Soils in Florida are nowhere near as stable as it used to be thought. Old construction thoughts were to clear a lot and start building. But we know so much more now, than we knew back then.
Now we know that a majority of cracking in a home is not just from sinkholes, but from improperly prepared soils. Loose soils, buried organics, upper surface clays...these all play an important part in construction. And knowing what is in the ground before you build or buy is quickly becoming the new normal. From county requirements to architects and engineers, everybody wants to make sure that the basis of a new structure , the foundation, is well supported and will be able to test the hands of time. But believe it or not, there are some that do not want you to test the lot. Most lots are not ready to build. Most need upper level soils compacted. And there are times when lower level soils are in need of help as well and require additional work to a property. And sometimes, they can get expensive.
There are some builders & professionals out there that are more worried that the job will walk rather than get completed. Mostly because of the $$, but some are more than happy to have this done for you if you request it.
Before new buildings are built, the soils should be investigated to ensure that they will support the new structure. Otherwise, surely they will wreak havoc with some real trouble with wall and floor cracking or windows and doors no longer closing properly as the excessive settlement begins.
We typically propose to investigate for existing geologic hazards and the presence of poor soil conditions or other factors that may affect the improvements you proposed for the site by testing to measure engineering properties of the soils and by defining the lateral distribution and thickness of the soil, clay and rock stratas within the zone of influence of the proposed construction.
Construction recommendations including fill placement, subgrade preparation, foundation construction requirements, maximum allowable soil bearing pressure and other items are included in our reports with remediation requirements provided as well.