Mike Van Horn, Inc.
Registered California Geotechnical Engineer | Registered California Civil Engineer
Office Phone: (831) 429-9364  |  SoilSurgeon@Cruzio.com  |  101 Forrest Avenue, Santa Cruz, California

Mike Van Horn, Inc.  Soil Engineer  Santa Cruz


























FAQs: Follow-Up Services


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NOTE: THE COMMENTS BELOW ARE DESIGNED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND MAY NOT BE COMPLETE OR ACCURATE DEPENDING ON THE ACTUAL PROJECT AND SITE CONDITIONS.


What do soil report follow-up services cost?
Follow-up charges are calculated strictly on time accrued at current billing rates based on portal-to-portal travel to the project site and back to the office.  A current fee schedule page is provided for your reference.
What is a geotechnical plan review?
The soil engineer reviews the final, project design plans to determine if they are in general conformance with the soil report and writes a brief approval letter.  This process usually takes less than an hour - assuming the plans are reasonably complete and the designs reasonably conform to the recommendations of the soil report.  Otherwise, more cycles of plan reviews may be needed before the plans are acceptable to this office.
What is involved with foundation observation services by the soil engineer?
The soil engineer visits the project site, observes the foundation excavations, and directs the foundation contractor to correct any deficiencies with the soil conditions, as needed.  Once the foundation excavations are evaluated as being acceptable by the soil engineer, the he writes up a brief field or office approval letter, depending on the type of foundation.  This process usually takes one to two hours maximum per site visit for standard shallow foundations, and three to 10 hours total for deep pier foundations.  Deep pier foundations may require continuous observation during the pier drilling operations.
What is involved with the County of Santa Cruz's geotechnical conformance letter?
The soil engineer visits the project site at least once and confirms that all geotechnical related construction, such as retaining walls and site drainage structures have been adequately installed.  If there are engineered drainage plans, the soil engineer requires a brief letter from the civil engineer stating the completed project drainage facilities are in conformance with the project plans or are acceptable to the civil engineer.  The soil engineer may need to provide instructions for basic drainage around the buildings if no civil engineer is involved with the project.  In the office, the soil engineer will subsequently write up the geotechnical conformance letter outlining all previous observation services rendered for the project, as required by the County of Santa Cruz. This conformance letter service usually takes a total of about two hours, but can be longer depending on the adequacy of constructed site features.
What is involved with the soil engineer providing soil testing and observation during grading operations?
The soil engineer provides:
(1)  Field meetings as needed and coordinates field testing and grading observation requirements.
(2)  Observation by the soil engineer of graded fill base keys, subdrains and other pertinent grading features, as needed.
(3) The soil engineer directs the sub-contracted field technician to test soil compaction on an as-needed basis.
(4) Orders soil laboratory compaction reference tests and other qualification tests, as needed.
(5) Writing of grading reports as needed or as required by pertinent government agencies.

The soil engineer needs about a week to set up sub-contractors, initial site soil sampling, and initial meetings with field technicians and grading contractors.

This work item can be very expensive!  The cost of these services usually exceed the cost of the soil report plus the other geotechnical services by several fold!  I you are planning significant grading at your project, it is important to anticipate this engineering fee.
What is involved with subdrain observation services by the soil engineer?
The soil engineer visits the project site, observes the subdrain locations, and directs the foundation or grading contractor to correct any deficiencies in the subdrain soil conditions, as needed.  This process usually takes one or two hours maximum per visit.



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