Q: How much should a perc test cost? I live in Pennsylvania and the septic company I hired is demanding $2,400 for a perc test. They say that the test itself (3 feet) will cost $650, a soil scientist will cost $500, excavator and operator is $750, and a drip system design is $1,400. Does this sound about right or am I being taken advantage of? Please help – Minji A: Perc … [Read more...] about How Much Should Perc Test Cost?
Q: We recently purchased at lot in a new development. While excavating for the foundation, our builder informed us: “We ran into a problem with the soil on the back of your lot. It requires over -digging the footers and installing gravel back up to the bottom of footer. Unfortunately, this was an unforeseen expense that isn’t covered per your contract. Obviously, there will … [Read more...] about Should We Pay Extra Charge for Soil Problem?
Kevin writes: In 2013 we decided to demolish our existing home (build in 1941) and build a new home in the same place. Because our neighborhood is built on 85-foot-deep clay over a glacial lake, the old cinder block foundation had failed in the basement and we had serious moisture problems as a result. To prevent a repeat, we chose to not have a basement in the new home. Our … [Read more...] about Building New Slab Over Foundation Rubble
Karen asks: We are considering buying a property that's labeled as "gently rolling". Do we need a builder to look at it in order to tell us if a walk-out basement is possible? How much slope is required? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: Assuming an 8 ft. foundation wall, and assuming your foundation projects one foot above grade at the front of the house, you … [Read more...] about How Much Slope for Walk-Out?
Sandy writes: We were told the lot we were buying had "bad dirt" which didn't compact properly. So the builder is supposedly removing all the bad dirt and replacing it so that a home on a slab foundation can be built. How common is this practice and what can we do to ensure everything was done properly? Also, my husband saw them removing dirt and dumping it on the lot next door … [Read more...] about Building on Poor Soils
Will writes: I have purchased a home on clay-type soil. No soil samples were taken, and my foundation has moved severely -- severely enough to have eighth-inch cracks in every room and the tile has popped loose. I started having these problems within the first 4 months of living in the home. We moved in just 2 weeks after the home was finished from new construction. At one … [Read more...] about Beware Expansive Clay Soils
Ramakant writes: We are in discussion with a builder to buy a lot to build our new home. Currently it's a wooded area. However we discovered that this particular lot had a pond at one time covering almost 50% of the lot. Is it safe to build a new home on this lot? If so what are the things we need to consider? The builder says that we just need to stabilize the foundation … [Read more...] about Building on a Wet Site
Whitney writes: I recently bought a home and found out that the entire lot is backfilled with cinder block, brick, tiles, asphalt, and metal, which is causing damage to the foundation. Also, a large section of land keeps washing away due to all the buried debris buried. What can I do? Steve Bliss, editor of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: Sorry to hear about your problem. … [Read more...] about Foundation Damage from Buried Debris