How do I know if my soil is suitable for construction?

May, 31 2021

If you’re preparing or planning a construction project of any size, one of the most important first steps is to assess the soil quality of the location you’d like to build. Soil can have a wide range of different properties, and only by understanding how these properties relate to building infrastructure and stability can you be sure that you’re starting on the right foot. Hiring soil testing consultants can make the process even more valuable and informative.

Understanding the difference between unsuitable and suitable soil


Soil is not a uniform substance, and it can vary wildly between areas and depths. This is why conducting a soil quality test is generally necessary for obtaining a permit for new building construction. Beyond getting the permit, project managers can significantly improve the outcome of their building’s long-term durability (particularly in California, where challenging geological and weather events occur frequently) by understanding how best to adapt to the soil on the project site.


Soil with a high amount of clay is generally looser and has a more challenging time staying together on its own. This soil is more difficult to build on but not impossible – it will require a sturdier foundation that extends deeper into the ground or wider.


Other common soil compositions in California include a mixture of sand, silt, and clay. Ideally, project sites will have a balance of soil types that result in loam, as loam is the best soil for building on due to its ability to support heavy structures without shifting.


There are many variables present in soil from any given site, and knowing how it will impact your building’s future strength is crucial for long-term planning.


Soiling testing and analysis

If you’d like to get ahead of the game with your project, you can have the soil tested and analyzed before you even purchase the land. The soil quality can be referenced in the bid (if it is lower quality but still usable, for example).


Due to the variety of soil types and other complex factors involved, project managers often hire soil testing consultants such as the experts at G3Soilworks to understand the results from soil tests better. Working with our soil consultants can help determine the ideal location of a building project and any necessary foundational planning that needs to be incorporated into the project’s design.


Contact G3Soilworks to maximize the productivity and profitability of your projects in Southern California by supporting them with our geotechnical and geological experience.



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