Rising from the Ashes: A New Home for Fire Victim
NEW HOLLAND, PA – On September 17, 2016 James Rankin experienced every homeowner’s worst nightmare. A late night electrical fire completely destroyed his 1880 historic home. When it came time to rebuild, he decided to start with a secure, precast concrete foundation.
“Surviving a house fire is very traumatic,” says Rankin, a resident of Brownfield, Penn. “Putting your life back together means literally starting with a new foundation.
“I worked with a great team at American Homes to select a modular home. When talking about the foundation, they said I could use a cement block, poured cement or a precast concrete foundation. When I asked which one was the best, they said the Superior Walls precast panels was their recommendation.”
Since Rankin’s previous historic home had a stone foundation he hadn’t heard about precast panel foundations. After doing his research, he learned that XiTM panels from Superior Walls can help ward off heat loss and make the basement a more comfortable area for extended living and storage space. The wall panels provide a dry and exceptionally energy-efficient foundation for a home.
Superior Walls Xi wall panels feature steel reinforced concrete and 2-1/2-inches of DOW® Styrofoam™ insulation to create a barrier against sidewall water penetration. The panels are custom designed and constructed in a factory-controlled setting and then installed by a certified crew.
With insurance check in hand, Rankin connected with representatives of Superior Walls by Collier Foundation Systems and Lent Brothers Excavating. At the beginning of 2017 Brian Lent prepared the home site for re-building, leveled the yard and prepped for the foundation installation.
“I’ve done at least 50 Superior Walls foundations in the past 12 years,” says Lent. “This product is so reliable that I used it for my own home in 2007, and in 2012 for the foundation of my brother’s new home.”
Within a week of preparing the house site for Rankin, the Xi Panels arrived for installation. “It was incredibly impressive to see the foundation system completely installed in just five hours,” says Rankin. “I simply couldn’t believe how fast the process was. I was able to get into my house less than 90 days after the foundation was put in place.”
According to Lent, he’s seen the efficient installation of similar precast panel foundations continuously over the years. “I sub the foundations for customers of American Homes, which constructs homes in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland,” says Lent. “They give me a date to be ready for the house. Superior Walls always meets the schedule to stay on track with installation and construction start up.”
As the nightmares of the fire diminish, Rankin is enjoying the expanded space available in his new home. “The foundation gave me a two-car garage plus an extra area I’m dedicating for an exercise/storage room,” says Rankin. “I discovered how energy efficient these precast concrete walls are when it was 27 degrees outside one morning — and the thermometer in my garage read 65 degrees!
“I absolutely love the Superior Walls foundation and have recommended them to everyone I talk with about my house. This was definitely one of the best product decisions I made connected with the building of my new home.”
Superior Walls products offer builders unmatched benefits with the most competitive foundation system available in the marketplace. The company’s precast insulated concrete wall panels are dimensionally accurate and install quickly to provide a strong, energy efficient foundation for residential and commercial projects. For more details, visit www.superiorwalls.com.