soils and perc tests -

7 Replies

What are the best ways to determine if a plot of land will have building / sewer issues for a new development PRIOR to having an engineer come out and do the tests?

If i'm negotiating a land deal is there any way for me to pre screen for known or common issues?

My only thought is to actually call an engineer familiar with the area and run it by them to see if any known issues or concerns to watch out for.  Outside of that, any other suggestions?

If you need to know for certain, the best way is to have a core sample made of a few locations around the construction site.  Barring this, the local engineer familiar with the subsurface conditions would be next best.

@Derek Carroll I did a "home perc" test on my land before I bought to make sure I would be able to have a septic system there. You can google it online to see exactly how but from what I remember it was basically dig a hole, fill it with water, then sit there for an hour and measure how far the water drops every 15 minutes. Then there's a calculation to figure out your perc rate. 

Also, ask the neighbors (if there is any) about the soil. Chances are if all the sites around yours are build-able with homes on them then yours will be the same.

@Nick Coonis would it be possible to use your method to produce a soils report for an engineer. I am being quoted over $5000 for a soils test which my engineer requires in order to complete structure drawings and calculations. 

@Henry W. No. The engineer doesn't care about the perc rate, unless he's designing your septic system. The engineer needs to know your soil classification, hardiness and load calcs and all that so he can design your footing sizes, depth, and your foundation. I paid $3500 for the soils test report, perc test, and septic design.

Thanks @Nick Coonis how far in are you with your development? Once I get my soils then the structural engineer steps in. 

@Henry W. My foundation is almost done! We're very excited! Check out my diary I created on BP.

https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/522/topics/284495-new-construction-sfr---los-angeles-county