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Re: what's wrong?

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Severe earthquakes may or may not happen in the our or the homeowner's lifetimes.  But if they will, the likely damage may be greatly exacerbated by the actual condition of the soil, liquefaction etc.  By that time, the comments about being "broke" will be long forgotten, and people will start looking for a guy to pick up the repair costs. With no soil report, this guy will be us. 
The bottom line - it boils down to the issue we discussed before.  Building in the proximity to the faults (essentially, SDC D for residential construction) is inherently risky, hence the associated costs.  IMHO, these costs are nothing compared to the professional (ours) liabilities associated with the Big (and even not-so-big) One.  
V. Steve Gordin, SE
Irvine CA
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 09:21
Subject: Re: what's wrong?


I certainly agree with your comment regarding a "typical" new house in the Bay Area.  In that case the expense of a soil report may not be all that significant (although practically every client I've had has ended up his project "in extremis," making all sorts of pain-filled comments about being broke).

But what I'm really referring to is my typical client who is just adding a little room on the back of his house, or adding a partial second story.  And what about if he's just adding a single new foundation for a new shear wall to make his house more earthquake resistant -- does he still need a $3,000 soil report?  And if he does and it recommends a pier foundation, although the house has been sitting there on 3" deep shallow footings for 80 years without significant harm, what's the rationale in gold-plating the new foundation?



In a message dated 1/15/08 9:03:52 AM, sgordin(--nospam--at) writes:
Dave and Ralph,
It is not quite an "across the board" requirement.  Overall, only a very limited number of houses will be affected, with the Bay and LA areas hit hardest.   
These areas are known for their no-so-good soils , and, in all honesty, require soil investigation anyway. 
As far as I know, a decent residential soil report in OC can be done for about $3K, and represents a negligible fraction of a median property cost of about $655K.  
V. Steve Gordin, SE
Irvine CA


----- Original Message -----
From: Rhkratzse(--nospam--at)
To: davea(--nospam--at) ; seaint(--nospam--at)
Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 08:43
Subject: Re: what's wrong?

In a message dated 1/15/08 8:41:34 AM, davea(--nospam--at) writes:

The foundation is of the utmost importance, certainly, but to require a soils report across the board ... especially for light-frame/single-story/non-expansive-soil-supported structures ... seems sort of harsh.

Anything to drive up the cost of housing, eh?


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