Friday, March 11, 2011

Backfill, Compaction, and Settling

Today I emailed our PM three questions.  They were:

-What material are you using for backfilling?
-How would you rate the density of the backfill material?
-What method do you use to ensure proper compaction aroundthe exterior of the basement walls?

He was very prompt in his reply:

He said they use dirt from the excavation as backfill material.  The dirt does get air pockets that over a period of time will work they’re way out, usually after rain.  Some settlement around the foundation during the construction process is common.  Ideally we wont get any settlement after the house is finished, but if we do, Ryan will come back and fix it.  He said its much more common in houses built over the summer due to the dry climate and dirt. 

These questions steam from seeing settling at the model home in our community.


  1. Congratulations on your new home! We've lived in our Venice for two weeks and LOVE IT! You chose some great upgrades. I love your tile selections. I'm looking forward to watching your progress.

  2. Thanks! We spent years really loving the Venice layout. So we're very excited. I hope to post lots of pic's. We should be able to get more up today or tomorrow. Congrats to you too, on your new home. Thanks. Tom

  3. Keep the posts and the details coming. It is all great information. It is rare to build a new house and not run into at least one settling issue. It is the builder's job to do their best to minimize the potential, but you will almost always see some during the first year. Hopefully it is extremely minimal and easily fixed. Thanks for the info on backfilling and such...I think you are the first to provide some details.

  4. BD...thanks! The model has had several issues with settling.....Where you enter the model, they've put down pavers, and 12 weeks ago it sank about 10 inches, then was fixed, and now sank again. Thats where my questions came from. Thanks. Tom

  5. Oh wow....that is not normal. In the past builders used to bury construction debris but I think (not sure) there are laws against that now. Since it now sunk a 2nd time I would think they would excavate it to find out what the cause is...