29 Jul 2011
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United Kingdom
I have just dug the footings for my side extension and about 3' down I hit clay
which is what I expected. The building inspector turned up today and started poking
his rod in and saying how soft it was.
Well it wasn't soft when I dug it out yesterday but it rained yesterday evening and
when I got up there was a couple of inches of water in the trench so it has obviously
softened the ground and now he is talking about structural foundations.
I would just like a bit of advice from people with experience of this situation please.
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No idea how deep you’ll have to go but when you’ve finished digging wait for a good day to get BC round. Make sure your trench edges are sharp and the base is square.

I dug my trenches down 1m and hit nice ground, stones and sand. The topsoil was very crumbly and a dusting fell in the trenches. He told me I needed to go deeper. I arranged a visit for the following day and removed the 5mm of soil an hour before he came. He was fine with it. Point I’m making is don’t get him round after it’s been p1ssing with rain!
We have had to scrape a clay trench bottom many a time.

I was once asked if a quote still stood a few months after I had posted it. I said unlikely now that it is Winter and that your property sits on clay. Wet conditions can influence a clay jobby enormously and have to be accounted for. Wet, cold and clay = nightmare.
Ok thanks
It was just bad timing then as the building inspector was due in the morning
and it ****ed it down in the evening.
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Ok thanks
It was just bad timing then as the building inspector was due in the morning
and it ****ed it down in the evening.

You want to be thankful that your deep foundation trench did not run close and parallel to a deep (1.4m) drain trench and that the rain didn't cause the weakened bit between to fall into your foundation trench overnight like wot ours did once. All had to be hand dug out due to inability to access digger over excavated work.

Massive depressing ouch.

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