How Zoning Works: Soil Reports

Normally, a survey is required when you are building a new construction project. A soil report is required when you are building a free standing new construction project. A wastewater permit is needed for almost any building permit.

  1. The soil report is less legal and more important from an engineering perspective.
    1. A hole is drilled in a convenient location on your property and the core sample is analyzed by an engineer. The engineer then creates a report which tells your architect/engineer the bearing capacity of your soil to support the weight of the new structure.
    2. With the capacity of the soil, usually expressed in lbs./sf, we know how big to make the foundations. In addition, the report will state how wet the soil is and its’ ability to drain moisture away from the foundation. In some cases, soil has a high clay content and has a tendency to swell as it gets wet. If this isn’t solved, your basement can crack.
    3. If your new structure is located within a few feet of an adjacent neighboring property line, you will need additional “shoring” to prevent the soil from caving in and possibly collapsing your neighbors building. Typically, this is a design which must be prepared by the soil engineer.
    4. Soil reports also normally cost between $500 and $800.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the above.

Steve Culbertson