Have you ever considered what type of land, or specifically soil, your property is located on top of? This is a very important question, especially when constructing a new home or if you wish to add an addition to an existing property. The ground your home sits on is literally the bedrock of the foundation of your home. Not understanding the soil types the home will sit upon, as well as using the wrong construction methods can end with disastrous results.
Settling of the foundation results when the home is built upon unpacked or loose, unconsolidated soil-like sand. This causes cracks in the foundation and possibly unleveled floors, or worse, significant cracks in the walls. If the home was constructed on the side of a hill, improper engineering to compensate for loose soil may result in sluffing or even causing the home to slide down the hill. A method very often implemented is a retaining wall to level off and mitigate the ability of the loose soil to slide. Also, stilts can be used. With this method, deep holes are drilled and the foundation is held up by sinking the stilt beams deeply into the ground, past the loose soil and then reinforcing them with concrete.
Soil types with clays in them, particularly clays that expand, are also an issue throughout Texas and here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. If not accounted for before construction of the home or addition, expansive clays can wreak as much havoc on the foundation as unconsolidated sands. The problem arises with moisture. When the clays are wet, the expansive varieties do just that, expand. When the moisture leaves, the soils then shrink back.
All of this swelling and shrinking causes movement of the foundation, and if not planned for, can result in large cracks, areas of seeping and slumping of the home. One very effective way of mitigating expanding clay soils is to backfill with gravel or similar medium to isolate the foundation, but this is often a more expensive option. Other great options are to manage the water conditions around the house, by channeling drainage away, drip watering plants, and other measures.
Incorporating Horses on Your Property
In our area on Hwy 377, the soil types are fairly stable and lend well to solid home construction. Living in horse country, a very important issue is how the soil will be affected by large animals such as horses. The reason being is that the soil is perfect for raising horses. The importance of soil when purchasing a piece of property for horses is more important than if the property has a tack room or other outbuildings, acreage for the horses to roam, or even price. The health and quality of your animals depends on the quality of the soil. Remember, you can always construct new features, but it is extremely expensive and difficult to replace soil throughout your entire property.
In order to have healthy and strong horses they need to be well fed. This means that your horses need to graze on the property as well as have their diets possibly supplemented. Horses have nutritional requirements very similar to humans because they are mammals also. Horses get a substantial amount of their minerals like potassium and phosphorus through the vegetation they eat while grazing. Knowing your soil is imperative for this reason. It is possible to add and till into the soil some of the missing nutrients. This can add substantial cost and time to creating productive and healthy soil for your horses though.
Even though an area is known for horse property and one would assume that the soil quality is sufficient, DON’T. It is very inexpensive and will not take long to obtain some soil samples of the property. The samples are sent to a lab and will provide you with the information about the quality and productivity possible for the use of the soil. Keep in mind that conditions can differentiate from one another in a very short distance. Therefore, the larger the property the more samples you may wish to obtain. Choose areas where there are noticeable differences in vegetation, rocks, color, or any other indicators that the soil may be different.
The type of soil that is most prevalent along the Hwy 377 corridor which has created a haven for horse owners is a sandy or loamy soil. This strip of sandy loam winds its way through Denton, Cooke, and Grayson Counties.
The Team to Trust When Purchasing a Home
We are Dutch and Cheryl, Realtors® with Keller Williams and we have been working in this area for over 15 years. Along with knowing the real estate in Dallas/Fort Worth and surrounding areas, Cheryl has competed in barrel racing for many years and we both know the importance of proper horse care.
Take a look at a few other reasons why you should choose us to represent you and get in touch with us at (940) 365-4687 or [email protected] We would love to help you find the home you’ve been looking for in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.