Frame or Concrete Rear Wall on Walkout Basement

5 responses

  1. Joe
    June 15, 2014

    Tim, thanks for your answer. Just to be clear, both pics are from Google search. The pic on the left was what I though my builder will do for my walkout side. As you have pointed, I was wrong about this, because my blueprint shows me that the walkout wall will be sitting on a 4 feet tall concrete frost wall (under ground). My concern has been focused on which walkout wall is better: the framed or the poured concrete? You've only said the framed walkout side has better insulation. What about other aspects? Durability? Termite resistance? Flood/Moisture resistance? Fire resistance? Of course concrete may have cracks in the future. All I wanted to ask is which one is a better way to design the walkout side considering all the aspects.

  2. Joe
    June 16, 2014

    Forgot to mention, the concrete walls come with R-19 draped insulation. Since both the framed walkout side and the rest of the concrete walls have the same insulation R-Value. It becomes even harder to compare.

  3. Dick
    June 16, 2014

    The concrete portion is far stronger than a wood frame wall. It only takes a minimal amount of reinforcement (if any) to far exceed the strength of a wood wall.

    I have townhouse with a walk-out slider (super efficient) and the 3 remaining walls are concrete (exterior and interior). The wood frame wall is a cold wall in the winter even with a lot of insulation the allows short term swings in the interior temperature. The good thing about the wood wall is that you get to feel and enjoy the noise and effects of storms and wind outside without actually being there.

  4. Joe
    June 18, 2014

    Just to update, I talked to my builder today. The only reason they wanted to do framed walkout side is because it's low cost. If cost is not a issue, they will do concrete for sure. I don't like it at all. I've spent more money on a walkout lot, and they do all the poured concrete on a non-walkout basement, I've told my builder that I insist on a full-concrete basement and foundation since that's what it's said in the contract. Is this a wise decision, Tim?

    • Ted
      August 26, 2014

      Joe, as a builder myself, I can tell you that you did the right thing. Many clients don't dig into this question and went with the framed walkout wall. It's just fine. But a 8'' or 10'' think concrete wall will get you better foundation. And you can always frame the inside wall with good insulation.

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