What the heck is Geotechnical Testing?

By October 3, 2013Dental Construction Blog

Construction Soil TestingAs a dentist, you know all about bicuspids, oral pathology, and remineralization. But do you know about bedrock, material lithology, and subsurface minerals? Probably not. So if you’re going to buy a piece of ground, you’ll want to hire a geotechnical testing company to do a soil boring test first.

Why is it important to get a geotechnical test?

A soil boring company comes to your site and drills below the surface to collect a soil sample. In the testing process they can identify compaction, bedrock, impervious layers, and other subsurface features that have an impact on construction. This will tell you if the soil can be built on immediately or needs to be removed or reinforced before construction begins.

Not only is this a very important test to do, but I recommend doing it early on in your investigation of a property and definitely before you purchase. Why? Because assuming your property’s soil is ready for building can cost you down the road if that proves to be wrong. At the very least, it can change the way your project moves forward; at most, it can halt it altogether.

Ninety percent of the time there is no problem, but will you be in that tenth percentile or not? We hope that if you are serious about buying a property you will remember to spend just a little extra time and money to get the testing done before your purchase. It could save you a lot more time and money later on.

Depending on where you are in your building process, you have different options. If you are investigating different building sites, soil condition would become a data point by which we could evaluate other sites.

Let’s say Property 1 is $150,000 but has soil issues. Property 2 is $190,000 without soil issues. All other things being equal, you know a certain amount will be spent on fixing the soil, so that gives a different perspective on your purchase.

If you’ve already bought the site and are now doing testing only to find an issue, designs or construction can be adjusted to account for it using safe and practical measures. But it will require more time and more money.

Case in Point

I have a client who purchased a property several years ago without getting the soil testing done. He has spent thousands of dollars on the property and design of his project and now we are ready to start construction. When the testing was done the results showed that the soil was inadequate for his design specifications.

Construction CostsWhat this means for him is that he either has to begin the design process over to take into consideration the quality of the dirt he’s building on, or to remove and replace the dirt and continue with his design. It sets back the expected completion and it adds about $50,000 to the overall cost of the project.

So what started out as a great deal, is now creating huge losses in money and time. If he had spent $3000 early on to do testing, then he would have known what the property really would cost him. This would have given him the option to not buy or to purchase but design according to soil capabilities.

Trust us, we’re experts

You can’t possibly be expected to know everything about a property, whether it’s a vacant piece of land or a standing building. This is where we come in. At Primus Dental Solutions, we have the expertise to evaluate and review everything you need to know before you purchase or begin your dental office construction.

There are so many things to consider when you are purchasing and planning for your own dental office. We are the experts so you don’t have to be. We go over deed restrictions, environmental conditions, community demographics and more, so that you don’t have any unexpected surprises during your project.

We can save you time and money as we guide you through the process: avoiding pitfalls, mistakes, and difficulties.

~Jason

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