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Soil & Geologic Issues

In most states, the biggest – and certainly one of the earliest – headaches for homebuilders is the soil. That is why responsible developers, and builders, typically conduct a soil engineering report before any digging is done. These reports will not only detail the types of soil the builder is dealing with, but will often spell out how best to mitigate problem soils before, and during, construction. The report will advise the builder on proper footing depth, width, bearing pressure, estimated settlements, and heave potential, among other things. Other details included in soil reports are grading requirements and minimum ground slopes.

Unstable soils can lead to cracked foundations, walls, driveways, sidewalks, and streets and can cost homeowners and homeowners associations millions of dollars in damages. If your home is showing signs of foundation issues, reach out to a Burg Simpson Phoenix construction attorney now at 800-314-1948 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form.

Common Soil Problems

Roughly half of the homes built every year in the United States are on unstable soils. Two types of soil are responsible for most of the residential structural issues and both of them hinge on the amount of clay present. They include:

  • Expansive soils: Soil that has a high concentration of clay acts like a sponge, sucking up available water and expanding. As it dries, in contracts. This expansion can crack walls and foundations, and twist sidewalks and streets.
  • Collapsing soils: This type of soil will collapse when it gets wet, and normally occurs as a result of pooling rainwater, leaking pipes, and heavy watering. This can take years to damage a structure.

If your community’s infrastructure is already crumbling and the developer is not responding to repair requests, call a Burg Simpson construction litigation attorney  today at 800-314-1948.


We always recommend that homeowners and homeowner associations try to work with developers before pursuing any litigation. If that does not work, the construction litigation lawyers at Burg Simpson can help.

We also advise homeowners to pursue what we call “Plan B” settlements, which typically involve conferences with construction experts to try to come up with a realistic repair plan – paid for by the builder and/or developer.

If you are seeing signs of foundation damage or cracks are appearing in your driveway, call Burg Simpson’s construction contract lawyers at 800-314-1948 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form here.

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