Board Formed Concrete – Modern Farmhouse
The foundation on the front and right sides of this house is going to be about 5 to 6′ tall. This is more exposed concrete than we would prefer. The tall concrete walls result from having a side slope on the lot. We do not like small interior level changes. A flat floor inside is required. These choices lead to tall foundation walls on the outside of the house.
Concrete is usually formed with plywood. The imprint left on the concrete is irregular and pocked with holes. It is typical to plaster the foundation with a layer of stucco to hide the rough surface.
Rather than go the plywood route, we decided to use board formed concrete walls for the foundation. Wood imprinted concrete has been around for many years, but we did not see it often. Today we are seeing more decorative concrete used locally on modern homes, and we see it featured on Houzz and Remodelista.
So, instead of using sheets of old plywood, this foundation was formed with 2 x 6 pine boards. The finished surface was imprinted with the lines of the boards.
The boards will imprint on the concrete when it dries. Victor Silva, our contractor, made an extra effort the vibrate the concrete during the pour a little more than usual to avoid even minor honeycombing. Honeycombing refers to the exposed pebbles and voids on the surface of the concrete walls.
Here the boards are removed, and their imprint is left on the concrete.
Board formed concrete requires a good builder to get it right. Our concrete contractor, Victor Silva, was very supportive of our board form design, and bought extra boards to do the whole foundation.
The board forms added to the cost of the foundation (about $1,000). But, we do not need to cover the surface with stucco, so it came out about the same. Victor was proud of the result, and we are very pleased, too! The foundation is both a structural and decorative element.
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