Building With the Future in Mind Since 1955

Our clients found themselves between a rock and a hard place.  Soon after buying their home a huge crack developed in their enormous exposed aggregate driveway, parking pad and patio.  On a weekly basis they could literally watch the crack grow… and grow.  And it surely didn’t help to realize that their second story deck was supported by this failing concrete!

McC Befores (1)Research disclosed that the prior homeowner had built the deck and concrete pad illegally… no permits, no engineering. So they consulted with GeoTest (geotechnical engineering; environmental services) and Bourne Engineering (consulting structural engineer).

The resulting reports revealed that:

The steepness of the slope adjacent to the concrete pad placed the work in a ‘critical area’, subject to closer environmental scrutiny

The retaining walls supporting the imported fill were not engineered

The second story deck posts were built without footings

The imported fill beneath the concrete was the wrong material and was not compacted properly

After partially deconstructing their existing retaining wall, here's the mess we uncovered.

After partially deconstructing their existing retaining wall, here’s the mess we uncovered.

Their situation was complicated and confusing!  Permits were needed and permission for a path forward involved numerous departments at the City of  Bellingham. So Jason Bourne recommended that they contact us, hoping that we could bring all of these issues into a possible solution set… which we did.

The ultimate solution became the replacement of the concrete pad with patio pavers, as well as installing engineered pier pads for the second story deck support.  These solutions relieve the loading on the retaining walls, stabilizes the support of the upper deck, and stabilizes the substrate beneath the pavers. Furthermore,  if the slope continues to deform in the future, readjusting the pavers will be an easier fix than having to remove yet another slab down the road.

Ultimately we turned their nightmare into a beautiful entrance into their property.  Check out these images.  First a few ‘befores’ followed by a slideshow showing their ultimate solution.

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