In the beginning we knew the lot could hold some potential problems. We needed to push the house away from the steep front slope down to the street, but the house needed to be far enough away from the back of the lot to allow for a functional back yard. The other issue was sandstone. Our excavation contractor told us that there may be sandstone right under the surface of the topsoil and we might have a hard time digging an appropriate foundation. In our experience with sandstone we have seen two scenarios. One, the sandstone is a light gray/brown color and can be dug up with an excavator without many extra steps or problems. Two, the sandstone is a gray/blue color, much harder and it has to be broken up before it can be removed. The second scenario is more expensive and time consuming. Our risk here equated to potentially having to use the buffer in the budget and not being able to spend that reserve on other, important aspects of the house.
There was sandstone, mostly the brown stuff and a little of the blue stuff, but not enough to throw the budget off its axis. Some of the builders who built around us had to dig deep through the hard sandstone, somehow recover the cost of that excavation and sell the house for a reasonable price. We felt good about having good customers and a solid foundation built on some hard rock (we actually drilled holes in the rock and sunk in rebar before the foundation was poured). Nothing is taking this home down!
We love what we do and are glad to share our passion with you. Here are some pictures of the finished product.
-Squalicum Builders Team