Soil Problems In Arizona Approximate Earthquake Damage

Many suburbanites purchasing dream homes soon find that weak soil wreaks havoc on their foundations, yet with the high demand for housing, hundreds of homes are continually constructed in such areas.

"Cracks are etched along the walls, creeping from the corners of the windows and the baseboards. Holes have been cut in various spots on the kitchen linoleum. There's also a series of holes in the backyard -- five feet deep."

"Worst of all: the crack running the entire length of the house, from the easternmost edge of the living room floor to the westernmost edge of the kitchen."

"This is a 45-foot gash bisecting the house's foundation, as if an earthquake struck Surprise [Arizona]."

"Some of the hottest areas for development in the Valley -- including parts of Anthem, Gilbert, and Surprise -- suffer from problematic soil."

"'You see the land with poorer soils, 10 years ago, the only thing you'd find there is a farm house,' [Jack Holden, chair of Arizona Building Officials] says. 'But then the building boom hit, and you had these mass builders come in, and now you've got hundreds of houses there.'"

Full Story: Cracked Houses

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
poster

A Short History of America

From comic book artist Robert Crumb, poster shows how the built environment has changed throughout the decades.
$14.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95