Soil Test Before Building

Why is getting a soil test before building so important?
If you do not build your home on firm foundations, it’s not going to be structurally sound. Testing the soil is an important part of making sure foundations are solid because different types of soil react in certain ways. This is why soil testing by geotechnical engineers, needs to be carried out before you get your building permit.

Why is the type of soil so important?
The fact is that there are several different types of soil, and soil type can have a significant impact on any building project. For instance, some soil contains high levels of minerals such as smectite clays. These minerals can easily absorb water which causes them to expand.

The more expansion there is, the more likely there is to be damage to any foundations which are laid. This is why you need to know if the soil where you are planning to build is expansive. If this is the case, the building plans can be amended to include a solution to the problem, such as wetting the ground so that expansion happens before building commences.

Soil can also contain high levels of salt which can cause metal structures to corrode, if no preventative measures are taken. Measures can include ensuring that drainage is effective, as salts usually need to react with moderate levels of water in order to cause corrosion.

How groundwater can contribute to problems with ground movement
High groundwater levels can also be an issue as they can cause soil to move in an unsafe manner. They can also lead to damp conditions in the basement and crawl spaces of a property, if the problem is not addressed before building begins. As with the issue of high salt levels, an effective drainage solution can help with high groundwater levels. There is also the possibility that damaged underground water pipes could be causing the issue, so this may require investigation.

Issues with moisture change are a major concern, especially when high levels of groundwater combine with expansive soil. Having the soil tested before you build enables you to know what class of soil is present on your land, and how likely it is to move.

What are the different classes of soil reactivity?
There are six main classes of soil reactivity. There is more likely to be a significant amount of ground movement with certain classes.
– Class A Stable soil where there is likely to be no movement, or only a small amount. This type of soil often contains sand or rock.
– Class S A small amount of movement may occur in these soils which often contain clay.
– Class M Moderate movement is possible in these soils where clay and silt is often found.
– Class H High levels of ground movement can happen in these soils which are often clay based.
– Class E Ground movement may be extreme.
– Class P Problems with ground movement could be extreme and the expertise of a structural engineer is needed before any building work can start.
You should never try and judge soil for yourself. An expert needs to carry out soil testing and produce a report for you.

Who carries out the work and what do they do?
All soil tests should be carried out by a qualified geotechnical engineer. They have the expertise required to carry out the work and compile the soil test report which is normally required to get a building permit.
Geotechnical engineers examine the area of land that is to be built on and note the general characteristics of the soil. This includes noting the level of groundwater present. They take samples of the soil and groundwater, to be sent to the laboratory for testing. Once the results of the testing are known, it’s up to the engineer to analyse the results and compile a comprehensive report.

What is included in the soil test report?
This report includes the results of the analysis and details of any particular issues that have been identified. The engineer also provides advice about steps to take to resolve these issues, and eliminate potential risks. The information in the report is used by architects and construction professionals to create or amend plans for a building project. It can also be used during the construction process.

You can see why soil testing is so important. You need to know how reactive the soil is, so that you can determine how safe it is to build on the land. Geotechnical engineers are experts in carrying out soil testing, so the process is simple and does not take long. Do not forget that discovering the soil is less than perfect does not necessarily mean you cannot build. It means that you may need to consult a structural engineer before you continue, so that you have complete peace of mind.

House Raising and Affordable Restumping

House raising and restumping is a trifling work to embark on. Houses, buildings and other structures that require it be raised higher should be done by restumping specialists. Do not have someone non-experienced raised your property. House raising and restumping should be carried out by restumping experts because of the potential damage that can occur while the house is being lifted.

Getting affordable restumping is very crucial because the moment your house is where it should be, the actual construction has only just started and you need to have enough money saved up. Choosing the appropriate contractor is a vital decision to make; you need to carefully choose a highly skilled restumping specialist who can safely raise and restump your property.

When lifting homes, it is very important to avoid having someone without the technical knowhow and the adequate experience restump your property; you should therefore hire a house stumping expert.

Support Beams and Posts

A pressing concern majority of home owners are not purview to when house stumping is the right procedures followed when securing home to the main support beams. It is recommended you check on the work frequently and be free to seek clarification for what you don’t understand. Note, it’s your house, and your money. Ensure that all work is guaranteed, so long as you own your home; as you wouldn’t want to experience your home suddenly collapsing on itself.

If steel beams are being used; ensure the welding is of the utmost quality with excellent craftsmanship. Even though it’s rare, less experienced steel welder joins the steel beams together under the supervision of a more qualified and experienced welder. This doesn’t raise any concern as it is accepted and understandable that young workers need to gather experience to eventually become independent.

When the steel beams are in place, it is advised to have the work inspected by a certified home inspector. To ensure you get a satisfactory inspection, be sure the inspector is not affiliated in any way with the company that is working on the property. Remember, the work done is only as good as the people who worked on them.

With wooden beams, all materials used should be new. Avoid using old materials as they can cause other material to bend which may result in creaky floor boards.

Be careful when under the house

While working under the house, be careful not to pull internet and electrical cables. Have a fan available that can circulate air as breathing dust and other debris can be very harmful to your health.


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The foundation of the house is the most important part as, without a strong foundation, it would be a complete waste of time to do any other work to a house. Foundations are key to a long-lasting renovation and when done at the initial stages, before any other major works have begun, have the potential to save you lots of money in the long run.

Dj Baker and Son Pty Ltd are experienced Restumping specialists and have the know how to assess the condition of existing concrete or wood stump. Once an inspection is made, they can also undertake remedial action if necessary, whilst minimizing further damage to the premises. Any house stumping which can degrade or subside will cause issues such as uneven squeaky floors, cracked walls, and distorted door frames. In extreme cases, poor or damaged stumping can result in the possible collapse of a home.

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The risks involved in re-stumping

You have an array of stumps to use. You can choose from the wooden stumps to the concrete or steel ones as well. Each of these stumps has a good element of strength. We have just seen the process of re-stumping. Let us look into the risks of indulging in this kind of home improvement procedure.

The technology has advanced to such an extent that you are able to jack up houses from the ground level in the same manner you jack up your car. However, it does have its risks. One must take the necessary precautions before embarking on the re-stumping procedure.

The testing of the soil is the most important precaution to take. If the soil is too loose, you might not even be able to jack up the house. The house will collapse at the slightest disturbance of the soil.

You have to contend with the moisture levels. In case you find water at the foundation levels, it is always better to drain out the water and use concrete blocks instead.

While you jack up the house, there are chances of causing damage to the floor tiles and plumbing fittings. However, there are minor issues that you should be able to take care of.

One should ensure to lay the floor on an even keel after the re-stumping procedure. This can be a challenging procedure because a slight difference of even one cm can make the floor uneven. This can affect the doors and windows of the entire building.

The cost of the re-stumping procedure is an exorbitant one. Hence, it is always advisable to carry out the re-stumping activities at a single go. If you leave out a stump or two, you have to spend a similar amount for jacking up the house and carrying out the procedure again.

Other than these risks, the procedure is a safe one. It has become very popular at the same time.