Four ways to make sure you don’t get ripped off when you buy foundations

By August 22, 2013Blog

Foundations are expensive. No way around that. But they are cheap in comparison to the final value of the completed floor square metres in the new building. A new basement in Bellevue Hill could be worth $2 mill +, a garage in Bronte could add $500,000 to the value of an existing house.  Piles are more expensive than ground beams or brick foundations, but you can use less piles than ground beams because piles work harder. The key is too make sure you get the best price for the foundations for your project, and don’t get ripped off. Access Piering recommends the following four ways to do that:

1. Understand all options

Don’t be rushed into the most expensive option because you are under time or cost pressure. All projects today are highly cost sensitive, so you should understand all your options for foundations before making the right choice. Don’t rush into the cheapest option as this might have the highest risk. You also need to understand how risk is being shared between the Contractor and you. Other options might be a higher cost, but will provide you with better certainty and less overall risk. Or with better investigation the costs can be fixed. If time and cost needs to be contained, then talk with us about what your options are.

2. Get Contractor advice early in the design

Not every Architect and Engineer works with foundation design and construction every day. We do. We look at hundreds of projects every year. We know the common design methods that will make for an efficient design. When you have your Geotech report and the Architect drawings, we would be happy to give you advice on what the options are and what the best foundation design and construction method would be.

3. Consider “Design and Construct” for the foundations

Access Piering has delivered big cost savings through Design and Construct (D&C) on a number of recent jobs. Typically we can reduce foundation cost by 20%, depending on the design and ground conditions. How does D&C work? Simple:

  • Access Piering completes Geotech investigation and report
  • Structural Engineer for the building delivers the structural loads required to be supported by the foundations
  • Access Piering Engineering team take the structural design and the Geotech report and delivers a Foundation Construction Report
  • We meet with you to review the options and costs covered in the Report
  • Access Piering price the foundations, incorporating the best design possible

4. Test drill to determine strength and depth of rock

We see a lot of sites where the Geotech engineer is working off 1 or 2 boreholes because of limited access or equipment. On one site recently, the Geotech investigation went to 900 mm below the surface, but the basement carpark was designed to go 3 m below ground!  Well, we’re god, but no one can tell what is the ground without proper investigation.

One day of investigative drilling in between demolition and foundations construction could save you a substantial amount of money.

Access Piering can arrange for a test drill on your site to determine strength and depth of the rock in the ground. Coupled with a D&C approach, this is a very powerful method to get the best possible price for foundations.