Most of us have heard the story of the man who built his house upon the sand. The Bible puts it like this in Matthew 7:24-28:
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
In this telling, building your home upon a sandy foundation would be nothing less than tragic. However, if that same man had today’s advancements in technology and science, could he have been successful? Below are three ideas that might have helped.
Have you ever heard someone accuse you of running into a situation blindly? Maybe you’ve been told you really should look before you leap. Both instances point out how important it is to get a lay of the land before you proceed in any situation. With that said, there are many types of sand on this planet. Some act more like gravel and others can mimic the properties of silt.
Knowing which is which and what kind you are attempting to build your home on could mean the difference between going to bed in your bedroom and finding yourself floating on a mattress in the ocean. Make the effort to obtain a soil report. This will tell you what kind of sand you are dealing with and about the properties of the dirt below it, as well.
Once you have learned what you are dealing with, you can make plans to pour a foundation. Make sure you calculate the weight of the home correctly. Sand can bear between 1,500 and 3,000 lbs per square foot.
Then, you will want to make sure that the sand under the foundation is at least 6 inches tall and packed together well. After preparing the sand, it’s time to introduce the concrete. The uniform thickness post-tension cable foundation is going to be your best bet, here.
It is a much thicker concrete used to solidify its hold on looser, more unstable soils such as sand. You might also consider a raft foundation. So-called for its ability to evenly distribute the weight of the home life a raft on water.
When all is said and done, you will have proven wrong the accepted science that a house cannot be built on the sand. You will also most likely be relaxing in your dream home by the ocean. However, it won’t stay that way unless you maintain it. Cracks in a foundation of this nature could mean more than leak and pest trouble.
Sand is gritty and finite and will work its way into cracks and sand down, or erode the walls of each crack until your solid foundation is in separate blocks. The lack of a solid foundation will eventually cause the structure of your home to separate from itself and from the foundation. Neither is acceptable.
The man who built his house upon the rock might, indeed, have been wiser, but the man who built his house on the sand could have been successful with these tips.