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Query on Foundation Approach

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If it's available in your area (I assume it is), I
suggest Soil Solidification.  For a couple thousand
dollars, a specialty contractor injects a magic liquid
(something silicate), which turns sand into sandstone.
 They use a thin wand to do the injection; they can
start out maybe 10 feet down or more, continuing to
pressure-inject this stuff as they withdraw the wand. 
Depending on the sand, the magic liquid will saturate
an area maybe 4 feet in diameter; the contractor thus
pushes his wand into the ground every 4 feet or so. 
The result is a coherent block of material that can
hold a vertical cut, and will safely carry (I'm told)
around 15000 psf with minimal settlement in what used
to be loose sand.

I've used this method when I had to put a footing
(near grade) next to an existing deep basement wall,
to reduce lateral load on the wall.  It's also handy
when you want to dig down along (and below) an
existing foundation without worrying about sand
sluffing into your excavation and undermining the
foundation.  Very handy technique in retrofit work, if
you're in relatively clean sand.

Mike Hemstad, P.E.
St. Paul, Minnesota

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