The soil test is essential but pretty boring so I put another photo of the Blue Mountains here, instead of a 4WD with a small drill rig on the back. The picture shows the sort of mountain mist that is likely to surround my house for much of the year. If you would like to see pictures of soil there is some on the bottom of my boots in the photo 🙂
The reason there is a lovely garden on the block is that it is a subdivision. So one thing I had to check was the Site Classification – which involves a soil test to look at potential for expansion and reactivity of the soil, and determines what sort of foundation you can have for your building. It’s a good idea to get this done first up, mine was included as clause in the contract to buy the land; if the test came back as a huge problem I would be land hunting again very soon.
The test came back as Class P for problem site, which gave me a brief heart attack. I was expecting Class A since it’s nice and sandy, but in this case there is too much sandy infill. Anyway, apparently 70% of sites in Australia are Class P, and it’s not necessarily a big deal. Time to take a deep breath and relax. I am not using a concrete slab foundation, and I sent my soil test report to a structural engineer who said for concrete or steel piers there is no issue. So I’m still good to go with the build.
So the budget blowout will not come from the foundations – it might well still come from the Flame Zone building regulations but there’s plenty of time to worry about that.