In stick frame houses, windows are framed in. No big deal. A window opening might increase the material cost by a couple of dollars for a header. In concrete homes, windows, and doors, have to be ‘bucked’. That is to say an opening has to be formed before the concrete gets poured. But, because it is concrete, the material used to buck has to be approved for wet contact. Standard framing material just won’t do.
One company has tried a vinyl material that is approved for concrete contact. (www.vbuck.com) We used it on the lower levels. It does not like to stay straight and it poses challenges at the end of the project for the finish carpenters.
The alternative is pressure treated wood. The standard width is 12”, which is really just 10 3/4”. Either way, it is not wide enough to form across the 13” foam block. So, each piece of 2x12 has to be ripped down and then fastened to 2x4 on either side. A 4x4 window thus consumes 16 lineal feet of 2x12 and 32 lineal feet of 2x4.
Pressure treated wood is prone to splitting and warping. It is also expensive. 2x12 costs $1.61 per lineal foot. 2x4 costs $0.52 per lineal foot. That means it is costing $2.63 per lineal foot to buck the windows. That’s enough to make one say buck no!
My main guy assures me the savings is in the end when the finish carpenters get to work with a squarer, flatter wood surface. We’ll see who gets what in the end!
I am pleased to have reused the fish templates in the middle level deck beam. I think I will leave it as photographed. The indent will reflect light and shadows different from the flat surface. Over time, it will weather differently. I like it.