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Old 07-13-2013, 02:59 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
270 posts, read 567,220 times
Reputation: 338

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We had the "Dallas Newcomer&Relocation Guide" in the mail yesterday, with an article about buying/building houses. They mentioned the problem and suggested to build pier and beam foundations, but I never saw them in newer buildings, only in houses from the '50s and older? Even builders like Toll Brothers offer only slab. Would we have to go with a custom builder and is it really worth the higher expenses?
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:48 AM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
40,065 posts, read 45,731,710 times
Reputation: 52317
I've not seen a Pier and Beam home built in 15-20 years and doubt any normal builder would do one for you. Most decent builders do soil testing and have engineers design foundations that suit the soil type. If you're really concerned about building in an area that might have soil problems, I have seen "Pier and Slab" foundations which is where they do piers combined with a post tension slab.

There are things developers and builders do today to the soil and foundations that have made P & B's not necessary.

I think you've read some less than good or current information. If you are that concerned, you might consult a foundation engineer. The most important part of a home is it's foundation and most builders work with engineers to design the best. They don't want or can afford to be buying back a whole area of poorly built homes.

As I mentioned, talk to a foundation engineer for the best advice.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:31 AM
 
106 posts, read 459,965 times
Reputation: 140
Yes, soaker hoses placed around the perimeter of the foundation 14-16 inches away from the building are recommended to maintain an even moisture level around the foundation. Even with a sprinkler system, under water restrictions, soaker hoses are except from once a week watering. If you the house has had foundation repair before, the company requires the use of soaker hoses to keep the warranty valid. Also, it would be a good idea to rule our slow leaks in your piping system, as sometimes that can cause problems that resemble foundation issues.
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:43 PM
 
581 posts, read 883,491 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakin View Post
I've not seen a Pier and Beam home built in 15-20 years and doubt any normal builder would do one for you. Most decent builders do soil testing and have engineers design foundations that suit the soil type. If you're really concerned about building in an area that might have soil problems, I have seen "Pier and Slab" foundations which is where they do piers combined with a post tension slab.

There are things developers and builders do today to the soil and foundations that have made P & B's not necessary.

I think you've read some less than good or current information. If you are that concerned, you might consult a foundation engineer. The most important part of a home is it's foundation and most builders work with engineers to design the best. They don't want or can afford to be buying back a whole area of poorly built homes.

As I mentioned, talk to a foundation engineer for the best advice.
Indeed, there are many fault lines within the area. My dad had a job mapping fault lines in Dallas county. A P&B would be like an elevated freeway but, according to what I've seen, it would be elevated to only somewhat above grade. In other words, if one is going to take the trouble to have it constructed, may as well elevate the house a few feet to avoid a potential flood.
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Old 08-13-2016, 04:16 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,207 times
Reputation: 10
I recently moved to Texas and bought soaker hoses as recommended however I was out of state during spring and they are not installed. I noticed the west facing ( w 2 huge oak trees) front yard which is very shaded most of the day, has ground pulled away from house about 2 inches ... Other cracking in ground is at newer post holes for newer fencing. Do I put the soaker down now, mid August and if yes,, how long do I sue it daily... Is a sign that it is doing its job, the ground pushing back towards the foundation/house? Lots of different things said, and I would like to do it correctly.. Please help.
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:58 AM
 
16,157 posts, read 14,664,062 times
Reputation: 14589
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phj44 View Post
I recently moved to Texas and bought soaker hoses as recommended however I was out of state during spring and they are not installed. I noticed the west facing ( w 2 huge oak trees) front yard which is very shaded most of the day, has ground pulled away from house about 2 inches ... Other cracking in ground is at newer post holes for newer fencing. Do I put the soaker down now, mid August and if yes,, how long do I sue it daily... Is a sign that it is doing its job, the ground pushing back towards the foundation/house? Lots of different things said, and I would like to do it correctly.. Please help.
Now.
Did you get any rain the last 48 hours?

I'd set the soaker hoses out today. In the short term you need to water the areas that have pulled away........those areas are very dry. If it rains hard and the voids fill with water those area will first become very weak, sometimes the dirt wall will actually collapse somewhat. That's no good.

Place soaker hoses along those areas - say 12' - 16" from the void and soak checking every couple of hours. Do not water to point that the dirt faces collapse (bad) or the void begins to fill with water (potentially very bad as dirt under the foundation can literally wash into the void). Likely a couple or three hours today, and a little more tomorrow and the next day will force the gaps closed safely.

Once you get these voided areas back to normal set the hoses in a linear fashion parallel to your foundation for the longer term.
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