7 Tips for Building a Strong Foundation on Sand

April 7, 2013 / in Tips / by Admin

Constructing a home or building on sandy soil can be tough and the problems are numerous. This is especially true for homeowners in the coastal regions of the eastern and western United States, southern Texas, and the Gulf Coast area Here are seven quick tips to help you build a safe and secure foundation on sand.

1. Not all Sand is Created Equal
There are many types of sand and all of them have different physical properties. Sand can act more like gravel, other times more like silt. Know what type of sand you are working with before you start any construction planning.

2. Get a Soil Report
A professional soil test will help you architect the right solution for your foundation. It is an essential document that is full of vital information. Paying for the test upfront will save you from paying later once your foundation has settled. The report will help you calculate the bearing capacity of the sand and also the depth and composition of other soils under the sand.

3. Do the Math
Sand can generally bear 1,500 – 3,000 pounds per square foot. You need to calculate the weight of your building to determine how much load capacity you will need. Besides calculating the weight of the floors and walls, keep in mind any regional incidental codes that add to the overall weight.

4. Go Deep
Use information from the soil report, engineer a deep foundation solution. Underneath the sand is harder more cohesive soil. By harnessing the properties of this other soil type you can successfully anchor your home.

5. Reduce or Eliminate Vibration
When building on sand, pay close attention to vibration. Vibration can damage your property or your neighbors’ property as it causes sand to settle.

6. Stay Dry Build Tall
If you are living in a coastal area, chances are you need to build higher than the 100-year flood crest. This follows regulations mandated by FEMA but also keeps your home dry in case hurricane or other disasters come your way.

7. Work with a Professional
A properly certified installer or geo-tech engineer can help make recommendations for the proper solution.

Helical Piers – The Best Of All Worlds

Helical piers, also known as helical piles or helical anchors, are an ideal solution for building on all types of soil — especially sand. By screwing into the soil and being driven through the loose soil, they can anchor your home or building. This effectively removes sand from the equation as the pier is resting deeply in the earth. An additional feature of using helical piers is the minimal impact they create on existing or new construction. They are a low vibration solution, which means they will not cause incidental settling to your home or nearby houses. They can also withstand extreme loads. Our high-capacity Hercules Pile can support transfer loads up to 1,000,000 pounds.


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