The soil on your property can have a huge impact on your build. But with a soil test, you can discover exactly what you’re getting yourself (and your new home) into!
What is a Soil Test and Why Do I Need One?
When you’re building a new family home, it’s only natural to feel like you want to get everything just right. After all, you’re not just building a house – you’re building a place where your family will grow and create memories together for years to come.
Before building, many people spend hours considering their new home’s design, look, layout, lighting, and everything else. (Sound familiar?) But what most people don’t realise is that it’s also important to spare a thought for your soil…
Why worry about my soil?
You may be surprised to learn that not all soil is created equal. Instead, your soil’s characteristics play a key role in determining the cost of building your new home.
That’s why soil testing is so important – so you’re empowered to make more informed decisions, and ensure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Your soil test will measure a number of things, but two of the most important, and those that may affect the cost of your home the most, are reactivity and bearing capacity.
The more “reactive” your soil is, the more likely it is to move, expand, or contract. If your soil is particularly reactive, this will need to be addressed in your home’s design with fortified foundations or another solution. If it’s not addressed, you could risk cracking or movement in your home and foundations, which could cause major issues down the track.
Your soil’s “bearing” capacity will establish how much weight it can bear. This may influence the depth and width of your footings, whether you need a different type of foundation altogether, or whether you may require piers.
When should I test my soil?
You may want to get a soil test done before you buy a block of land so there are no surprises. It’s important to note that even if you do this, your soil may need to be tested by your selected builder before you build as well.
If you’re planning to knock down an existing property and build a new family home there, you may want to get two soil tests done – one before the demolition, and one after. That’s because the state of your soil may change over the course of the demolition process, and if it does, it’s important to know how it’s changed.
How does soil testing work?
To complete a soil test, a geotechnical engineer will take soil samples from various places around your property. These samples will be gathered using special equipment that drills down in order to examine your soil at different depths. This is important because it’s not just your surface soil you have to worry about – you also need to consider the soil further down, where your home’s foundations are going to sit.
Your geotechnical engineer will take the soil they extract back to a lab. There, it will be tested to determine its different characteristics, including the two key measures we’ve already discussed: reactivity and bearing capacity.
Once your soil testing is completed, you’ll receive a report detailing your soil’s characteristics. This report will be an invaluable tool for your home designer and your builder, as they’ll be able to use the information it contains to ensure their design and costings are realistic and tailored to suit your property. In turn, this will give you greater certainty and peace of mind.
Leave it to us!
At Madison Homes Qld, we make it easy for Brisbane families to build their dream family home. We promise a quality home and a unique customer experience – including taking care of your pre-build soil test.
If you are looking at buying land or currently have land you are considering building on, contact us for an obligation-free chat. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have so you can buy knowing the land you purchase will meet the needs for your family home dream.
Contact us today on 07 3821 6333 to discuss your dreams for your new family home, or read up on the Madison Experience here to learn more.