Home Renovations and Geology 101

Brown Residence, Week 5Week 5-2 Image1 According to the Geologist, Liz and Mark Brown’s current home is built on liquefaction soil.  Welcome to California! What is soil liquefaction? Liquefaction occurs in saturated soils and sands. The soil transforms from a solid to a liquefied state.  When liquefaction occurs (as in the event of an earthquake) the strength of the soil can be compromised temporarily by the shaking earth, and as a result, that soil deposit has a tough time supporting the structure’s foundation, which could cause it to tilt or sink. Think of it in terms of a “quicksand” scenario. This geological investigation will identify those soil conditions and literally tell structural engineers how the foundation must be designed. Now you can see why digging and testing the soil conditions for this type of home addition and renovation project is imperative.  Soil testing is an integral part of designing your home and more specifically the foundation it’s built on, as it has a direct link to the earth and rock below. The required “Geological Engineering Liquefaction and Foundation Investigation”, will expose a variety of properties contained within the various layers of soil, which will in turn Week 5-2 Image 2provide the structural engineer with all the information he’ll need to design the proper, solid foundation for all areas of this home renovation project. Now it’s my job to provide the geologist with a Topographic Land Survey of the existing property (which the Browns had copies of from a few years back), and a site plan, indicating each new proposed addition to the existing structure.  This information will provide the geologists with a roadmap as to the number of drill sites they’ll need to provide throughout the property. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “How to Avoid the 15 Most Common Decorating Mistakes” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2009 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc