Saturday, September 26, 2009

Foundation Remodel with Steel Post? You may need a Soils Report!

Q. We are working on a residential remodel in Virginia.  Our structural engineer recommended adding a steel post in the basement under a steel beam.  We drilled down to 6 or 7' and the soil is soft.  The engineer is now recommending that we consult a geotechnical engineer before proceeding with more drilling.

A. You need to hire a Soils Engineer to take a soil sample at the location where you are drilling.  This sample will be analyzed in a lab.  The hole may need to be widened to generate more friction to support the beam.  The Structural Engineer will determine how deep and wide the hole must be based on the Soils Report.

Your local Geotechnical Firm can probably recommended a good Soils Engineer who will take residential projects.  Many larger firms don't deal with homeowners but they maintain a list of quality professionals for referrals. Some Civil Engineers can also provide this service.