So you’ve secured your land, and the great Australian dream is within your grasp. You’ve looked at all the options for home builders and decided to go with Manor Homes (a wise choice, if we do say so). As you go through our 7-Step Manor process towards your new home, you will discover that one of the most critical stages isn’t necessarily what a lot of new home builders think about, but it is one of the most important for the foundation and longevity of your home… the soil test.
One thing we advise all of our clients before they break ground or even sign a contract with a home builder is to undertake a thorough soil test of their land. While the practice isn’t mandated in NSW, we include the service as a part of Step 4 PASSPack – Streamline Start. Every dollar spent testing your site’s soil early in the process will save you thousands later. Please read below to learn why you must complete a soil test, how it’s conducted and what the results will mean for your new home.
When To Do A Soil Test
After you have been through the first few steps of the Manor process, spoken to the team in the ‘Quick Chat’, had a look at our homes, outlined your must-haves in the ‘Discovery Meeting’ and selected your ideal floorplan and design in the ‘Design Solution’ its time for Step 4 ‘PASSPack – Streamline Start’ which includes a thorough inspection of your site and its soil.
How A Soil Test Is Performed
When we inspect your desired site, the Manor team will include a fully qualified Geotechnical Engineer who, using special equipment, will drill deep down into your soil and analyse its suitability for construction. We test soil from multiple sites across your land to determine the optimal location for any building and identify potential issues. At this stage, we can make any changes to avoid costly mistakes before they occur, and we can be sure we are placing the foundations of your home in the best position possible.
What A Soil Test Is Looking For
Conducting a soil test is essential in distinguishing what type of soil your land is made of. Beyond just visual inspections of your site, these tests will dig a little deeper (pardon the pun) to define your soil by looking at two main elements: reactivity and soil bearing.
The reactivity of your soil refers to the presence of chemical or physical conditions on the site that might damage your new home through movement. Reactivity rates the likelihood that your soil will move (expand or contract) due to moisture variations.
Your soil is also tested to determine its bearing capacity, meaning the weight it can support. To understand what type of footing we should install for your home, we must accurately know the soil’s bearing capacity.
What It Means For Your New Home.
Conducting a soil test early on means we can accurately quote pricing and provide the correct type of foundations for your new home to rest on.
An old but true adage we like to repeat when it comes to the soil test is “Every dollar spent now will save you thousands later on”, and from our 30+ years in the construction industry, we know this to be true. A challenging site with soil that expects a lot of movement will require different foundations to a site with stable, non-reactive soil. If the soil is unstable, the footings may need to be placed deeper into the ground, or a different type of foundation may need to be used. However, we can still work with highly reactive soils or soils with varying loading capacities. It’s all about making the right decisions in creating our home’s foundations. This test is about finding solutions, not problems.
So Your Soil Isn’t Ideal?
Fear not, Manor has never met a site we couldn’t work with. Our modular building process is ideally suited to complex sites. As we build your home off-site, there is minimal site interference until it’s time to deliver your home and add the finishing touches. We are on-site for just a fraction of the time that a traditional build would be, and our options for foundations and footings mean we can service a variety of sites and soil conditions.
Beyond building you a high-quality house that looks good and works as your lifestyle needs, we want to build you a home that lasts forever. A soil test and proper foundations are the key to making this happen.
What To Do Next
Check out more of the 7-Step process to learn what happens after you’ve completed a soil test. If you have any questions about what you need to do to get your site ready or concerns about your site suitability, please reach out to the team, who will be more than happy to walk you through the process of building with Manor.