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Re: Soils Reports

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David,
 
It is great to have a soils report for any type of construction. 
 
However, if you are adding to a house in the know area of stable soils, and the house was around for, say, 10 years, a 1,000 PSF soil represents a very conservative assumption.  It is definitely not worth spending $2500-$3,000 on the complete soils report that will most likely yield a 2,000 PSF soil for a small addition.
 
Building departments are usually aware of the surrounding soils conditions and will provide appropriate guidance to the engineer.  But of course, in all cases good judgment and common sense have no substitutes.
 
V. Steve Gordin, SE
Irvine CA