Residential House Pads

pad_thumbOne of the most important elements in the proper construction of a house is laying a solid foundation. The  will be worthless if it is not supported by a proper foundation.  Many professionals are involved during the planning stage to insure that the construction methods and materials specified in the blueprints are in compliance with all building codes and appropriate for the conditions found at the actual construction site.   steps and materials required to properly complete the pad.  Details for preparing the pad site include an exact depth of existing soils that must be removed from the pad site area before a single truckload of select fill can be brought in to start the build up process of the pad.  The exact height of the proposed house pad and the type of materials used for buildup are also outlined within these specifications.  Any deviation from the specifications outlined by the Architect, Structural Engineers and/or Geo Technicians can have devastating results.

Before actual work on the jobsite begins, make sure a complete set of blue prints have been signed off by all appropriate agencies, all permits authorized by the City, County and/or State agencies are in place, and where applicable, Home Owner Associations' regulations have been addressed.

Conduct an inspection of the project site and mark any easements, green belts or other restricted areas which prohibits constructiiom within their perimeters.  Locate the proposed site for the house pad and other structures like driveways,  detatched garages and walkways.  Run a tape measurement to make sure all structures are within the guidelines set in the blueprints and do not encroach on any prohibited areas.  If there is a discrepency, contact all responsible parties, for further instructions.  Once it is determined that every structure is in compliance, mark the site off using stakes for easy visibility.  Make sure all attached patios and/or sidewalks are included when calculating your dimensions as well as an additional five (5+) foot foundation overhang around the entire exterior of the structure.  The foundation overhang is necessary to insure ample support  around the foundation and to offest any dropoff and oversized slopes created when building up the pad site to meet the required specifications. Mark all trees and vegetation located inside the housepad area and within close proximity to the pad,for removal.  Mark all other proposed structurs including garage pads, driveways and culverts in the same fashion.  Review the placement of the padsite(s), driveway and sidewalks to insure they are not encroching on an easement or violating any deed restrictions.   Finally, locate any additional trees and/or vegetation that needs to be removed and mark accordingly.

1002824The next step is actually clearing the property and preparing the housepad site for construction. In addition to the trees and vegetation marked for removal, lot preparation might include the removal and replacement of several layers of spoiled soils to provide a suitable subase for the project site.  The creation of drainage areas and the re-location of rocks and boulders may also be necessary.  When removing the trees and vegetation located inside the padsite area, it is imperative that the entire tree and/or plant, including any significant underground root extensions, be removed from the area.  Any vegetative debris left in the padsite area, will eventually decompose leaving a void under your slab.  Any voids created in the slab will eventually cause the structural integrity of your house to fail.

100_4348Once the land clearing and padsite prep work has been completed, construction on the actual housepad can begin. Following the specifications discussed eariler, make sure an adequate amount of existing soil is scrapped off the padsite area before any new material is brought in.  The build up of the padsite to the specified height requirement will be done in lifts.  Each lift consist of 4" to 6" of select fill (a 60% to 40% ratio of sand to clay mixture) which is compacted to meet the minimum required compaction level of 95%.  A Geo-Technician should be on hand during the pad construction process, to administer and monitor each compaction test and insure that proper compliance is maintained through the entire process.  The final step in constructing a housepad, is to verify that the finished pad dimensions including the height requirements match the specifications detailed on the blueprints.  This is accomplished using a transit, which gives precise readings relative to any location on the pad site.

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