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Old 05-24-2008, 06:49 PM   #1
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Foundation form rental


(In Canada)

Just had a meeting with a foundation contractor, in addition to his labor charge he wants to charge me a "rent " for using his forms. They are his forms, he does to have to rent them from a third party.

Is this normal to rent forms from foundation Co that has their own forms? If it is, is there a sq/ft formula that would help me determine if I'm getting ripped off.

House is 3300sq/ft on 4' crawlspace, garage is 2800sq/ft with avg 2' walls, all on 507ft of footer. He said they will pour all footings at once and walls in two separate pours.

They want to charge $6,000.00 just for form rentals.

Seems kind of steep to me just to rent something, comments would be appreciated...Dennis (In Canada were everything is more expensive than it should be)

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Old 05-24-2008, 07:21 PM   #2
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Something does not smel right. - $6000 for forms for 507lf of 3' high walls? Talk to another contractor see what the competitive price is.

I would question seriously the reliability longevity of a poured wall contractor that cannot afford to own his own forms (if that is what you meant in you post). Iif he does own his own forms, the bottom line of the foundation is the way to judge, without depending on how he gets there.

His only investment in his business may be only his pick-up if the forms are not his. If he cannot afford to own his own forms (which is more economical for a real contractor) does he even have a license and insurance?


Last edited by concretemasonry; 05-24-2008 at 07:56 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, the contractor does own the forms, I was expecting more around $2,500 - $3,000. ..this is my first owner builder home and the contractor knows it too...just trying to watch costs, I am going to call him on this and see if the form "rent" is negotiable,,,,Dennis

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Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
Something does not smel right. - $6000 for forms for 507lf of 3' high walls? Talk to another contractor see what the competitive price is.

I would question seriously the reliability longevity of a poured wall contractor that cannot afford to own his own forms (if that is what you meant in you post). Iif he does own his own forms, the bottom line of the foundation is the way to judge, without depending on how he gets there.

His only investment in his business may be only his pick-up if the forms are not his. If he cannot afford to own his own forms (which is more economical for a real contractor) does he even have a license and insurance?
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:00 AM   #4
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He should build the use and depreciation of his forms into his price however he wants, and should not identify such a ridiculous charge in his proposal. Tell him you want to rent your own forms and see how he takes it!

You mentioned pouring the walls in two separate pours? Why is he doing this? A word of caution....
If two separate pours occur on the same wall, and fresh concrete is poured up against or on top of cured/curing concrete, you have created what is called a "cold joint." That is not a good thing. It is inherently weak because the crystalline structures of the two pours do not chemically link together. This causes weakened walls and may lead to water intrusion in extreme cases.
Very few reputable concrete contractors will pour a cold joint anywhere in a wall. I'm betting this guy doesn't have the forms to do it all at once. I'd suggest getting some more bids.
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Old 05-25-2008, 08:10 AM   #5
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Never heard, seen, or did a contract with "renting my forms" worked into the price....
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:31 AM   #6
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When it comes to the two pours for walls, he was going to do the entire house first and then strip the forms. He would then reasemble them on the garage footings and pour the all the garage walls...he said it is the size of the project - rancher house 3300sq/ft (all one level)and garage 2800sq/ft - not enough forms to do it all at once

the garage is attached to the house, so yes there would be a cold joint were the house and the garage meet and would be joined/pinned together with rebar...and the whole foundation is getting that Rub-R-Wall and dimble membrane for waterproofing...


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He should build the use and depreciation of his forms into his price however he wants, and should not identify such a ridiculous charge in his proposal. Tell him you want to rent your own forms and see how he takes it!

You mentioned pouring the walls in two separate pours? Why is he doing this? A word of caution....
If two separate pours occur on the same wall, and fresh concrete is poured up against or on top of cured/curing concrete, you have created what is called a "cold joint." That is not a good thing. It is inherently weak because the crystalline structures of the two pours do not chemically link together. This causes weakened walls and may lead to water intrusion in extreme cases.
Very few reputable concrete contractors will pour a cold joint anywhere in a wall. I'm betting this guy doesn't have the forms to do it all at once. I'd suggest getting some more bids.

Last edited by canada55; 05-25-2008 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:41 AM   #7
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Besides the price seeming ridiculously high (the rental #) , I have never heard of a foundation contractor charging a customer to "rent" his forms. Forms are a necessary part of his equipment to do foundation work, and their long term costs should be amortized into his overhead as a part of his quoted price. I would keep looking. When the framers and trim carpenters show up, you would not expect to pay them a rental fee for saws and other tools, or have to rent the wet saw from the tile installer for him to work. Whatever the trade, there are tools and equipment that you have to own as part of getting the job done, or that you choose to own because it makes your job just plain easier.

As kctermite points out, there is absoluelty no reason to have to pour a 3 ' high stem wall with a cold joint. If the guy can't place a 3' wall in a continious pour, he should get another trade.

Last edited by troubleseeker; 05-25-2008 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Forms are a necessary part of his equipment to do foundation work, and their long term costs should be amortized into his overhead as a part of his quoted price.
He said what I was trying to say, only much better!

I would not use someone that couldn't pour it all in one pour. There are other contractors, I'd suggest shopping around.
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:03 PM   #9
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3rd Vote - Find a different Foundation Contractor. Good Luck...
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:27 PM   #10
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I will get two more quotes this week and see what the bottom line is and how they compare, I appreciate your comments they have been most helpful...
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:48 PM   #11
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If you really want to know if you are getting ripped off call up an equipment rental company to see if they carry forms. If they don't know call up your local concrete company to see if they know anyone who rents them. Just give them a L.F. and height, see what the actual cost is.

Like everyone else said it never hurts to get more numbers.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:37 PM   #12
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Well here it is, two more foundation quotes..
.
Quote #2 listed form rental as $2,500.
- bottom line was $2,500. more than quote #1

Quote #3 listed no form rental charge $0
- bottom line was $11,500 more than quote #1

So quote #1 with the $6,000.00 form rental charge has the lowest bottom line.

So I guess it was wrong for me to judge each line on a quote, and it goes to prove that getting more than one quote has an advantage even if the first quote was the best.....Dennis
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:17 AM   #13
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Crazy Canadian Concrete Contractors!
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:40 AM   #14
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Tell #1 that you have good news. You want him to do the job but you'll rent the forms from #2 for $2500 so #1 can knock the $6000 form rental off his bid and also pour it all at once. Just kidding.

I don't know why some contractors break costs down by item rather than just give the final number. It's the final number that counts and item charges just encourage homeowners to question individual costs and feel ripped off even when the final bid is reasonable.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:22 PM   #15
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By the sounds of the size of your foundation consider ICF, something tells me you will be break even

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