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How Homes are Built: Foundation Walls and the 4 Control Layers (Ep.3) - Parade of Homes Wisconsin

July 25, 20233 min read

Welcome to the Parade of Homes, where we take you behind the scenes of building an award-winning home. In this article, we will explore the crucial role of foundation walls in creating the four control layers of a quality home: the water layer, air sealing, vapor control, and thermal control. Understanding the significance of each layer and how they work together will provide you with valuable insights into the construction process of a top-notch home.

1. The Water Layer:

The first control layer in building a quality home is the water layer. Foundation walls play a critical role in preventing water infiltration, which can cause significant damage to the structure over time. By installing a proper foundation drainage system, including waterproof membranes and weeping tiles, builders ensure that water is directed away from the foundation, keeping the interior dry and safeguarding the home's structural integrity.

2. Air Sealing:

The second control layer focuses on air sealing, which is crucial for energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Foundation walls need to be carefully sealed to prevent air leakage, which can lead to drafts, energy loss, and an increased load on HVAC systems. By using appropriate sealants, tapes, and membranes, builders ensure an airtight envelope, reducing energy consumption and providing a comfortable living environment.

3. Vapor Control:

Vapor control is a vital aspect of maintaining a healthy home. Moisture can seep into the foundation walls through the ground, and if not properly managed, it can lead to mold growth and structural damage. By using vapor retarders, builders create a barrier that prevents excessive moisture from entering the foundation walls, preserving the home's durability and indoor air quality.

4. Thermal Control:

The final control layer addresses thermal control, which is crucial for maintaining a comfortable temperature within the home while minimizing energy consumption. Foundation walls play a significant role here, as they act as a barrier against temperature fluctuations from the ground. Insulating the foundation walls helps regulate heat transfer, reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling and making the home more energy-efficient.

The Synergy of the Four Control Layers:

While each control layer serves a specific purpose, it's essential to understand that they work together in synergy. Foundation walls act as the foundation (quite literally) for the four control layers, ensuring that water, air, vapor, and thermal control are effectively achieved. The integrity of the foundation walls directly impacts the success of the entire home's performance and longevity.

Building a quality home requires careful attention to detail when constructing foundation walls, as they are the backbone of the four control layers.

From utilizing proper drainage systems to implementing effective sealing techniques, builders must ensure that foundation walls are built to withstand various environmental factors and provide optimal performance.

By understanding the importance of each control layer and how they interconnect, homeowners can have peace of mind knowing that their homes are built to withstand the test of time. So, next time you step into an award-winning home showcased at the Parade of Homes in Wisconsin, remember that behind its beauty lies a well-designed foundation that ensures comfort, energy efficiency, and durability for years to come.

More Parade of Homes Behind the Scenes of How Homes Are Built

See the full series here on YouTube

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TJ Vitense

Founder of Sanctified Homes and Construction & the Blessed to Build Foundation, TJ believes in raising the industry standards. With his company Strategic Real Estate Experts, he helped hundreds of families buy and sell homes. And, now manages new home construction as one of Wisconsin's best home builders.

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