Building Homes or Extensions/retaining wall?

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Question
I'm building a home on a fairly significant slope. Rather than using stilts/pillars, soil from the upper-side has been plowed lower to create a flat space in the middle for pouring the foundation. So now, there are three levels: 2 sloping and 1 flat.
Concern 1. The "wall" height between the top and middle levels where the soil was removed is probably about 10-12 feet high. It looms behind where the house will be built. Is there a chance of mudslide? Do I need a retaining wall?

Concern 2. The height from the first level to the second level is even higher, but it slopes somewhat steeply. Since the soil of this slope was moved there, Im worried the foundation could slip because the earth is less dense. Do I similarly need a retaining wall between the first and second levels to reinforce the soil where the foundation is located?

Thanks!

Answer
Chris,

I can only answer this generically.  First, you should not build a foundation on fill dirt!  A foundation should be built on natural undisturbed soil.  Second, the bank above the flat house site could slide depending on several factors, such as how much rain it is likely to experience, the composition of the soil, what vegetation will grow on it, etc.  Without knowing these types of information I can't advise concretely but if I had to guess I'd say you need a well designed retainer.  Third, i can almost concretely advise that it you place a foundation on the fill dirt forming the front half of the flat building site it will not support the building and could easily fail and it is almost a sure thing the fill dirt will slide.  My advice would be to hire an engineer qualified to determine the requirements for the foundation construction and design.  Good luck.

Len Kroll
Wood House Log Homes LLC

Building Homes or Extensions

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Len Kroll

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I can answer questions concerning log home design, manufacture, construction, maintenance/repair, restoration and insect control in log homes. I can also answer questions pertaining to wood properties, characteristics and performance as they relate to log home applications. Additionally, I can answer questions pertaining to residential construction and repair, some engineering and trade issues.

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I have been in the log home and construction industry for 38 years, 10 years in a specialty contracting field and 28 years in the log home field. My company has designed, produced and supplied over 3,000 log homes and built over 500 and restored over 600 during that 28 year period. I was a volunter in AllExperts for several years and somehow fell off the map. I answered hundreds of questions during that term and had a very high rating.

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I authored a monthly column in an in house publication expressing the Vice President and General Manager's "Observations and Insights" which was distributed to approximately 300 employees and management.

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I have a BS Accounting degree from the University of Illinois, 1963, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago, 1968. I have participated in numerous relevant seminars over the years including an intense two week broad business administration seminar at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, 1978. I have participated in the National Association of Home Builders Graduate Builders continuing education program.

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National Honor Society Student, Illinois State Academic Scholarship, Dean's List

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Aaron Tipon, Randy Travis, Billy Dean, Maryland State's Attorney General, US Army Retirement Complex, Boys Scouts of America.

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