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Re: FOUNDATIONS: "Geotechnical Report Required?"

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It may be useless in court, but I generally include a clause in my contract for services and in the general notes on the first page of my set that a geotechnical engineer shall be retained to verify that the soils will support (xxxxx) PSF with a maximum settlement of 1 inch, and any discrepancy be brought to my attention prior to any foundation work commencing. Most of my clients can tell me what the soil looks like on site, and I "eyeball" xxxxx to be 2000 to 3000 psf (CL to GW). Soft clays and any project requiring more than 3000 psf (or with deep foundations) and I'll require a geotech or recommend another structural firm. Honestly, the few times I've felt I needed a geotech, the owner sided with me and hired one based on my description of the dangers.

I never hire the geotech directly, but rather have the owner do so.

Expansive soils are less of a problem here than in TX, and the local building inspectors are all hot on getting the testing done for every structure built. Even residences have to do it before any building permit is granted in some counties.


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