If you plan to build a new home soon and already have chosen your land plot, then you may wonder what the foundation excavation process will entail. This step can be performed right after construction workers have cleared your building site.
First, how deep do you need to go? If you plan to build a home with a crawl space, then the construction crew will need to excavate down a few feet, and if you plan to build a home with a slab foundation, much less digging will be required.
While foundation excavation can be a simple process, it can be more challenging when the land chosen to build a home on is not ideal in shape or soil quality.
Learn about three challenges people often encounter during the foundation excavation and how these challenges are typically tackled.
1. Sloped Land
If the plot of land you plan to build your home on has an obvious slope, then you likely wonder how this will affect the foundation excavation process. While excavating and building a foundation on sloped land is more difficult and time-consuming than excavating relatively flat land, it can be done.
If you desire a traditional home foundation, then your excavators will have to use a cut-and-fill process to prepare your land for the foundation. During the cut-and-fill process, your excavators will level the land your home will go on by either adding soil to the area or removing it. After the land is level, your foundation hole can be excavated and your foundation can go onto it just as it would be on flatter land.
An alternative to leveling the land underneath your future home is to opt for a pier-and-beam foundation instead of a traditional one. This foundation consists of wood or steel columns, or piers, that attach to a concrete base that lies deep underground and a concrete slab called a beam that lies on top of the columns. All piers project out of the ground to the same height, providing a flat foundation for the concrete slab and your home.
2. Poor Soil
The ideal soil type for home foundation support is loam soil. This soil contains a good balance of sand, clay, and silt, making it easy to compact. In addition, this soil absorbs some moisture, yet not so much that it easily becomes waterlogged or fails to properly drain.
When a foundation has a different type of soil, the soil can shift over time for many reasons, causing a home’s foundation to gradually crack or sink into the ground.
You may wonder what to expect if your construction experts determine that the soil on your plot of land is poor quality. The good news is that a home foundation can be built into virtually every type of soil, although some types of soil better support some foundation types than others.
For example, since clay-heavy soil expands and contracts greatly as it absorbs water and then dries out, some foundation types can damage very easily as the foundation also contracts and expands over time when built into this soil type.
However, a thick structural concrete slab foundation can provide a good base for a home being built over this soil type, since the foundation is unlikely to flex as the soil expands and contracts underneath.
Soils with high sand or gravel content can lose the ability to support a home well if they remain moist for too long. However, a foundation can be built into this soil type as long as it has a good soil drainage system.
3. High Water
As mentioned above, some foundation excavations, especially those near water sources or with specific soil, can have issues with water. Foundation excavations near the water table can cause foundations to sometimes flood or be moist. However, if water is an issue for your excavation, that does not mean you can’t build on that land. This simply means you will have to incorporate a few methods.
Common methods include wells, pumps, pipes, or trenches. Some people employ deep wells or wellpoint systems to lower immediate groundwater levels, which then are pumped out. Also, sump pumps are a popular method to pump water away. Also, some people incorporate drainage and pipe systems, especially on sloped land. Support trenches and equipment can also be a great help in controlling and diverting groundwater.
If you purchased a plot of land to build a home on, then you may worry your construction team will encounter challenges with your foundation excavation. Thankfully, experienced foundation excavation experts can tackle any challenges they may face during this process.
Contact the site preparation experts at Abbotts’ Construction Services, Inc., today to schedule expert foundation excavation today. We look forward to speaking with you about your excavation needs. Please let us know how we can help you.