up the blue, pink or green foam above the soil line? Wet applied coatings or rolled plastic products are available to cover the unsightly foam. They however look very poor after the sun causes the plastic to wave like Lake Michigan on a windy day or after dad accidentally chips off the coating/plastic with the weed trimmer. We do pay more for factory made walls, but in addition to being insulated and sealed, they also have metal interior studs ready to receive even more insulation and drywall when you’re ready to finish your basement. If you’d like a tour or to learn more about energy saving features incorporated into our homes, contact us today.

Learn more about our basement walls on our YouTube Channel: