Call for Entries

Now is the time to document that basement you hope you never see again. Yes, its time to submit your entry for the “Basement of the Year”, also known as the “Basement from Hell” award. In 1998, the first year the award, the contest was won by Bontrager Concrete Specialties, Incorporated of Nappanee, Indiana. The project has footings that were 24” thick and 36” wide and sat on top of over 200 wood pilings. The footings needed to be pumped in two separate pours due to the size and inaccessibility of the project. There were 770 lineal feet of formed wall with thicknesses of 8”, 10”, 12”, 14”, 16” and 34”. To add interest, there were 27 forty-five degree angle corners of which several had wall thickness changes; and the 38 + ninety degree corners. There were numerous dimensions that were ¼”, ½”, and ¾” instead of nice even inches. To add interest to the project, a brick ledge went around the entire perimeter of the building.

The project used 460 cubic yards of 4000 psi design concrete on the footings and walls and over 6000 pounds of reinforcing steel.

In 1999, Lavy Concrete Construction, Inc. of Piqua, Ohio was announced the winner of the 1999 Basement of the Year Award. The home was constructed for the local ready mix supplier. As you can guess – there was no skimping on concrete.

Instead of traditional footers, a 12” thick structural slab with 2 mats of reinforcement formed the combined floor slab/footing system.

The structure had over 50 corners on the foundation alone and more on the adjacent retaining walls and planting areas at each end of the home. Wall heights ranged from 32” to 13'-11”. A combination of forming systems was used due to the complexity of the structure. The project consumed over 300 cubic yards of concrete, not including the garage floor, patios and steps.

The rules for the competition are simple. You must be a CFA member and you must submit a written description of the project, photographs, and if you like, drawings of the project. We should receive them no later than September 15th. Call CFA at 319-895-6940 if you have any questions or email to

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