“The integrity of every ‘thing’ is determined by the strength or weakness of its foundation! Without a strong, healthy and structurally sound foundation, every ‘thing’ eventually fails.” Sam, the Foundation Expert
Understanding Residential (and Commercial) Foundation Construction
With a better understanding of how your home or building was constructed, you should have a better understanding of issues you may be confronting. This is also explained in Causes and Solutions presented later in this section. The following is not the theory that engineers and architects study in school. What we present here is the reality learned through the inspection, remediation, and repair of thousands of buildings and their foundations, both new and old, realizing that the residential housing and building industry is not what it once used to be. Although new technologies have evolved, the work ethic has diminished.
In the past, homebuilders constructed quality homes at a level rarely seen in today’s residential market. Today, contractors and developers are huge corporations with no personal liability. The term ‘builder grade’ has come to describe the lowest quality materials used in construction – the bare minimum required in order to pass inspections according to Building Code (ICC) and to minimize construction costs. As we present this information (for your benefit and education), please understand that it is founded on intensive research and comprehensive study and analysis of: soils, geotechnical and structural foundation engineering standards as taught in the Universities, and building science. More importantly, it is based on the knowledge and experience gained through practical application in thousands of newly constructed and rehabbed residential and commercial buildings.