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User-friendly home is welcome Christmas gift page 2
New, convenient home is great Christmas gift for man in a wheelchair.

 The concrete-filled Styrofoam forms, plus drywall, create foot-thick walls that help maintain interior temperatures.
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Date published: 12/21/2012

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Watts associate David Elsey took it from there. And the first thing they figured out was that the house could be built on the lot Terczak already owned, as long as the old single-wide was removed within 30 days of the new house's occupancy permit being granted.

THE RIGHT DESIGN

"What Peter needed was not necessarily a house that met all the ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] guidelines, but something that would work just for him," said Elsey. "We also had to work within a tight budget."

It didn't hurt that Terczak had picked up some residential design experience along the way, so he knew what was and wasn't possible. He also knew what he needed and wanted.

"The whole house is basically his design," said Elsey. "Our job was to provide what the customer wanted."

Elsey came back with a plan for a stick-built ranch that incorporated a variety of universal design features. Not surprising, though, it came in over budget despite the company's efforts to provide the best possible deal. But there had to be a way.

Well, how about ICF construction? The initial cost would be a little higher, around 8 percent, but month-to-month utility bills would be cut between 50 and 70 percent. It's also storm, moisture and mold-proof.

Elsey said the positive cash flow each month would quickly repay the initial cost and make the house cheaper to operate in the long run.

Deal.

Coincidentally, Elsey said G.H. Watts recently became a regional mid-Atlantic dealer for Quad-Lock Insulating Concrete Forms, and the manufacturer provided materials for the house at cost as a demonstration project, savings that were passed along to Terczak.

The change also made it cost-effective to build the house on a conditioned crawl space rather than a cold slab. Elsey explained that Quad-Lock forms are designed to lock together efficiently at intersecting wall T's, and are easily cut to create custom curves if they're in the plans.

"We're not limited to 90- or 45-degree angles," Elsey said.

Also, in addition to the vertical steel rebar that's inserted into standard ICF forms before the concrete is poured, the Quad-Lock design accepts horizontal rebar every 12 inches up the wall for even greater strength.


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