Land Development Necessities: What to Know Before you Start

by | Feb 13, 2018

Make sure your land development project keeps your foundation safe

Embarking on a new land development project is an exciting thing. When done right, these projects add an incredible amount of value to your home while also providing a great new addition to your estate.

A new swimming pool or patio can be fun, but these installations also involve a great deal of attention and consideration. In addition to being a large investment, land development projects typically have serious foundation implications.

At Waterproof solutions in St. Louis, we’ve seen our fair share of pools, patios or other additions that eventually hurt the foundation. Without the proper planning, you could wind up spending thousands in repairs on top of the initial investment in your project.

Before you begin digging, it is important to understand the impact your new addition will have on your home’s health. Oftentimes this means partnering with a foundation inspection professional, such as Waterproof Solutions in St. Louis, to give an evaluation.

Here are a few projects a foundation professional can assess for you:


Your specific landscape and area should play an important role when you consider installing a pool. Here in St. Louis, for instance, our ground has a lot of clay in. Clay and water don’t play well together.

Clay will dry and become very small, then the water comes and causes it to swell. That swelling can put a lot of pressure on your foundation. Because of this, you should avoid adding any more water into your landscape than necessary.

One way to avoid water pressure is to make sure your house is built up out of the ground. This gives it a buffer between the soil, making the expansion less imposing. Additionally, pools should be installed in a position that allows it to drain away from the house.

Foundation inspectors can analyze your specific yard and provide recommendations so you achieve these two goals. With a professional inspection, you can be sure your pool will not profoundly impact your home’s foundation.

Decks & Patios

A new deck causes a few disruptions in the landscape as well. When you want to install a deck, you should never put it on top of a failed slab. Failed porches need to be removed and if you put a deck over the top it just continues to sink into the ground, pushing the water into the foundation and eventually causing a severe failure.

PVC Pipe St. Louis Missouri

PVC Pipes are great at funneling water away from your home

Additionally, in a land development project, you want to make sure your water is being taken to the parameter. Before you start pouring a new patio, for instance, you want to make sure your downspouts are away from the designated area and can still be accessed, repaired and adjusted with ease.

In terms of downspouts, we recommend using PVC instead of black corrugated pipes. Black pipe is not aliphatic, meaning it doesn’t take the sun. PVC pipes endure the weather much better and are easier to clean and maintain.

These are just a few of the insights a professional inspector can provide during an assessment.


Adding a new tree to your yard can look great, but there are some implications that come with it. A tree’s roots expand throughout the yard with time. If you place a new tree too close to your home, those roots can cause some serious disruptions.

Roots take up space in the soil, making it more dense. When the wet seasons come along, the clay we mentioned before will expand, only now it is coupled with increased pressure from the tree. This new pressure could cause a collapse in your foundation.

You should avoid planting a tree to close to your home because of this. As a rule of thumb, the roots will expand as far as the branch line, also known as the “drip line,” goes. Plant your new tree far enough away that the branch perimeter wouldn’t reach the edge of your home.


These are just a few insights a foundation inspection professional can offer. Every landscape is unique and thus require their own attention and care. By hiring an inspector, ensure your new land development project won’t hurt your wallet in the long-run.

Inspections prior to the project makes sure everyone involved brings their A-game. They provide information for you and the developer that help you make decisions that impact your home and its value.

At Waterproof solutions, we work with both you and the land developer to create a plan that is a perfect fit for you. Contact us today to learn more about our land development inspection services!