• Amaroo : Debbie

Why a soil test is important when you buy a block of land.

Updated: Feb 21, 2019




Information courtesy of CSIRO

Definition of soil classification: Soil classification deals with the systematic categorisation of soils based on distinguishing characteristics as well as criteria that dictates choices in use ( Source Wikipedia)


Engineers typically classify soils according to their engineering properties as they relate to use for foundation support or building material.

Modern engineering classification systems are designed to allow an easy transition from field observations to basic predictions of soil engineering properties and behaivours.


Why is the soil classification so important when purchasing a block of land with the intention to build?

A soil test determines the bearing capacity and rate of settlement of the soil. Your builder/ engineer uses the soil test results to assess the most suitable construction technique and type and depth of foundations required- to minimise any movement or potential cracking.


The 2 most common soil classifications in Mareeba, NQ are "M" class and "P" class.


"P" Class- The slab may need to be strengthened by the use of stronger steel and deeper and wider footings. This can lead to an extra unexpected cost, on top of the price of the land.


"M" Class- Generally speaking, in the Mareeba area most builders anticipate an "M" site when building. This particular soil type has already been factored into the cost of the foundations.


For a small sum in the early stages you may save yourself a huge expense down the track by carrying out a soil test prior to the purchase of land. The cost of building your house's foundations can ultimately depend on the type of soil that it is built on.

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