What to look for onsite: Foundation Excavations  

Our new blog series #whattolook4onsite aims to give you an idea of what our surveyors are looking for when they go out on site.

The first topic we will be looking at is…foundation excavations, which as you well know can be a nightmare especially when factors like trees and clay soil are involved.

Have a look at the picture below and see if you can work out what we would be looking for if these were the conditions on your site. Think about the following factors:

  • What construction details can you see?
  • Whether there are any issues?
  • What remedial action is necessary to address any issues?

Then when you’re ready check out the answers at the bottom of the article (no peeking!).



From the picture you should be able to see that the foundations have been partly concreted with no construction joints provided.

There are also some potentially problematic factors such as the existence of tree roots and the presence of clay soil.

So what would our surveyors be looking for with regards to the tree roots?

  • Checking the proximity of the trees
  • Identifying the type of tree and its size
  • Checking the foundation depth is adequate for the proximity to the trees

For more information on building near trees check out the following article.    They would also be looking to establish if the clay soil will be prone to shrinkage and/or swelling and whether heave precautions might be necessary.

For more information have a read of our article How to reduce the effects of ground heave following tree removal

Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty technical manual.


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