Included in the Estimate is a simple shallow pad foundation which is suitable only for flat lots with stable and good soils. Many flat lots, especially those created on hillsides, need more substantial systems like the ones outlined below. Our latest houses, which are built with structural SIP panels and galvanized floor joists are very light weight, so the foundation can be sized much smaller than on conventional block construction. This also saves on shipping costs.
We require a soil report from a reputable company so we can determine which foundation has to be used. Its important that the soil report is updated after the building and other structures are laid out onsite so we know where the highest point loads get transferred into the ground. Also from the soil report we get information concerning the quality of the soil and also a percolation test gets performed so we can size and design the correct septic system.
Both options here are specialized systems which will be used in certain conditions and if the soil report and the structural engineer requires them. They are a much more expensive solution than the simple pad foundation.
- Helical Pier Foundations are a solution for weaker soils and or steep hill sides. Helical screws can support foundations in soils with low load-bearing capacity. They consist of a steel shaft with helical plates welded onto it that are turned into the ground with hydraulic motors. They can be used in tension or in compression, as they would in a foundation.
- Concrete Pile Foundations are also mainly used for hill side construction and have similar advantages as the helical piers. They require specialized equipment to drill the pilot holes which get then filled with reenforced concrete according to the specifications of the structural engineer.
Above these base systems we have a steel column structure to the underside of the floor deck, such that the houses are always elevated above the ground plane. This minimizes grading and deformation of vegetation which is one of the primary things holding soils together here.