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Community and Q&A

Residential Geotechnical Analysis

idahobuild | Posted in General Questions on

Hey all,
Building a single family residential slab on grade in Idaho. I just received a quote for Geotechnical Analysis and there is obviously lots of jargon in there.  

Any advice on what specifically I can request them to look at to simplify the report and perhaps lower the cost. I’m not building a skyscraper or anything overly complex.  Additionally, the lot is fairly flat.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks

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  1. Expert Member
    ARMANDO COBO | | #1

    Most counties have geotech maps and information that can guide you if you need a goetech study or not, and sometimes that info is on the county website. You could also ask your building officials if the area were you are building requires a goetech study.
    Usually, locations where expansive soils, seismic codes and steep slopes are present should be inspected to make sure that the ground has the capacity to bear and support your house.
    In my neck of the woods, a geotech report is required on all new jobs.

    1. idahobuild | | #2

      Thanks Armando, I'll give the county building department a call today.

  2. Deleted | | #3


  3. walta100 | | #4

    General the old guy with 30 years of experience digging in your county will know if you are going to have a problem before he starts the machine and will happily tell you if you ask.

    Do you have any reason to suspect your ground is unstable?

    There are counties where the report is a must and others where it is a total waste of paper.


    1. idahobuild | | #5


      The local equipment rental company owner and I chatted a while back. He mentioned that there are spots of blue basalt (?) rock in some locations. The power company engineer said something similar when we were talking about utility pole placement. But I haven't had anyone mention unstable soils and in my Building Permit paperwork there is no mention of a requirement to have a study.

      There are several homes in the area and they don't appear to be high-end construction. Of course I can't see the foundations.

      My closest neighbor finished is build about 1 year ago and he told me that he wasn't aware of a study being completed prior to construction.

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