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dalepres 03-31-2011 07:54 PM

Reusing concrete forms in home building
Can I re-use the foundation forms (2x8) and, if I build a basement, plywood concrete wall forms? I thought maybe the 2x8's as rafters, ceiling joists, or for whatever comes up, and 3/4" plywood wall forms as sheathing or something.

Can this be done? Or is the wood I use for those destined for the dump?



joed 03-31-2011 08:22 PM

It can be done. I have seen older homes where it was obvious that the rafters were previously used as concrete forms.

Maintenance 6 04-01-2011 06:39 AM

I've seen it. Concrete residue is pretty tough on saw blades though. If some-one sprays them with form oil, then they are junk.

Bondo 04-01-2011 07:50 AM

Ayuh,... I salvage ole concrete forming, All the time...

dalepres 04-01-2011 09:10 AM

Maintenance 6, your point is the big concern I have. If the boards are oiled, wouldn't that affect their ability to release moisture to the air? And what about toxins or smell?

So if they're not oiled, won't they stick to the concrete and be torn up on removal? And what about all the holes cut int he plywood for ties?

I know it sounds like I'm trying to talk my way out of re-using them but I am really not. I am hoping there's good answers for all these questions because I'd like to save the money and the answers could affect whether I go with a basement or not.

jomama45 04-01-2011 10:02 AM

I'd stay away from any petro based form release if it was my home. I'm not sure if you'll have much luck with re-using the plywood, as the moisture in concrete could very well lead to some delamination. As for the 2x8's, you don't really need to oil them at all, just scrape them well the next morning and they should be just fine.

Have you thought about just using concrete block for the basement?

joed 04-01-2011 10:34 AM

Smooth 2x material dos not usually stick to concrete so bad as to tear it up. Plywood doesn't stick very often but sometimes. New material sticks less than material that has been used for forms previously.

dalepres 04-01-2011 10:41 AM

So it sounds like I just take my chances. If I have enough usable for a whole wall, then could I use the plywood for sheathing and do other walls with 7/16 OSB? Or should it all be 3/4" or none of it 3/4"?

concretemasonry 04-01-2011 12:07 PM

Since you apparently have decided on a construction method, but have you considered rent forms since many contractors also do for overloads and special jobs? That way you can built a proper home using good materials.

There are other ways to build a reinforced basement. Concrete block and ICFs are two common methods that allow more flexibility especially for unique layouts.


dalepres 04-03-2011 10:31 AM

Well, the bulldozer guy finished yesterday. He leveled the pad by cutting halfway down the slope to fill out a level pad about 6 feet bigger all around than the house size. This let us get a better feel for the lot than we were able to get from just looking at the elevation measurements.

The bad news is that we hit red clay about 4 feet down. I'll move that discussion to a new thread. The bottom line is that we won't be doing a basement. The leveled lot ended up exactly on the level of the clay at the midpoint. And, regardless of the clay, the result led to a decision to not do the basement. I was leaning toward the basement because I thought we'd have a 6 foot foundation wall anyway. Turns out the foundation wall will only be about 4 feet.

This still leaves us with the re-use question but now the throwaway would be half as much.

Though I am still leaning to doing it myself, I am getting quotes on having the footings and foundations done by a pro - especially since my concrete costs for the footings probably just quadrupled.

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