Breaking ground for a new home was a dream come true for a Kentucky landowner. The dream turned into a nightmare, though, when the topsoil turned into bedrock. Blasting away enough stone to make room for the foundation also blew a major hole in his building budget.
A Rochester, Minnesota, couple's home had reached the framing stage when the middle of the basement floor began to buckle and collapse. A hidden sinkhole was to blame.
Another Midwestern homeowner insisted on placing his half-million-dollar home on a sloping site to capture the view and work in a walk-out basement. Now, he has to find a way to repair the back of his house, currently a full foot lower than the front. An 8-inch crack runs along one side, and support columns have crumbled.
Add to this list the California hillside homes that have been washed off their perches, and sinkholes in Florida's sandy soil that swallow entire houses -- both almost annual disasters reported on the evening news. The real tragedy in all these stories is that these problems can often be anticipated or avoided with a little preparation.
Continued on page 2: Dig Up the Facts