Balmer Brothers Concrete Works
2005 Basement of the Year
Jerry Balmer, President of Balmer Brothers Concrete Works, Inc. in Akron, Pennsylvania, knows what it’s like to build a basement from hell - he’s done it before. In 2000, Balmer Brothers was voted the winner of the Basement of the Year for their 29,000 square foot basement, which was complex as well as mammoth. This year’s winner was even bigger! This home in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania expanded over 34,000 square feet, which did not include the nine-stall car garage.
Having worked on projects over 10,000 square feet numerous times before, Balmer Brothers is not a rookie at tackling complex foundations, and thus was selected for this project because of their reputation and experience. The winning structure boasts 2,210 linear feet of wall. Many of the walls were curved with curved window bucks and wells along with piers and offsets that were tangent to the curves.
“The curves, the various heights and the vast amount of steel, hundreds of fillers and vice grips, and miscellaneous equipment all made this foundation challenging,” explained Balmer.
Balmer Brothers continuously works hard to stay a step above the rest and the best way to do that is one foot at a time. For the project, the crew poured approximately 967 yards of concrete for the walls and concrete footings.
“Since it was a labor extensive job, we took it piece by piece and compared the cost to past jobs,” stated Balmer
However, this is one basement from hell that is not complete. Balmer Brothers will return to the project to pour the garden and terrace walls, the waterway for a moat, and another three-stall car garage. What started as two brothers pouring sidewalks and curbs in the summer months in 1973 has become a successful company who has found a niche in upscale large, unique and complex foundations in the Philadelphia area.
The recipient of the Basement of the Year competition is selected by an annual vote at the World of Concrete. Balmer Brothers was one of six Concrete Foundation Association (CFA) members who submitted projects.
Balmer Brothers has been a member of the CFA since 1978, and Jerry Balmer was on the Board of Directors in the 1980’s.
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