Q&A / 

Soil strength and quality are extremely important when building a new home since most house foundations contact soil, not bedrock. Not all soils are the same, so it is vital you get a valid soil test and inspection.

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Clearing land to build a new home may not be a do-it-yourself project. Land clearing can involve heavy land clearing equipment, depending on the size of the construction project. You might start with some simple hand tools, an industrial grade chainsaw and end up with a bulldozer.

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Compact Fill Under Slab TIPS Concrete bends and breaks Use self-compacting fill Water helps compact Concrete block ledges on footer CLICK HERE to Get Tim's FREE & FUNNY Newsletter! DEAR TIM: My new home is under construction. I'm in a disagreement with my builder about what's going to happen under my garage slab. Right now […]

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DEAR TIM: I recently moved into a neglected house. While working on the landscaping in the front yard, I discovered that the top of the foundation was below grade. Two courses of brick on top of the foundation were covered by a mixture of dirt and mulch. What’s your opinion about how much mulch one […]

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DEAR TIM: My last house had a basement that leaked water. I’m building a new home and want my basement as dry as the Atacama Desert. I’m confident that my drain tile was not put in correctly at my last house. What are the best practices when installing drain tile around a foundation? What materials […]

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Tim Carter demonstrates in his DIY shed project how to level the ground. Making the ground level before you start helps make the project go faster. Level ground also helps to make adjustments so the drainage around the shed is good and there's no ponding water. You can level the ground by hand or used […]

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DEAR TIM: I read your column down under on the other side of the world. We just moved into our new brick two-story home and I’ve got a problem with soggy lawn drainage. As you can see in my photo, the ground on one side of the house is higher than the first floor of […]

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Old Man Winter finally got up and went home. This past year he reminded me of that family relative that still is sitting on my couch at 10 pm on Thanksgiving, not knowing it was time to leave a while ago. With warm temperatures and favorable weather here, it's time to get started on some […]

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DEAR TIM: My backyard is not level. The ground slopes from the left to the right as you look out my back kitchen window. The land in the subdivision slopes this general direction until it hits a small creek three blocks away. Ever since my neighbor built an in-ground swimming pool I have water ponding […]

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Quick Column Summary: Problem with water entering crawlspace A crawlspace below grade is similar to a pond Waterproof your basement by diverting the water   DEAR TIM: I've got a chronic problem with water entering the 4-foot-tall crawlspace under the duplex I live in. This year has been bad with all the rain we're having. […]

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