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Old 01-26-2010, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Texas
475 posts, read 971,343 times
Reputation: 229

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Quote:
Originally Posted by feistygecko View Post
Over on Kyle Seale, by Babcock, there is a housing development with a gigantic vertical retaining wall. I wonder how the sale of those empty lots will be affected by the Centex landslide. I also wonder what the current residents are thinking.

29.556071 -98.649308 - Google Maps
Use the street view to place yourself at the Tee-intersection at the center of the screen and then view south.
What is interesting about that development (a premium tract builder with premium prices) is that they leveled off flat plats for each house lot in what was really a naturally sloped area.

That is one way to do it; the other is to match each plat to the natural contours, but that leads to huge expensive megafouindations and not as much flat yard space. Most people would probably like a flat plat of land, but then building on hills is usually not very compatible with that want.

One subdivision where you can see both approaches is KB's Quarry subdivision where earlier homes were built with larger foundations and later, the remaining plats were leveled off.

By the way, those huge foundations where a house sits on top of a concrete box taller than the house are really a form of retaining walls, albeit with rebar and concrete; it isn't a solid block of concrete. Still, they are very expensive to build relative to a simple foundation on flat land.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:24 AM
 
30,102 posts, read 47,335,107 times
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and regarding foundations--you know these homes probably had a "floating" slab vs a piered-beam foundation...
so some of them if the earth slides like this did--are going to see foundation faults probably--since the earth is not stable...a foundation can only "float" so far before it cracks...
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Texas
475 posts, read 971,343 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post
and regarding foundations--you know these homes probably had a "floating" slab vs a piered-beam foundation...
so some of them if the earth slides like this did--are going to see foundation faults probably--since the earth is not stable...a foundation can only "float" so far before it cracks...
Yes, of course they would be floating; given the filled in soil, piers would have been the right choice, but very expensive to the point of cost prohibitive for the home prices in the neighborhood. That is why retaining walls and compacted soil is done... but it needs to be done right.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:47 AM
 
4,268 posts, read 8,381,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datacity View Post
Yes, of course they would be floating; given the filled in soil, piers would have been the right choice, but very expensive to the point of cost prohibitive for the home prices in the neighborhood. That is why retaining walls and compacted soil is done... but it needs to be done right.
Interesting. I always figured the slab foundations were more expensive than P&B. (We have P&B, but the house is 120 years old)
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:48 AM
 
221 posts, read 501,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Wall Builder View Post
it is a shame that contractors resort to taking the lowest bidder to build something when it can compromise the integrity of a home. lokk closely at the pictures of the retaining wall and you will see that the wall has no geo retention behind it. Rock walls of this magnitude have to be built as gravity mass walls. In other words they have to have a huge base of solid mass in this case at least 10 foot wide. The wall should have two veneer faces one on the front of the wall and one on the back and the center between the two walls should be filled with loose spare aggregate and concrete to create the mass weight required to hold back the fill zone. In the modluar block world we have to use geo grid to bypass the thoeretical fault line that can occur when earth has been cut or filled. hope this doesnt confuse anyone. Please do not ask for our name or who built this wall as it can cause liable and slander

No to be the bearer of bad news but who would choose to purchase a 250k home from a questionable production builder? we all know Centex cuts corners to make their homes as competitively priced as possible...

I hope these families are compensated in some way!
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:57 AM
 
5,635 posts, read 13,976,324 times
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I doubt those homes cost more than 150k, but I could be wrong.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:03 AM
 
Location: SA/Pipe Creek
2,790 posts, read 5,186,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datacity View Post
That is one way to do it; the other is to match each plat to the natural contours, but that leads to huge expensive megafouindations and not as much flat yard space. Most people would probably like a flat plat of land, but then building on hills is usually not very compatible with that want.
I agree. The question I raised when I first saw this is why didn't they just build on the hill and raise the elevation of the slabs like most houses are built when the lay of the land is not flat??? Makes no sense at all.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:18 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,400 posts, read 20,165,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasNick View Post
I doubt those homes cost more than 150k, but I could be wrong.
No, you are somewhat correct. If I remember, the sign on Prue said the houses were in the $150K-250K range...

I tried to confirm that using GoogleMap's Street View, but the sign is blurred out.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:24 AM
RGJ
 
1,902 posts, read 4,027,153 times
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There's a lot of production builders building in the 250k+ range. By the time you add the upgrades, elevations, lot premiums, it's real easy to do....
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:25 AM
 
221 posts, read 501,503 times
Reputation: 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by HillCountryHotRodMan View Post
I agree. The question I raised when I first saw this is why didn't they just build on the hill and raise the elevation of the slabs like most houses are built when the lay of the land is not flat??? Makes no sense at all.

Because the larger the slab the higher the $$$ to keep their cost low and their profit margin high (we are talking about centex here) do you think they would?

Most builders will add the cost of the additional slab to the lot premium....one homeowner said they paid 10k for the "hill views" I highly doubt that would have been enough to cover the needed slab!


Quote:
Originally Posted by RGJ View Post
There's a lot of production builders building in the 250k+ range. By the time you add the upgrades, elevations, lot premiums, it's real easy to do....
I understand....I just know I personally wouldn't build with a massive production builder, KB, Centex, Horton....if I was spending that kind of $$$
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