Basement From Hell Chosen as Basement of the Year
Jerry Balmer, president of Balmer Bros. Concrete Work, Inc., of Akron, Pa., knows what it’s like to build a basement from hell — he’s done it before.
Award-winning basement by Balmer Bros. Concrete Work, Inc.
Five years ago, Balmer Bros. was voted the winner of the Concrete Foundation Association’s (CFA) Basement of the Year for building a 29,000-square-foot basement that was as complex as it was mammoth.
This year, Balmer Bros. has earned the award again — with an even bigger and more complex basement. The company is building a more than 34,000-square-foot basement for a house in Gladwyne, Pa. ― and that does not include the house’s nine-bay garage.
The winning structure boasts 2,210 linear feet of wall. Many of the walls were curved with curved window bucks and wells along with piers and offsets that were tangent to the curves.
“The curves, the various heights and the vast amount of steel, hundreds of fillers and vise grips and miscellaneous equipment all made this foundation challenging,” said Balmer.
Balmer Bros. was selected for the Gladwyne home because of the company’s reputation and experience. In addition to the award-winning project five years ago, the company also has tackled numerous projects of more than 10,000 square feet each.
For the 34,000-sqare-foot project, the crew poured approximately 967 yards of concrete for the walls and concrete footings. “Since it was a labor-intensive job, we took it piece by piece and compared the cost to past jobs,” said Balmer.
However, this basement from hell is not quite complete. Balmer Bros. will return to the project to pour garden and terrace walls, a waterway for a moat — that's right, a moat — and another three-bay garage.
The company was started in 1973 when the two Balmer brothers began spending their summer months pouring sidewalks and curbs. It has grown to become a successful builder of upscale large and complex foundations in the Philadelphia area.
The Basement of the Year is selected by a peer vote during the annual World of Concrete, the annual trade show featuring the latest products, equipment and services for concrete and masonry professionals. The Balmer Bros. basement was chosen from among six projects that met the criteria for judging. The formal award presentation will be made at the awards banquet luncheon during CFA’s annual summer meeting in San Francisco on July 6-9.
The Concrete Foundation Association was established in 1974 to improve the quality and acceptance of cast-in-place concrete foundations. CFA provides promotional materials, educational seminars, networking opportunities and technical meetings in 26 states and Canada.
Balmer Bros. has been a member of CFA since 1978, and Jerry Balmer was on its board of directors in the 1980s.
For more information about the CFA, visit www.cfawalls.org or contact Talia J. Nelson at 866-232-9255.
Register for the 2005 Concrete Technologies Tour
Gain a superior understanding of the residential concrete construction market, contacts for all types of cement-based building systems and a free resource manual full of concrete tips, tricks and research during NAHB’s new Concrete Technologies Tour.
Attendees will be able to successfully integrate concrete systems to increase their bottom lines and meet rising consumer demand ― the total number of homes built with above-grade concrete wall systems has increased from 3% in 1993 to 16% in 2003.
The 2005 Concrete Technologies Tour will be in Kansas City, Mo., on June 26-28. For more information or to register for the Concrete Technologies Tour, visit www.nahb.org/concretetour or contact the Concrete Home Building Council at 800-368-5242 x8362.
BuilderBooks.com Offers More Than 250 Books that Help You Build Your Business
BuilderBooks.com is your source for training and education products for the building industry. The official bookstore for NAHB, BuilderBooks.com offers award-winning publications, software, brochures and more available in both English and Spanish. To view these publications online click here or call 800-223-2665.